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Last update: May 2021

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Insofar as health-related issues are at the heart of the relationship between agriculture, food and the environment, they can provide an integrative framework for steering and implementing agricultural, food and environmental transitions. The general goal of the metaprogramme SYALSA, which was launched in January 2021, is to identify and evaluate levers those levers that are likely to improve the impact of food systems on people’s individual and collective health., via food and nutrition as well as via their impact on the environment, considering shared benefits for health and the environment.

The general goal of the metaprogramme SYALSA  is to develop studies that seek to further understanding of the different factors and mechanisms, in interaction from agricultural production through to food consumption, that affect human health, It studies the relations between production, processing practices, people's exposure to environmental contaminants and health impact.  It also intends to characterise and evaluate those levers (innovations in bio-tech, public policy, the behaviours of players) that are likely to improve the impact of food systems on people’s individual and collective health.

INRAE Metaprogrammes: An interdisciplinary approach to meeting our challenges

Metaprogrammes are scientific programming and promotion mechanisms that cover a limited number of topics requiring systemic interdisciplinary approaches in order to meet the challenges facing both science and society.

the aim of our metaprogrammes is to:

  • develop  interdisciplinary research and widen the frontiers of science to respond to major issues of science and/or society;
  • form new scientific communities and support them in those subject areas; 
  • enhance the visibility of INRAE research at the national, European and international levels and strengthen its impact.

Over periods ranging from five to eight years, the financial support INRAE provides makes it possible to develop interdisciplinary actions such as scientific initiatives and the creation of scientific networks, along with interdisciplinary research projects and funding for doctoral theses.

The origins of the metaprogramme SYALSA

Six interdisciplinary scientific foresight studies made it possible to anticipate the research needs of INRAE and further develop its corporate plan. They cast light on the future frontlines of science and broadened the options for guiding and developing scientific, socio-economic or training partnerships.

The "nexus" approach explores the complex relationships that exist between our health and the food we eat - through food quality and diet -, but also agricultural production and its impact on the environment, whose status does have an influence on our health.

SYALSA uses the outcomes of the "Health Nexus" interdisciplinary foresight study.

Prospective Nexus santé