PSDR Method
Analysis of regional and territorial development processes: Foundation of the PSDR research projects
The originality of the PSDR Programmes lies in their being designed and developed within the regions and in relation to the concerns of the interested parties. The collaborative research aims to describe and analyze the processes of regional development, and to provide tools to development actors. The research rests on a mechanism of selection and evaluation of the quality of the research conducted.
PSDR Method and engineering: Scientific quality ensured by the joint development of the projects and an evaluation by an independent scientific committee
In operation since the 1990s and constantly being improved, the PSDR programmes differ from other mechanisms in that they use a method and an engineering approach that ensure the joint development of partnership, as well as an evaluation by an independent scientific body; they help monitor progress of the research at each stage of the project, and make it possible to develop tools to promote knowledge transfer and utilization.

1) The research themes and projects are discussed and selected in regional forums. The call for proposals is addressed to all interested researchers: Large research organizations (CNRS ...), Universities, Grandes Ecoles. The projects are co-developed by researchers and partners, under the guidance of local coordination units.
2) Teams are invited to respond to the national call for proposals, which comprises regional components taking into account local specificities. Research and project proposals are rated by an independent Scientific Council, composed of international experts in social sciences and biotech.
3) The projects listed in the A and B categories are examined in each region by the steering committee, who determines their eligibility and the amount of funding to be allocated to them. The C-listed projects are eliminated.
4) A team of permanent partners monitor the projects on a regular basis throughout the four years of work. The Scientific Council monitors the progress and quality of the research work, and conducts the final evaluation. Cross-cutting teams promote exchanges between regions and disciplines, reinforce the programme’s coherence and help create a common culture.
5) The use of adapted materials facilitates the dissemination of the results and their comprehension by the partners and researchers. The posters provide a synthesis of the questions raised in a project, and present the methods and resources used to address them. The 4 pages provide a compact description of the research objectives and the main results obtained in the course of the work.
PSDR4: a multidisciplinary approach to understanding territorial dynamics
The Research Programme "For and on Regional Development" examines the role played by economic activities (primarily agriculture and the agro-food sector) and rural and suburban areas in territorial development dynamics. Supported by INRA and Irstea, PSDR involves the joint participation, in each region concerned, of university and Grandes Ecoles’ researchers/lecturers and the researchers and engineers of the three institutes.
Identification of the key regional and territorial development issues
The PSDR projects provide insight into regional and territorial development processes, and in-depth analysis of the role and place of agriculture and the food industry in rural and peri-urban areas. They have increased scientific knowledge, at local level, about some key societal issues associated with global and environmental change.
Development of analytical approaches to regional development combining different scientific disciplines
Combining biotechnology and social sciences, the projects provide comprehension frameworks and the results of cross-cutting analyses. The diversity of approaches, in different regions, to the same issue helps to broaden understanding of development challenges in the territories.
Interregional scientific activities
The desire to promote knowledge exchange, to develop a common culture and collaborations between research teams from different disciplines in the regions, has led to a prolongation and extension of the work undertaken by the cross-cutting teams in the framework of PSDR3 (Governance and Development of the Territories, Partnerships and working methods within PSDR, Forms of Regional and territorial Development). Set up at the beginning of the programme they are intended to coordinate the groups of researchers and partners involved in the projects around a framework of topics considered of major interest.
The four main topics addressed by PSDR4
With each new generation of PSDR programmes, thematic priorities shift to match priority issues of regional and territorial development, in line with society’s expectations. PSDR will focus on the following four areas:
  • Land uses and land pressure in rural and peri-urban areas
  • The greening of agriculture and global change
  • Territorial autonomy and agricultural development
  • Innovation at the service of man, the food supply sectors and the territories (Forest, Agriculture and Food, Energy, Transport and renewable carbon)
  • Territorial development, urban-rural relations and strategies for increasing the attractiveness of the territories
  • New challenges and forms of public intervention and territorial development (New forms of public intervention and territorial development, agriculture and regional development policies).
Scientific assessment of PSDR3
The PSDR3 programme involved the joint participation, for four years, of 560 scholars (320 researchers and engineers and 240 lecturers/researchers), 60 staff on fixed-term contracts, 53 PhD students, 10 post-docs and many interns. They participated in 36 research projects conducted in 10 regions, representing a total of 650 FTE years. Out of the 204 teams and laboratories involved in the programme, 38% belong to INRA, 10% to Irstea, 23% to higher agricultural engineering education and 29% to universities or CNRS.
The end-of-programme symposium
The PSDR 3 Symposium held in Clermont-Ferrand between June 19th and 22nd 2012 served to present the communications introducing the results of the 36 projects and to provide an overall perspective of PSDR’s contributions of knowledge-at-the-service-of-regional-development. 145 communication papers, distributed between fifty thematic workshops, were presented in the course of the 3-day scientific symposium involving almost 400 participants.
The researcher-training workshop
The researcher-training workshop “For and on regional development: Collaborative and interdisciplinary research routes” was held between May 25th and May 28th 2010 in CARCANS (Gironde). It brought together the researchers involved in the PSDR programme and helped increase knowledge on regional and territorial development on the one hand, and reinforce collaboration between researchers and other PSDR 3 partners, on the other.
Scientific knowledge transfer and utilization in the framework of the programme
Over 400 articles published in peer-reviewed journals, of which 156 in English-language journals; almost 150 book chapters, 5 books in French (short producer-to-consumer food chains, climate change, territorial engineering, rural development policies, territorial development), 53 theses (over 24 projects) and 300 Masters dissertations.

On completion of the (on-going) programme
Five special issues of journals
Revue d’Economie Régionale et Urbaine (Journal of Regional and Urban Economics) (Land and development of rural and peri-urban areas); Sciences, Eaux et Territoires (Sciences, Waters and Territories) (Decision making support in territorial development); Cahiers Agricultures (Agriculture and Territorial Development); Economie et Sociétés (Economy and Society) (agro-food firms’ location and their ties to the territory); Vertigo (Environmental issues at the heart of regional development)
Two collective works
Partenariats pour le Développement Territorial (Partnerships for Territorial Development) (Quae); Les enjeux du développement régional et territorial en zones rurales (Challenges of regional and territorial development in rural areas) (L’Harmattan).
The main scientific results of PSDR3
Development of new thematic areas combining development, territory, environment and society
Analysis of peri-urbanization processes, of new sources of wealth creation (services, tourism, residential economy), of efficient utilization and preservation of natural resources, of location strategies and spatial mobility. Examination of consumption related issues and distribution channels, short producer-to-consumer food chains, innovation process, land use, climate change, sustainability of farming systems, creation of new activities, strategies of firms and cooperatives, functioning of commodity chains and management of local resources.
Identification of key regional or territorial development issues
Identification and prioritization of main development issues in the territories, taking into account common concerns but also the diversity of situations. For example, development of analytical frameworks to better understand and measure the impacts of climate change on water usage and farming systems, and pest risks for tomato production…
Analyses of regional development combining different disciplines
Gaining insight into the dynamics at work in the territories through a combination of disciplinary approaches. For example, a large number of studies on land use, combining the development of economic models addressing questions of land use regulation, or geographical, sociological and legal analyses of land management issues.
Elaboration of models promoting territorial development
Production of agronomic and economic models that will help the actors concerned to better understand the effects of activities and of their geographic expansion. Development of foresight scenarios and tools for analysing territorial governance and planning. Construction of indicators - for example in the field of sustainability – taking into account the territorial dimension. Regionalization of databases on climate change or innovation in small and medium agribusiness firms. Production of frameworks of impact assessments, for example to analyse the effects of public policies on rural development; and of techno-economic models promoting change in practices, in the field of husbandry.

All documents generated through PSDR 3 are available on the regional and national PSDR websites ( sites. The “ PSDR projects – for multidisciplinary and collaborative research within the regions” manual, produced for the 2012 Symposium, symbolizes the research and facilitation teams’ investment in producing knowledge transfer tools, for use in the field of research and in society.
PSDR PrinciplesTéléchargez PSDR Principles