Agrotecnio, Excellence in Agriculture and Food Research

Jose Antonio Bonet
Agrotecnio’s director

Miquel Buenestado

Administration Manager

Paola Lloret Nasarre

Communications Officer

Director’s greeting

As Agrotecnio’s director, I would like to invite you to develop your scientific career with us. Agrotecnio is a research centre of excellence based in Lleida, Catalonia, on the campus of the School of Agri-Food, Forestry and Veterinary Engineering (ETSEAFIV) of the University of Lleida.

In our centre we offer you all the state-of-the-art equipment, staff, structure, training and activities you may need to grow professionally. To prepare your arrival, as well as to get to know our organization, this Welcome Manual contains useful information. I wish you all the best in this new journey with us!

Board of trustees

PresidentJaume Puy LlorensRector of the University of Lleida
Vice presidentJosep Usall i RodiéChief Executive Officer of the IRTA
SecretaryOlga Martín BellosoVice-Chancellor of Research at the University of Lleida
Committee memberSimó Alegret i CastellvíDirector of Research and Innovation Development of the IRTA
Committee memberJoan EstanyUniversitat de Lleida
Committee memberJordi Garcia MasIRTA
Committee memberJoan Gómez PallarèsDirector General of Research in Business and Knowledge Department of the Generalitat of Catalonia. Designated by the IRTA
Committee memberGustavo SlaferUniversitat de Lleida

Agrotecnio is an international center of excellence (CERCA center) that develops frontier research intended to have a major scientific and economic impact and to improve the wellbeing of societies and individuals. The scientific research at Agrotecnio makes use of a wide range of disciplines in the crop, environmental, animal, food and nutrition sciences. Agrotecnio is located in the heart of the 1700-student and 200-teacher School of Agronomics Campus (ETSEA) of the University of Lleida.

The mission of Agrotecnio is to carry out top-level fundamental and strategic scientific research, underpinning translational strategic objectives and to disseminate the outputs to society, including the private sector.

(a) define, integrate and address key challenges in the food and feed production chain in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner by employing multidisciplinary, cutting-edge research;

(b) leverage expertise and resources to make the Unit the Spanish and European reference centre for translational agrifood research;

(c) attract, nurture and develop the next generation of agricultural scientists;

(d) disseminate research outputs to the community;

(e) maximize funding opportunities by offering state-of-the-art multidisciplinary projects to public funding agencies and private stakeholders.

International vocation

Agrotecnio aims to become a reference in Europe addressing all the key elements of the food production chain in an integrated way focusing on target crops and animals of commercial importance, rather than model systems. This later aspect sets our centre apart from other centers which focus on fundamental science and/or model plant and animal systems. As a result we should be able to address fundamental and important questions in the crop/animal of interest and results from our research will be directly and immediately applicable to our target organism.

Major further aims of the centre should include the recruitment, training and mentoring of the next generation of scientists, public engagement and dissemination within the local community, at Catalan, Spanish and European levels and beyond the EU.

Agrotecnio is committed to using cutting-edge knowledge, technology and tools to achieve its mission. Consequently a critical element of the centre’s operations is a broad range of internal and external collaborations with other world-leading institutions. The centre will integrate research groups representing several fields within the plant, animal and nutrition sciences, which interact productively to launch innovative and integrative projects, a number of which with potential commercial applications in the short to medium term. Further enlargement to bring in additional groups with complementary expertise to expand the initial core group and contribute towards the scientific excellence of the centre will be decided on sound scientific grounds. Accordingly, specific criteria for new groups to join the center will be approved.

Steering Committee



IT & Infrastructures


Human Resources


Outreach & Communication


Scientific director
P. Christou

Crop & Environmental Sciences
G. Slafer
Applied Plant Biotechnology
P.  Christou
Crop Protection
J. Recasens
C. Cantero-Martínez
Crop Physiology
G. Slafer
Environmental Chemistry
J. Puy
AgroICT & Precision Agriculture
A. Escolà
Plant Phenomics
J. L. Araus (UB)
Forest Management
J. Voltas
Animal Sciences
J. EStany
Animal Breeding
R. Pena
Animal Nutrition & Environment
J. Balcells
Bovine Reproduction
I. García-Ispierto
Food Sciences
O. Martín – Belloso
Novel Technologies for Food Processing
O. Martín – Belloso
Applied Mycology
V. Sanchis
Food Bioactive Compounds
M. P. Romero
Postharvest Biology & Technology
I. Viñas

Scientific Advisory Board

Prof. Angharad GatehouseChair. Newcastle University, United KingdomInternationally renowned crop protection expert. Pioneer in tritrophic interactions (insect pest-host plant-insect parasitoid). Insect biochemistry and molecular biology. Director of Plant Sustainable Resources Center, Univ of Newcastle. Member of UK government’s task force on crop protection.
Prof. Jakob SantnerUniversity of Natural Resources & Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria A young scientist with ample international recognition. He has developed imaging techniques to visualize the varying concentration of chemical species (such as Fe, Zn, phosphate, etc.) in the rhizosphere. He has published 46 documents, with an h-index=20 and with more than 1200 citations.
Prof. Marina HeinonenHelsinky University, FinlandProfessor of Food Safety (Chemical Food Safety and Functional Foods). Member of the Research Council for Biosciences and Environment, Academy of Finland. Scientific expert since 2004 at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) NDA Panel and its working groups on health claims and novel foods.
Dr. Abelardo de la VegaCORTEVA, United States of AmericaDr. de la Vega leads Seed Product Development of Corteva Agriscience for Latin America and Africa since March 2021. He has 30 years of plant breeding experience (10 in Corteva); 16 of them as international plant breeding manager. He had breeding responsibilities and experience for multiple crops across all continents. Abelardo holds BSc and PhD degrees from the University of Buenos Aires.
Prof. Harinder P.S. MakkarUniversity of Hohenheim, Germany International Consultant and former Senior Animal Production Officer with the FAO. Before joining FAO, Dr. Makkar was Mercator Professor and International Project Coordinator at the University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany. He has published over 300 research papers in the areas of bioactive compounds and their interactions with livestock, soil, plant and environment; biotechnologies in animal agriculture; use of unconventional feed resources as livestock feed; strategies for enhancing nutrient use efficiency in animal food chains; and generation of value-added products from coproducts of the biofuel industry.
Prof. Osvaldo SalaArizona State University, United States of AmericaProfessor at Arizona State University. International leader in ecological science and global environmental policy. He has more than 220 publications, 50,000 citations and an h factor of 93. He has served in numerous institutions from the Scientific Committee of Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), where he was the president, to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). He is currently a member of the Committee to Advise the US. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) and President of the Ecological Society of America.

Careers/ Job offers

Agrotecnio has been designed to have a research staff selected to ensure an international impact, divided into research groups headed by internationally renowned scientists from different fields and with a high turnover of post-doctoral researchers.


Here you will find the documents by Agrotecnio:

Annual Accounts and Audit Report

 Activities Report 

 Stakeholders: Stakeholders are individuals or legal entities of a private nature that participate actively in public policies or in decision-making processes involving the Administration of the Generalitat of Catalonia and its public sector in order to influence in the orientation of these policies in defense of self-interest or of third parties, or of a general interest. The Register gives stakeholders a number of advantages when it comes to interacting with the Administration and the public sector and accessing information about their activities and initiatives. Registration


Agrotecnio achieves the HRS4R award

Live in Lleida

Lleida is an easy-going university city with more than 138.000 inhabitants. Ancient Cultural Heritage and fantastic natural landscapes converge in this city crossed by the Segre river.