About us

IRTA is a research institute owned by the Government of Catalonia adscribed to the Ministry of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda. It is regulated by Law 04/2009, passed by the Catalan Parliament on 15 April 2009, and it is ruled by private regulations. It takes part of the CERCA centres system of Catalonia.

IRTA‘s mission is to contribute to modernising, improving, boosting competitiveness, and fostering sustainable development in the sectors of agriculture, food, agroforestry, aquaculture, and fishing, as well as in all areas of activity directly or indirectly related to the supply of healthy, high-quality foodstuffs to end consumers, while also contributing to food safety and safe processing of foodstuffs and in general enhancing the health and well-being of the population.

Its general objectives are to promote research and technological development in the area of agri-food, to facilitate the transfer of scientific advances and to evaluate its own technological advances whilst seeking the utmost coordination and collaboration between the public and private sectors.

Since it was founded, IRTA has sought to establish long-lasting collaboration agreements with other public bodies that operate in Catalonia in the areas of technological research and development. This approach has led to the creation of a consortium network of centres (involving IRTA, universities, CSIC, public-sector bodies, etc.), which is, in effect, an R&D cooperative system.

Since 2015, IRTA holds the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R) excellence seal, awarded by the European Commission.

We share our science to feed the future


IRTA’s functions are outlined below:

Experimental Research and Development (R&D). IRTA has a portfolio of running projects that are financed by the Institute itself, by regional bodies (CIRIT, etc.), by state bodies (National R&D Plan, INIA, etc.), and by international bodies (EU programmes, etc.). In addition, some of IRTA’s R&D activity is funded by the private sector by way of contractual research.

Technology Transfer. IRTA’s scientific activity is inspired by a vision of applicability and the evaluation of scientific advances. It operates in accordance with the most suitable technology transfer mechanisms applicable in each case:

Publication of results in specialist scientific and technical/scientific publications or dissemination media.

Provision of information on advances made in R&D projects.

Contracts for the concession, sale or exploitation of patents.

The technology transfer process may involve IRTA setting up, or taking stakes in, companies with a view to evaluating or commercialising knowledge, goods or services generated by its activities.

Contractual Research . IRTA offers its scientific capabilities to companies, associations and/or collectives for the evaluation, comparison or development of products, services or procedures. A research contract precisely sets out mutually agreed objectives, the methodology to be used and estimated time frames, along with the technical, financial and legal obligations of each party. Confidentiality is guaranteed in these kinds of contracts and when justified by the nature of the project.

Technical assistance and specialist training. IRTA is able to provide specialist technical and consultative assistance to associations, collectives, companies and agents in the sectors in which it operates by means of contractual arrangements. These arrangements specify the objectives of the relationship, the technical and financial compensation involved, the timeframe and how long the arrangement is to remain in force.

IRTA also carries out specialist training by organising short courses and seminars. It also facilitates extended visits by technical staff and university graduates at its centres and laboratories.


Contribute to the modernization, competitiveness and sustainable development of the agrarian, food and aquaculture sectors, to the provision of healthy and quality food for consumers and, in general, to improve the welfare of the population.


Become a scientific reference, an engine of innovation and technology transfer. We want to be the strategic ally of the agri-food sector.


1. Integrity
2. Commitment
3. Care for the environment
4. Excellence