In 2010, a group of 3 people (called the Innovation group) was created in order to stimulate innovations in the unit. The group organise seminars with brainstorming activities open to all categories of personnel. This activity already resulted in two large projects:
- The system-experiment BOTA-PEPI to design and test two innovative systems for dairy farming using few inputs and preserving the environment,
- A cross-cutting program on multi-sensor monitoring.
Since 2014, the Innovation group organises Herbidées, a call to collect ideas on innovation through research projects or for improving the functioning of the unit. Best ideas received a small fund to start research or put in place a new organisation. In 2014 the winning idea was to use the natural isotopic abundance of 15N to know the composition of ruminants’ diet and evaluate its N use efficiency.
In 2015, the 3 winning ideas were : the estimation of the capacity of the ruminants to digest feeds from simple enzymatic analyses of food and feces,a prospective study on the use of insects in ruminants feed and a virtual viewpoint indicator to quantify the opening of a landscape and feign the impact of changes of practices.