The Institute for Research and Technology in Food and Agriculture (IRTA)

IRTA, the Institute for Research and Technology in Food and Agriculture, is the leading Catalan research body in the food and agriculture sector. The fact that food and agriculture are sectors with a deep-rooted tradition in the region, especially in the inland and southern parts of the province of Tarragona, makes IRTA a key strategic partner in the CEICS, the Campus of International Excellence Southern Catalonia.

The institute is involved in various studies related to innovation in the sector, in cooperation with Rovira i Virgili University and other stakeholders in the region. It provides services for associations and conducts research of strategic and environmental interest.

Its aim is to contribute to:

  • improved competitiveness
  • sustainable development in the farming, food, forestry, aquatic and fisheries sectors
  • fostering research to assist in the production of healthy, high-quality foods
  • promoting food safety

Olive cultivation, oil production techniques and nut research at Mas de Bover

One of the IRTA sites within the CEICS is in Constantí at Mas de Bover, where olive cultivation, oil production and nut research programmes are carried out. There, researchers study models involving improvements in the post-harvest stage, transformation, processing and the nutritional value and quality of foodstuffs including oil, nuts and carob gum.

Aquaculture and ecological production at Sant Carles de la Ràpita

In Sant Carles de la Ràpita IRTA runs programmes related to the marine environment, aquafarming, biodiversity, global change in aquatic ecosystems, ecological production and bioenergy. The site here is located in a unique spot in the Alfacs bay on the Ebro Delta, a major aquaculture centre in Catalonia.

Experimental station on the Ebro

An experimental station is located in Amposta, where sub-programmes are carried out in areas such as fruit, olive cultivation, the genetic improvement of winter grains and extensive crops.