Our story

20 years of experience at the service of the Grignon heritage

Founded in 1999, the Grignon 2000 association was created to celebrate both the tangible and intangible heritage of Grignon, and its statuses include the following objectives:

  • to celebrate, on the occasion of the year 2000, the 175 years of existence of the agronomic teaching and research center created at Grignon, and to recall its primordial role in the training of senior executives and the rational development of agriculture both in France and abroad
  • to provide moral and financial support for the organization of meetings, in particular conferences, symposia, exhibitions, etc.
  • to oversee and contribute to the preservation of the Grignon site and heritage

A founding hazard

Just a few months after its creation, Grignon 2000 will be launching its very first fund-raising campaign to repair the roof of the Polonceau hall. Designed by Antoine-Rémy Polonceau (one of the founders of the school of agronomy) at the school creation in 1826, this former sheepfold became the headquarters of the Société Hippique de Grignon, the riding club associated with the school. At the end of December 1999, storm Lothar caused major damage to the building, which was repaired thanks to the solidarity of the many people attached to this heritage.


Frame of the Polonceau hall, photo adapted from a photograph by Alain Stoll under license CC BY-NC 2.0

2016-2022: Building a project with international reach

2016 : Gathering communities

In 2015, AgroParisTech votes to leave its historic headquarters of Grignon, and the estate is soon to be put up for sale. The international football club Paris-Saint-Germain (PSG) shows some intrest and considers building there its new training center. Concerned about the serious risks such a project would burden the estate heritages (concretization, privatization, loss of the agronomic vocation...), the agros and friends of Grignon take action against this idea.

Furthermore, Grignon 2000 and the CFSG (Collective for the Future of the Site of Grignon) build an advocacy for the creation of an international Center dedicated to Agriculture, Food and Environment in Grignon. The objective is to put the site at the disposition of a collective project, to make it accessible to the public and a useful tool for the ecological transition. A petition gathers 100 000 signatures in favor of this idea.

Photo: demonstration against the PSG implantation - © CFSG

2020 : Raising funds

After the PSG withdrawal, the project of an international center is slowly growing but nothing changes for Grignon's fate. In March 2020, the State finally decides to put up the estate for sale. Given its seniority, and as an association officially recognized as being of general interest, Grignon 2000 launches a crowdfunding which gathers 200 000€ to finance the economic and juridic studies needed to create the center.

2021: Imposing ourselves as serious candidates

The community of communes Cœur d'Yvelines and Grignon 2000 submit an offer called "Grignon 2026", as a result of a proactive approach searching for the support of thousand of people, with agronomical training or not, hundreds of companies and profesional organisations, researchers and representatives to strenghten this territorial and general interest project.

Among the 27 submitted offers, we stand out as one of the three finalists remarked by the Directorate of State Property, the State department in charge of the Grignon sale.

Photo: submission of the initial takeover offer in December 2020 by the "Grignon 2026" project team

Summer 2021: Making our voice heard

At the end of 2021 summer, the State chose the real estate developer Altarea-Cogedim project. The mobilization organizes itself and, after two demonstrations and several legal recourses against this decision, the Yvelines prefect announces in November that the current procedure is cancelled and postponed after the 2022 elections.

Photo: demonstration of September, 30th 2021 in front of the ministry of Agriculture - © David L.

Among the slogans held by students, one can translate: "Against an ungrounded education" ; "Let us the chance to build the future" ; "Grignon needs you / The agronomy needs Grignon" ; "[...] submit the living to the market laws, you became mad" ; "Climate law, only blabla, Grignon sale, only for wonga" ; "What kind of stories do you tell your children on the evening ?" ; "Greengnon"

2023: Giving Grignon a future worthy of its past

With a wealth of more than 20 years of exeperience, the support of thousands of individuals, agros and friends of Grignon, heritage and biodiversity associations, local authorities, companies in the agricultural, food and environmental sectors, scientists and elected representatives of various political sides, we are now ready to continue writing the history of Grignon.

Concerned about preserving this unique heritage and aware of the value it carries in the eyes of so many people, we wish to make this precious estate shine once again in the service of the transition of agricultural and food systems, the key challenge of our time.

And to find out more about the history of Grignon...