NExT gets back on track

The University of Nantes, Nantes University Hospital, Inserm and Centrale Nantes have adopted an action plan reaffirming their shared determination to build a new university model alongside Nantes Saint-Nazaire School of Fine Arts, the National School of Architecture of Nantes and the Jules Verne Institute of Technological Research.

This decision signals the re-launch of the project. Next steps: approval of the statutes for the future establishment in March-April 2021, evaluation of the I-SITE by an international panel in Autumn 2021 and the creation of Nantes Université in January 2022.

on October 16, 2020

In December 2019, the state suspended funding for I-SITE NExT. Over the summer, the University of Nantes, Nantes University Hospital, Inserm and Centrale Nantes drafted a new action plan to relaunch the project. This action plan was adopted today, Friday 16 October, by the Boards of Governors of the University and Centrale Nantes respectively, and on Monday 12 October by the Hospital’s Supervisory Board. It was also approved by the Chief Executive of Inserm.

These decisions mark a new phase in the project’s development, reaffirming the founders’ determination to create an experimental public establishment. The I-SITE founders are also seeking to obtain the release of NExT funding from the state, prior to going before an international panel in Autumn 2021 for long-term project approval.

Next steps:
  • March / April 2021: approval of the statutes of Nantes Université
  • June / July 2021: decree for the creation of Nantes Université
  • Autumn 2021: I-SITE international panel visit and hearing
  • January 2022: creation of Nantes Université
We have the opportunity to relaunch the project to create Nantes Université, now open to the School of Architecture, the School of Fine Arts and the IRT Jules Verne, and which should benefit the whole region. NExT2 will be a catalyst for this new experimental establishment, which aims to meet the challenges of today’s world. Nantes Université will be based on an academic programme focusing on the issues of ‘future health’ and the ‘industry of the future’, and takes on a very special meaning in light of the current public health and environmental crises. - Carine Bernault, President of the University of Nantes

We need all the expertise out there - be it medical, scientific, technological or social - to envisage the health and industry of the future. Joining forces to build a new university model, which would bring this synergy, was therefore an obvious choice. We are seizing this unique opportunity to innovate, attract new talent and boost Nantes’s profile across Europe. - Philippe El Saïr, Director of Nantes University Hospital

The NExT2 project is successfully bringing together major players in higher education, research and health in Nantes around the two areas of excellence, "future health" and "industry of the future", thus playing a major role in the region’s development. Inserm, therefore, confirms its commitment to the NExT2 Action Plan, which augurs well for development of a modern, interdisciplinary and European university, capable of meeting the challenges of today’s world. - Gilles Bloch, Chief Executive of Inserm

The Board of Governors’ decision confirms Centrale Nantes' willingness to work on co-construction of this new establishment alongside its other founding members. Nantes Université will be able to draw on the school's strengths and academic excellence in engineering and systems, to meet together the challenges of the ‘industry of the future’ and ‘future health’. Nantes Université is also well positioned in ocean engineering to drive Nantes’s international visibility. This decisive act thus paves the way for new opportunities for the school, its communities and its stakeholders in the years to come. - Jean-Baptiste Avrillier, Director of Centrale Nantes

Published on October 16, 2020 Updated on October 16, 2020