I-SITE NExT Initiative: health and engineering

The University of Nantes, Centrale Nantes, Nantes University Hospital and Inserm joined forces to launch the NExT (Nantes Excellence Trajectory) initiative via the submission of a joint application for the PIA2 (Investment for the future programme) call for projects.
In October 2019, the Board of Governors of Centrale Nantes rejected the proposed statutes for the future Nantes University, which brought discussions to a halt. Without any significant progress in the process that was to ratify the creation of the new institution, the State stopped financing Isite NExT at the end of 2019, while giving the site the go-ahead to present a new project in 2020.

Interviewed by Clément Lesort of SUN (LeSonUnique), Jean-Baptiste Avrillier, NExT's Operational Director, explains the project's objectives and challenges (in French):

Ambitious objectives:

  • Accelerate the unique dynamic of the Nantes area, where research is in tune with the key players and economic and social challenges of the area.
  • Consolidate its expertise and innovatory trajectory in research, education and technological transfer in two fields of excellence facing major social-economic challenges: health and industry of the future
  • Build on its ambitious policy for international attractiveness.
  • Place Nantes firmly on the international stage: reach a collective ranking in the top 300 universities in the world and the top 100 in Europe within 10 years

Health and Industry of the Future

The Nantes area with its high rate of employment in the industrial sector, is uniquely positioned to be a pilot site for the reindustrialization of France and meet the objective set for the factory of the future. With considerable potential for innovation and growth, the blue strategy, already strongly implemented in the region, is a springboard for the NExT initiative. Finally, the emergence of increasingly personalized medicine, combining efficiency and cost reduction, provides new opportunities for scientific, technological and economic development.

HEALTH: New biotherapies - nuclear and cancer medicine - precision medicine.
In Nantes, research in Health Sciences has developed considerably over the past 20 years, with broad support from Nantes University Hospital, the University of Nantes, the Pays de la Loire region, Centrale Nantes and national research institutions (including INSERM). The area has proved its ability to attract national and international researchers and to integrate fundamental biology and clinical research. Over the past two years, this has led to the formation of units bringing together more than 330 research workers.

INDUSTRY OF THE FUTURE: Advanced production technologies - Ocean engineering.
Building on scientific excellence in the fields of process engineering and materials characterization, ocean engineering and hydrodynamics, robotics, digital modelling simulation and optimization, the overall objective is to create a research and training ecosystem which is highly innovative in fields linked to Industry of the Future.
The other partners in the initiative - IMT Atlantique, Oniris, ICO, Ifsttar and Inra - have a long history of collaboration. They will contribute to the implementation and governance of NExT. 

Find out more: http://next-isite.fr/en/home/
Published on May 13, 2016 Updated on March 9, 2020