The “CAP 20-25” project was launched by stakeholders in higher education and research in the Auvergne region (Universities, schools, research organizations) and their partners (local authorities and companies), and is being implemented by the University of Clermont Auvergne. It is one of the winners of the IDEX/I-SITE 2017 call for projects of the “Programme investissement d’avenir 2, PIA 2” investment program. As such, it will receive funding of 330 million euros as well as partner funding commitments. The approval of the project will help fund structuring projects that meet the scientific and education ambitions of both the target University and Clermont site during the next 10 years.
CAP 20-25 implements an in-depth transformation of Clermont-Ferrand’s university campus. The merging of the two universities of Clermont-Ferrand has thus been finalized, and the Clermont Auvergne University is now a reality (the decree of its creation was issued in the Journal Officiel de la République Française on 15 September 2016, and the University has been open since 1 January 2017).
In the same transformation dynamic, a National Polytechnic Institute will be encompassed within the University. This Institute will include the SIGMA Clermont Engineering School, the university’s two internal engineering schools, Polytech Clermont and ISIMA, and will enable other schools to help promote a more integrated research and educational policy that brings the benefits of both the academic and socio-economic specific engineering skills of the site to all.
Additionally, this new structure will lead to new commitments in public-private partnerships. For instance, the enhanced cooperation with Michelin will lead to the creation of a joint laboratory – a world-first for Michelin – between the company and the new University. In much the same way, the cooperation with the Limagrain company has led to the joint founding of a Living Lab: the local innovation laboratory for main field crops in the Auvergne region (LIT).
In this way, the CAP 20-25 project incorporates cutting-edge scientific skills from the site and participates in the expression and identity of the Auvergne region. In an environment that is naturally favorable to an undeniably high quality of life, its ambition is to bring a major contribution to the scientific, technological, environmental and behavioral progress that is required to create the “sustainable lifestyles and production models”, which are at the center of the project and contribute to the site’s identity.
This ambition is articulated around four strategic scientific orientations.
The first is sustainable agroecosystems in a changing world: optimizing the integration of agrarian systems (grains and herbivores) in their environment and increasing their technical, environmental and societal performance;
The second is innovative systems and services for production and transportation: developing the underlying technology for human-robot cooperation (autonomous robotic systems and new information/communication technologies);
The third is personalized mobility as the key factor in health: finding novel, interdisciplinary solutions to improve mobility, either preventatively or curatively, as this is an essential aspect of human health, by exploring muscle function and factors that influence motor skills.
And finally, catastrophic risks and socio-economic vulnerability: studying the complex interactions between societies and natural disasters, including volcanic hazards in the developing world and the necessary steps between research results and political decision-making.
These orientations are closely related to the development of the economic sectors of the Auvergne region (agriculture, industry, health and environment). Additionally, they naturally include the mechanisms of excellence resulting from calls for projects in the first Investments of the Future program, and are coherent with the key fields of the S3 intelligent specialization strategy in Auvergne.
These orientations will be implemented by developing a multi-modal innovation strategy that combines multiple fields, partnerships and performance (economic, societal and environmental) for each one. The (human-scale) size of the site and the transformation of the university for closer governance of orientations are factors that will help bring coherence to the project during its development.
Research: The project will address the development of four strategic scientific orientations that have strong links to major industrial players on site and relate to fundamental societal issues, such as adapting to climate change and natural disasters, human quality of life and production system efficacy.
Training: The training program has two major characteristics. Firstly, all national degrees obtained through the institutions involved in the project will be issued by the “University of Clermont Auvergne”. Secondly, a number of multidisciplinary courses related to the four strategic scientific orientations will be offered through the “LEARN’in Auvergne” program. These will be offered in various graduate-level, engineering and continuing education programs in order to address the scientific, technological, ethical, legal, and behavioral issues related to the digital technology revolution. It is crucial to ready both our students and stakeholders from the socio-economic world to master this new professional and personal world so they may adapt to the demands of the future professional world. The CAP 20-25 project meets this ambition thanks to the integration of digital technology into teaching and educational innovation, relationships with computer science, artificial intelligence and cognitive science research.
Transfer: The structuring of services to support innovation and technological transfer thanks to the “Hub Innovergne” program (creation of innovative companies, direct transfer and search for partnerships) will simplify the process of innovation for all on-site stakeholders: entrepreneurial-minded students, researchers who would like to implement their inventions with commercial applications and industrial stakeholders seeking innovative solutions.
International strategy: The “WOW!” (Wide Open to the World) program will be built upon a number of international project launch, mobility and engineering circuits and on the implementation of networks and alliances, and international laboratories.
Talents policy: The ambitious human resources policy will include: a chair of excellence program to recruit high-level researchers and post-doctoral fellows, a tenure-track program for candidates who have demonstrated their excellence during a trial period and the creation of a CAP 20-25 academy “without walls” that will reward researchers and lecturer-researchers for excellence in research, providing them with international recognition.
Student life: the objective is to provide students with high quality, fulfilling living conditions. The City and University will cooperate to implement dedicated spaces devoted to multi-modal logistical means for diverse cultural, athletic, individual and collective endeavors. The University and the students’ involvement in city life will promote intergenerational exchanges.
Thus, CAP 20-25 is a project whose ambition is to integrate diverse fields of excellence to help the Auvergne region reach national and international standing thanks to close partnerships with world-class industrial stakeholders and networks of SMEs, in an exceptional natural environment, for anyone who seeks to further his/her education and wishes to conduct research at the highest levels