An ambition for the Rennes territory
The project to create the University of Rennes brings together:
- École nationale supérieure de chimie de Rennes
- École normale supérieure de Rennes
- Institut national des sciences appliquées de Rennes
- Sciences Po Rennes
- Université Rennes 2
- Université de Rennes 1
Based on its assets, the Rennes territory offers several characteristics on which the institutions rely to initiate a structuring process: the quality, diversity and complementarity of its institutions, the academic capacity to take up societal challenges, necessary to define a common policy. These dimensions give greater relevance to the structuring of higher education and research potential on the scale of Rennes metropolis.
Joint responses to calls for projects
The member institutions are determined to respond collectively to societal challenges by developing and piloting training, research and innovation projects linked to major transitions. They joined forces in 2016 to respond to calls for projects from the Programme d'investissement d'avenir (PIA), including the DESIR project (2016), which aims to transform education through digital technology; the Cursus IDE@L project (2017), which aims to individualise training paths and transform educational learning to lead students to success and professional integration; the 'University Research Schools' (2019), the keystone of interdisciplinarity and the education-research link; and the Rennes Innovation Campus, launched in 2020, whose ambition is to be one of the ten 'University Innovation Centres'.
In July 2021, a further step was taken. The members of the UniR project and the research organisations submitted the IRIS (Interdisciplinary Research & Innovation for Societal transitions) project. In response to the national AAP "Excellence in all its forms", it aims to strengthen the societal impact of higher education in Rennes and is part of an in-depth transformation of research and innovation practices in line with the intelligent specialisation strategy of the Brittany Region (S3 2022-2027). Fully rooted in the region, IRIS is focused on research and innovation to support the three transitions: digital, environmental and health.
Territorial Coordination Agreement: a reaffirmed collective dynamic
In 2021, the seven founding institutions will continue their rapprochement with the signing of a territorial coordination agreement (CCT), allowing them to set the scope, fields and terms, in accordance with the provisions of articles 17 and 18 of order n°2018-1131 of 12 December 2018. The five grandes écoles and the two universities set out their ambition to develop structuring projects in order to respond to current scientific, socio-economic and environmental challenges. They also decide on a common strategy by coordinating their skills. The UniR territorial coordination agreement is based on seven strategic objectives: research, education, student life, entrepreneurship, international, CSR and digital.
A participatory approach in schools
Eager to build a common project involving all stakeholders, the seven founding members are calling on nearly 250 staff and student representatives in 2018. Meeting in thematic steering committees and support committees, they developed strategic and operational proposals and ways of coordinating the tools and resources of the seven institutions.
A broad consultation was then organised with the communities through a participatory platform: 70,000 students and staff were invited to contribute to the development of the Université de Rennes project and more than 13,000 contributions were collected. This participatory approach led to the design of an action plan translating the common ambition into strategic objectives and projects to be carried out in six areas: research, education, student life, innovation and entrepreneurship, international, and CSR.