PIA 4: AMU submits the CISAM+ project - Call for projects "Excellence


Through its university foundation A*Midex and therefore through its partners on the site, Aix-Marseille University has made rapid progress since 2012 in its ambition to rank among the world's top research universities. AMU has obtained national and European funding for numerous structuring projects modernising the university and has innovated in the teaching-research link by creating 18 interdisciplinary research and training institutes. Today, as the 50th most innovative European university in the Thomson Reuters ranking (2019), AMU is considered a key player in the regional and national socio-economic ecosystem. This ambition is embodied in the Cité de l'Innovation et des Savoirs Aix Marseille (CISAM), a totem and emblematic place for innovation in the region.

Today, as part of the national call for projects under the Plan d'Investissement d'Avenir 4, AMU is submitting the CISAM+ project, which expands our innovation strategy in the face of the social, environmental, economic and health challenges that society is facing.

Universities have an essential role to play in accelerating technological and social innovations made possible by strong collaborations with socio-economic, associative and cultural actors and with citizens.
Based on the CISAM innovation model and existing scientific strengths, the CISAM+ project aims to build an integrated ecosystem that strengthens the impact of the site's research and teaching and facilitates the transition from "invention" to "innovation".

At AMU, we are convinced that technological innovation is inseparable from societal innovation. It must be both sustainable and inclusive
Éric Berton - President of Aix-Marseille University.

The CISAM+ project is based on 3 programmes:

  • Innovation training: this programme will disseminate the culture and skills of high-impact innovation to our students, from undergraduate to doctoral level and in close contact with technicians, engineers, researchers, teacher-researchers as well as socio-economic and cultural players.
  • Innovation support: this program will offer a complete range of innovation services (research, design, prototyping, awareness, detection, etc.) to researchers, socio-economic and cultural players (start-ups, VSEs, SMEs, large companies) and students.
  • Open innovation: this program will facilitate meetings and collaborations between researchers, students, citizens and socio-economic and cultural actors and will affirm our university as a reference in open innovation.

In concrete terms, if the project is selected by the jury, AMU will deploy CISAM on campus, close to academic, socio-economic and cultural actors, with the creation of 7 new CISAM+ thematic antennas to expand its actions. The project will focus on three multidisciplinary themes combining scientific excellence and major interest for the region:

  • Technologies for Health,
  • Cultural and Creative Industries and Social Responsibility
  • Sustainable development for the green and blue economies.

The implementation of the project is structured in 3 phases articulated with the accreditation cycles of the training offer and its real estate deployment on the campuses:

  • launch and experimentation in 2022-2024),
  • extension in 2025-2027)
  • and generalization in 2028-2032).

The governance of the project has been designed to ensure consistency with AMU's overall development strategy, with strong participation of key academic and socio-economic players and regular external evaluation. The CISAM+ project is directly linked to other structuring programs of AMU currently being deployed (DREAM-U; TIGER; IDeAL; connected campuses of Digne, Arles and Salon de Provence; but also the so-called "Equipex +" programs - CIRCUITPHOTONICS, IDEC, HIPE, IMAGINE - and DémoNIAC) and will be deployed over a period of 10 years. The modernization dimension of the "CISAM+" project has made it possible to build a solid business model that provides for self-financing of consolidation actions.

support for innovation
open innovation