2012-2020 trajectory: a multidisciplinary bedrock and an interdisciplinary dynamic
Aix-Marseille University is a research-intensive university with the Initiative of Excellence label and the largest French-speaking university in terms of student numbers. It is a multidisciplinary institution recognised as a major player in research, training and innovation at the regional, national and international levels.
Since its creation in 2012, AMU has capitalized on the multidisciplinary base resulting from the merger by supporting several interdisciplinary schemes and projects, internally or within the framework of the Investissements d'Avenir Programs, in research and/or training: IMéRA, Laboratories of Excellence (Labex), Interdisciplinary and Intersectoral Research Groups (PR2I),A*Midex Interdisciplinarity AAP, Interdisciplinary Thematic Training Groups (GIFT), Convergence Institutes, University Research Schools (EUR), and more recently the CIVIS Alliance of European Universities and the Institutes of Establishment. Some of these collective initiatives were launched with a "top down" logic emanating from governance (IMéRA, PR2I, A*Midex, CIVIS) and others, such as Labex, GIFT, Convergence Institutes, EUR and then Institutes, with a "bottom up" approach, coming from research units and faculties gathered around a common interdisciplinary objective. Whatever their origin, all these initiatives have encouraged the establishment of a lasting dialogue between disciplines that were previously juxtaposed, and have made it possible to gradually develop and disseminate a culture of interdisciplinarity within our multidisciplinary community.
Ambition 2021-2024: initiating an integrated and systemic approach to interdisciplinarity
Since 2020, several structuring projects carried by AMU and recently awarded by the third Programme d'Investissements d'Avenir have been added. All of these transformative projects include actions focused on interdisciplinarity, a source of cross-disciplinary skills needed by the community, whether for students to promote their success, mobility and professional integration, for teacher-researchers to optimise their teaching and research activities, or for administrative staff in their support functions and their professional development The fourth Investissements d'Avenir program is starting in 2021, positioned as an innovation accelerator of the recovery plan, bringing new opportunities for the transformation of the university and its ecosystem, in response to the current challenges of our societies. This political orientation, like the socio-economic changes underway, now makes it not only opportune but essential to formalize and implement a strategic and integrated vision of interdisciplinarity at the level of our institution, in connection with its partners and its territory.
In addition to the need for greater clarity and efficiency in our interdisciplinary actions, the development of interdisciplinarity has been identified as a key factor in the success of AMU's trajectory and positioning over the next 10 years. It is a strategic transversal axis of the establishment contract and an orientation that will reinforce the feeling of belonging to the same university. In light of these ambitions, President Eric Berton's political will is to structure, support and accelerate the existing dynamic in favour of interdisciplinary innovation in order to affirm "AMU, socially committed" as a pilot university in this field by 2024
For this reason, it has decided to create a Mission dedicated to interdisciplinarity within AMU, entrusted to the Vice-President of the Board of Directors, in charge of the institution's interdisciplinary strategy, in order to implement a mainstreaming and systemic approach to support change at the institutional level, which will be a tool at the service of the interdisciplinary community currently being structured within the institution.
This exploratory mission in favour of interdisciplinarity is also in line with the roadmap of the Initiative of Excellence, following the recommendations of the International Strategic Council of the A*Midex Foundation to consolidate the experiments conducted since 2012. It is conducted in the framework of a strengthened partnership with the CNRS, whose Mission for Cross-Cutting and Interdisciplinary Initiatives(MITI) has led the way in this area, as well as with theIRD around the sciences of sustainability and the site's partners.
Impact 2030: a culture of interdisciplinarity
By 2030, the Mission will have enabled us to move from a multidisciplinary state with dispersed interdisciplinary practices to an institutional culture of interdisciplinarity supported and developed by a community of practice, which will contribute to the transformation and institutional innovation of AMU, a university that learns in conjunction with its partners inA*Midex and the region.