The project: vision and reach

Accelerating the unique dynamic of the site in Nantes

The NExT initiative will enable the Nantes site to consolidate its innovatory trajectory in technological transfer training and research and to build on its ambitious policy for international attractiveness.

Significantly consolidating two strong research axes: Health and Industry of the Future

Profiting from a scientific scope based on the success of PIA1 (2 Labex, 1 IHUp, 1 Equipex, 1 IRT, 1 ITE), the scientific goal of the initiative is based upon two axes which have snowball effects on fundamental sciences and human and social sciences:

  • Future Health, focused on three areas: New biotherapies, nuclear medicine and cancer, precision medicine. At Nantes, research in Health Sciences has been considerably developed over the past 20 years, broadly supported by the CHU, the University of Nantes, the Loire region, the Ecole Centrale de Nantes and national research institutions (including INSERM). The site has proved its capacity for attracting national and international researchers and for integrating fundamental biology and clinical research, enabling, over the past two years, the founding of units bringing together more than 330 research workers. The NExT project aims therefore at developing research training and innovation which will be of benefit to health in the future and which will strengthen the position of Nantes at the international level.
  • Industry of the Future, focused on three areas: Advanced production technologies and Ocean engineering. Engineering is a major academic strength on the site, with major support from the CNRS and other partners associated with the initiative. The discipline brings together 670 research workers in 8 large laboratories. On the basis of scientific excellence in the fields of process engineering and materials characterization, ocean engineering and hydrodynamics, robotics, digital modelling simulation and optimizing, the overall objective is to create a research and training ecosystem which is highly innovative in fields linked to Industry of the Future.

The underlying dynamic is remarkable. Over the past 10 years, scientific production has been multiplied by 2.5, research contracts by 5.5, the number of chairs by 9 and Erasmus Mundus by 12.5.

Reaching for high rankings

The ambition of the founders of NExT – the University of Nantes, the Nantes CHU and INSERM – is to collectively position themselves in the top 300 Universities in the world and the top 100 in Europe within 10 years. That implies gaining a critical mass in research and improving publications impact, led by engineering and health sciences. The quality of the teaching environment and programmes as well as the growing synergies within the territory are clearly at the heart of the NExT founding partner strategy.