UCA is striving to be a catalyst that will transform its territory. As the facilitator of a different mode of thought, of entrepreneurship, of research and development, UCA offers a fundamental rethinking of relationships between partners.
A rapid assessment of the French university system shows that, in spite of its diversity and richness, it is not ready for the current context of discontinuity. Rather, it is set up along rigid lines; and this in a world where it is becoming crucial to be flexible and reactive, to encourage risk-taking and environments in which talent can bloom.
The question is indeed one of excellence; however the excellence needs to possess agility in its processes.
Keeping in mind the two goals of excellence and agility in all of its actions, the challenge facing UCA is to develop and reinforce the site’s advantages, to overcome identified weaknesses, to structure and to increase the consortium’s visibility around the world.
More exactly, our ambition is to:
- Move the UCA squarely up into world-class research and innovation rankings, with a high-profile international attractiveness
- Confer upon UCA the role of an international leader in transdisciplinary research, by encouraging an adapted scientific and intellectual posture, and by de-compartmentalizing the various topical components through joint projects
- Attract to UCA, students and researchers with strong creative potential through an ambitious range of training and research programs that includes state-of-the-art information and communication technologies and by drawing artistic creation and scientific creation closer together
- Anchor UCA in its territory by multiplying interactions between academic research and private development research
- Make UCA an essential partner in areas with strong socio-economic potential, especially the use of digital domains in the sectors of health, well-being, aging, environment-related hazards, and the smart city and territory.
To support this new university model, it is necessary to create an organization that favors new interactions between the disciplines and between fundamental and applied research. The coordination required to initiate the UCA project must take the form of entities that progressively organize, secure and develop new types of interactions between all the directly involved players. From the academic coordination standpoint, several levels should be kept in mind: that of scientific organization; and that of interactions between fundamental research and innovation; that of governance.
The consortium’s partners have committed to certain core values.
- Fundamental human rights: members of UCA share common values as expressed in the European Union charter
- Academic freedom: UCA and its professors are independent, and cherish and defend free inquiry and scholarly responsibility
- Excellence: UCA, through its students, academies, staff and alumni, strives for excellence and educates students to the highest standards. It offers an environment and networks in which talent can bloom and grow extensively
- Advancing and Sharing knowledge: UCA supports scholarly pursuits that contribute to the creation of knowledge and understanding within an interdisciplinary methodology and seeks opportunities to share them broadly
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship: UCA thinks and acts like an enterprising and creative University capable of creating a genuine dynamic of ideas and innovation, able to support and reward transformative initiatives, openness to the world, risk-taking and transformation
- Public Interest: UCA embodies the highest standards of service and works within the wider community to enhance the public good.
The UCA is the product of the collective desires and ambitions of the major institutions of higher education and research of our region. Our goal is as simple as it is ambitious: to create, together, a new university, giving rise to a dynamic and powerful concentration of science, technology, art, and innovation, all within an exceptional setting here on the French Riviera.
While our objective is simple, the challenges that we must overcome to build this new university are numerous:
- break down barriers and create new interactions between disciplines, to create the transdisciplinary approach that is necessary to face the major scientific and social challenges of tomorrow;
- invent a new form of coordination between research, teaching, and innovation that will open up new possibilities for our students;
- define a new partnership between the public and private sectors within the Côte d'Azur region;
- construct an active collaboration with local authorities, to ensure that all regional actors are working together towards the same goals;
- establish a new type of partnership with companies, based on a greater sharing of resources and a convergence in our objectives;
- project this new university model at the international level, to place the UCA at the heart of a dense global network that will allow us to attract the best students, recruit the most active and innovative researchers and teachers, and create the most attractive training programs.
Another major challenge will be to construct a truly common identity for our new university, building on the richness provided by the diversity of its members. As the first President of the University of the Côte d'Azur, I am proud of the trust that my colleagues have placed in me, focused on the work that lies ahead of us, and, above all, thrilled to be participating in this adventure that many of us have been waiting for with impatience and that we finally have the opportunity to pursue.
A structuration associated with transformative effect supported by an initiative excellence (IDEX)
The strategic axes upon which UCA is positioned are, firstly, in the form of transdisciplinary topics of excellence. Led by the best teams, the projects will be developed inside the 5 Academies of Excellence.
Research into these five topics all comprise powerful modeling, simulation and interaction components; these are to be coordinated at the Center of Modeling, Simulation and Interactions, the MSI. Finally, these forms of research will take up the 3 major societal and territorial challenges through the three Reference Centers, hosting collaborative platforms, in a global, modern approach, riding on the unstoppable digital revolution. The training offer will be developed in accordance with the research axes. All actions will include a strong international component.
UCA thus promotes a deliberately trans-disciplinary approach, driven by the excellence of the fundamental research carried out on site. Through this approach, our project is aimed at entirely renewing the dynamics of the relationship between research, training and innovation.
The Université Côte d’Azur (UCA) is a Community of Universities and Establishments (ComUE), which in addition to its 13 members, brings together, through agreements, all of the well-known, internationally visible higher learning and research public and private entities on the Côte d'Azur.
Key figures that characterise the excellence of the grouping:
UCA Training and student life (2013-2014)
- More than 30,000 students (national diplomas, university diplomas, BSc, MBA, etc.) of which: 1,700 Ph.D. students, 8,000 Masters students, 16,000 undergraduate students.
- 22 remote and e-Learning courses
- 5 career services
- A new learning center at SophiaTech focused on innovation and knowledge sharing
UCA International (2013-2014)
- 20% foreign students, 8 points higher than the national average
- 740 international Ph.Ds
- 94 invited world-class researchers and teacher-researchers
- 493 active research and training partnerships
- More than 100 international teams abroad
- 6 Campuses abroad
- 190 dual-degrees
- 24 off-site national diplomas
UCA research and innovation (2012-2014)
- 76 national and 48 international prizes and awards
- 59 patents and 37 licences
- 53 ANR funded projects
- 100 Europe funded projects, including ERC grants
- 35 M euros obtained through research contracts
- 4218 persons involved in research in A or A+ ranked laboratories
UCA Internationally renowned researchers
- 2 gold medals, 20 silver medals and 41 bronze medals from the CNRS;
- 12 members of the Academy of sciences;
- 13 ERCs, third after Paris in the ratio ERCs/researchers
- 19 members of the IUF in 2014.
The focus on UCA territory
An exceptional cross-border territory, which in a few tens of km², is the bearer of world-class brands (Nice, Sophia Antipolis, Cannes, Grasse, Monaco, Italy).
This school offers programs in: