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Disrupt Campus: €900,000 to support educational programs in digital innovation and entrepreneurship

The INVENT@UCA project submitted by the Université Côte d’Azur was a winner of the “Disrupt Campus” call for proposals financed by the French Program of Investments for the Future (PIA) launched under the auspices of the French Public Investment Bank (BPI) and the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, and Innovation. This ambitious plan will benefit from funding of €900,000 over 3 years to support companies in their digital transformation and train students in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Publication : 29/01/2018
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Disrupt Campus is a support mechanism for training in digital innovation and entrepreneurship. Launched in 2016 by the Junior Minister for Digital Affairs and Innovation and the Junior Minister for Higher Education and Research, the call for proposals had a double goal. On the one hand, it aimed to bring about experimentation in new higher education curricula so as to better prepare students in entrepreneurship, innovation, and the digital economy, while on the other, it focused on the digital transformation of French companies.

INVENT@UCA: the original and ambitious project of the Université Côte d’Azur

The disciplinary diversity of the UCA’s member institutions and the strong support of the region’s business community enabled the proposition of an ambitious and innovative project: INVENT@UCA. Created by the Université Nice Sophia Antipolis and SKEMA Business School, this project profits from funding of €900,000 over 3 years, which will permit both the deployment of a major initiative for all UCA members and the provision of a real service to companies. INVENT@UCA is an innovative program bringing together professionals, academics, and students with the goal of supporting the digital transformation of companies, while also educating students in innovation and entrepreneurship. The start is planned for 2018.

A trial DEMOLA project was already carried out starting with real cases of innovation: Five companies, 30 students, and 5 professionals were involved in co-creation with a facilitator. For three months, the project group investigated an innovation from prototype to proof-of-concept.

New paths to innovation

Thanks to INVENT@UCA, companies and organizations in the region will be able to explore new ways to innovate by drawing on the reservoir of the Université Côte d’Azur’s expertise and multidisciplinary training programs. For the UCA and its members (schools of art, design, and engineering; Université Nice Sophia Antipolis; SKEMA Business School; etc.), INVENT@UCA will create a pedagogical tool based on agility and co-construction. It will encourage the training of innovators as well as talented entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs able to solve societal problems with a strong, positive impact. This is why this initiative is part of the Université Côte d’Azur’s entrepreneurial development policy.

Eric Guerci, Director of the Virtual Center for Pedagogical Innovation of the Université Côte d’Azur and director of INVENT@UCA summarized the project’s aspects: “To have been awarded this project will allow us to carry out an experimentation factory of new tools and educational tracks, whose goal is to transform the mindsets of students, companies, and universities so that they are ready to anticipate the challenge of societal developments. The idea is to share visions and to construct relevant, useful, and original solutions to act. Longer term, we would like to develop a hub of “changemakers” at the international level.

(Transl. by Russell Todres,
UCA Office of Intl. Scientific Visibility)