3i University Network

First 3i University Network Forum

                     The Interregional Internationalisation Initiative University Network (3i Network) organizes its first forum in june 2022.

            Marine & Maritime Challenges, Climate & Energy, Nutrition & Health, Communities & Well-Being

The 3i University Network is pleased to invite you to its first forum, "Building an interregional agenda for the future", which will occur Tuesday the 14th of June 2022, from 10:00am to 6:00pm. It will take place at the Conseil Régional Hauts-de-France, located at 151 Avenue du Président Hoover, 59000 Lille.

    Here is the programme :

    • 10:00-10:30 : Welcome and coffee
    • 10:30-12:00 : Plenary Session 1 : “Opportunities & Funding for cross-border research
      •  Welcome speech
      • Introduction to the cross-border context
      • Funding opportunities
        • European funding programmes: Horizon Europe, Interreg, etc.
        • Other opportunities: national programmes and initiatives, the straits Committee initiative, etc.
      • Examples of success stories
    • 12:00-13:00 : Lunch + Networking
    • 13:00-13:30 : Plenary Session 2 : "Which regional challenges should be 3i priorities?"
      • Introduction to the 3i University Network
      • 3i call for projects
      • Presentation of the 4 thematic subgroups and objectives of the workshop sessions
    • 13:30-15:15 : Workshops : Defining and refining 3i actions. The 4 parallel workshop sessions will be led by researchers, one per member university of the 3i Network :

                                     1. Marine & Maritime challenges – led by Ghent University, Belgium

    • The goal of this workshop is to define future actions and research topics on which the partners in the 3i University Network can collaborate. During the workshop, experts in marine and maritime research of the four 3i-partners will each present their in-house expertise on the central theme. Each partner will put forward a selection of 3 potential key topics they for future collaboration. Subsequently, one of these 3 topics will be discussed more in-depth by a researcher from each of the partner-institutions. After the four presentations, a group discussion will be held to try to identify priorities for next steps forward in the collaboration on Marine and Maritime challenges within the 3i University Network.

                                      2. Nutrition & Health – led by KU Leuven, Belgium

    • A brainstorm will focus on different aspects of nutritionally interesting components from industrial (food) processing side streams and from new types of biomass (insects, algae, fungi, …). The aim is to cover different aspects going from component extraction, incorporation and processing in food, determination of the nutritional value and to validate this via clinical impact studies: from superfluous to superfood. Also, sociological impact and consumer behavior can be aspects of discussion. After this meeting, we will have a detailed overview of the areas of expertise of partners from the four 3i Universities which can serve as a basis for future collaborations.

                                     3. Climate & Energy - led by the University of Kent, United Kingdom

    • This workshop will explore one of the most vital themes of our present age - the challenge of climate and energy. The issues of net zero and sustainability are central to our shared regions and vital to the development of business for the future and the everyday life of our communities. University research is now embarking on many projects related to this work. The aim of the workshop is to bring together universities, business and local government to explore the common challenges across our regions to identify a set of priorities for future collaboration. The workshop will be divided in to two parts, firstly an exploration of the natural challenges (sea level, fresh water, rainfall, sustainable lifestyles), followed secondly by a discussion on energy, security and integration. 

                                     4. Communities & Wellbeing - led by the University of Lille, France

    • This workshop will define the priorities for research and cooperation linked to issues facing our contemporary societies including (but not limited to) ageing, mental health, poverty and migration. These issues have an important economic and social impact on our society that calls for action to address the vulnerability of certain groups and facilitate their inclusion, in order to create strong communities in which all members have a sense of well-being. In this workshop, we will first explore the challenges that are common to the Hauts-de-France, Kent Country and Flanders. We will then determine which of our shared challenges should be prioritized by the 3i Network in collaboration with government authorities, socio-economic stakeholders and civil society. Finally, we will explore potential projects that can be carried out jointly by the different structures represented.


    • 15:15-15:45 : Coffee Break
    • 15:45 -17:00 : Plenary Session 3 : “Restitution and perspectives” ;
            - Panel discussion 1 : “Feed back of the 4 workshops” ;
            - Panel discussion 2 : “How can the public and private sectors stimulate cross-border research and what role can 3i play in this?” ;
            - Signature of joint statement by university representatives.
    • 17:00-18:00 : Cocktail reception
                                          Inscription at the forum

                                                                Download the entire programme of this first 3i University Network Forum (.pdf)


                                                                                                  With the support of:                                             | In collaboration with:







    The Interregional Internationalisation Initiative University Network (3i Network) is a collaboration founded by Universiteit Gent, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the University of Kent and the Université de Lille.

    The main goal of the network is to bring together universities, regional governments and the private sector/civil society to work on challenges common to Flanders, Kent and the Hauts-de-France.

    The founding universities are convinced that cooperation encourages innovation and creativity and can result in projects which benefit the population, businesses and other organisations in their respective regions.

    To maximise impact and the full innovation potential of European ecosystems, experience shows that strong territorial innovation ecosystems based on excellence are essential.