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 3i Network is organizing four online thematic workshops from June 11 to June 16, 2021. Each session will bring together researchers around a particular theme: Climate & Energy, Communities & Well-Being, Marine & Maritime Challenges and Nutrition & Health.

    These workshops are expected to accomplish several goals: allow researchers to meet one another, present the lines of research and strengths in the domain at each partner institution and sketch a plan for future collaboration.

    By virtue of their proximity, these four thematic clusters were put forward for cooperation. For each of these clusters (including but not limited to) the three regions will define common challenges.
    To receive the link to connect to the workshop, please fill in the registration form (framaform). Due to the limited number of participants, your registration will be processed by the organizer and you will receive the confirmation by email.

    1.    Nutrition & Health (e.g. diabetes, alcoholism, cancer)


    Nutrition and Health aims to bring together the academic community – medical, biomedical and paramedical sciences, nutritional sciences, dietetics– with medical practitioners, policy makers, care and food providers, to define the major interregional challenges in health and care such as ageing, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease and how care and nutrition can be improved to better deal with these.
    The overall aim will be to illuminate the national and regional dynamics and highlight actions that can support and guide development of shared high-quality evidence-based interventions, with the cross fertilization of ideas at the national and international level bringing research findings and innovative practices to practitioner and producer communities.

    2.    Communities and Well-being (e.g. migration and refugee studies, vulnerability, inclusion of aging population, mental health)



    This initial meeting will address a general theme: "Care, Vulnerability, Society". The links between these concepts will allow us to define the major issues facing our contemporary societies, including (but not limited to) ageing, handicap, mental health, poverty and migrations.

    The human and social sciences (law, social and political sciences, psychology, education sciences, humanities), via their theoretical and methodological contributions, allow us to shed light on the inequalities that affect society and to analyse the forms of vulnerability that they cause or exacerbate. These vulnerabilities concern individuals as well as groups and threaten their well-being by reinforcing and even causing their exclusion. Research in the human and social sciences also seeks to discover how personal, social and cultural resources can be mobilised to take on these processes of "vulnerabilisation" and to create dynamics of inclusion and empowerment.

    3.    Marine & Maritime Challenges (e.g. blue energy, preservation of the coastal environment)


    Pressures on coastal and marine biodiversity continue to increase. An estimated 40 per cent of the world’s population lives within 100km of the coast, putting unsustainable strain on coastal and marine resources. Human population is projected to increase to more than 9 billion people by 2050, bringing increasing pressure marine and coastal resources. At the same time, the EU Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries reported that the European Blue Economy, which includes all economic activities related to the ocean, seas and coastal areas of Europe, is thriving. The overall aim of the European Commission’s Blue Growth Strategy is to further harness the potential of Europe’s marine and coastal resources in terms of economic and societal value as well as sustainability. Yet, if the Blue Economy wants to thrive successfully, it is essential to make the transition to a sustainable sector. Different transitions have been initiated at global and local scales. The complexity is enormous and requires innovation, new knowledge and skills. Furthermore, it is important to involve stakeholders from citizens to governments. The Channel area will have to prepare for these transitions too, if it wants to play a leading role in Europe’s Blue Economy.
    Marine and Maritime Challenges aims to identify specific scientific, industrial, social and political challenges. By bringing the relevant stakeholders together the cluster aims to illuminate the national and regional dynamics that differentially shape this area; to highlight actions that can support and guide the development of the blue sector with an emphasis on cross-national solutions and actions bringing research findings and innovative practices to policy makers and practitioner communities, faced with developing a sustainable blue economy.

    4.    Climate & Energy


    Registration link:
    Climate and Energy group aims to share an outline map of the current research activity across the four universities, as the diversity of work in science, humanities and social science, related to this topic is both an opportunity and a challenge. Some of 3i partners are currently collaborating with each other and are part of extensive international networks.
    Success in combating climate change and delivery of energy objectives will be a combination of technology, leadership, policy, and behavioural change. Research will have to address this extensive complexity to ensure we adapt to and mitigate the impact of climate change. Collaborative networks such as 3i offer the opportunity to accelerate change.
    The group goals to find common threads to link research on this topic and form, between the 3i partners the basis for joint European Research funding to demonstrate our collective contribution. Our success will be based on linking academics and complementary areas of research to multiply our stand-alone impact.