Investments for the Future Programme

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NovaTris, the Centre for cross-border skills at the Université de Haute-Alsace (UHA) was founded in March 2012 as an Excellence in Innovative Training Initiative (IDEFI) certified by the French National Research Agency (ANR) as part of the Investments for the Future Programme (PIA).

Set up in 2010 with a budget of €35 billion, the aim of the PIA is to stimulate employment, enhance productivity and make French businesses more competitive by encouraging investment and innovation in priority, growth-generating sectors. A second, €12 billion programme was undertaken in 2013, followed by a third in 2017, which received €10 billion of funding.

Since 2010, the ANR has been the State-appointed PIA manager in the field of higher education and research. Its mission is to manage and implement various State investment programmes in the fields of higher education and research. The Agency is therefore responsible for organising the selection, licensing, financing, tracking, auditing, assessment and impact of projects and programme activities in the field of higher education and research.

NovaTris and the ANR

NovaTris (ANR-11-IDFI-0005) maintains a close relationship with the ANR, which advises and assists in ensuring the proper conduct of its missions and transparent financial monitoring. NovaTris draws up a detailed annual business report of all planned and/or ongoing projects, and presents it to the ANR. These successive reports allow the ANR to monitor the IDEFI’s development from its inception up to the current year, and measure its results.

ANR Business Report – Summary 2019 / 2020

In 2019/2020, NovaTris actively pursued its work on devising and formalising its teaching methods: setting up an online educational platform, for instance, that hosts the NovaTris Toolbox. This will enable instructors, who are trained in NovaTris teaching methods, to access all of the Centre’s pedagogical tools and resources, thus ensuring that they can be rolled out in a wide variety of contexts to very diverse audiences.

Many innovative pedagogical projects have been implemented, the new tri-national course “Transculture”, for instance, designed in conjunction with the UHA’s University Department for Cultural Action (SUAC) and La Filature – the National Theatre for EUCOR students. The objective of this course is to enable students to explore the Upper Rhine through three theatre-based encounters (in France, Germany and Switzerland). It aims to spread awareness of cultural practices in the three countries and encourage an innovative approach to cross-border mobility.

At the same time, the Centre has considerably expanded its research initiatives with regards to the analysis, development and publication of its activities. Its researchers have thus taken part in several international symposia and jointly published an article detailing NovaTris’ intercultural approach and educational methods.

The creation the EPICUR project has enabled NovaTris to position itself within a new European project and offer its expertise in interculturality in that forum. Thanks to national and European funding, NovaTris is the UHA’s administrative and operational coordinator on the project, responsible for implementing the intercultural-related actions led by the UHA within the Alliance (interculturality and tandem language exchange mapping, teacher training courses on intercultural support and the tandem exchange method; collaborative action research).

Interculturality has been a priority at the UHA for several years and it has been singled out as an overarching theme in Eucor’s strategic plan (2019-2023). Furthermore, it is also expected to become an overarching theme within EPICUR, consolidating the positioning of NovaTris and the UHA within major international projects.

The UHA has plans to create an Interculturalities Chair, which will be open to international partners, and will aim to enrich research in the field of interculturality from an interdepartmental and cross-disciplinary point of view. This Chair will play an essential, complementary role, partnering NovaTris in its research activities and in the design of its entire curriculum.

Finally, NovaTris was awarded the “General Public Prize” for its services in the “My IDEFI in 300 seconds”  competition at the international symposium, “IDEFI: Experimenting And Training To Transform”, held in December 2019.