Prime Minister confirms "Montpellier University of Excellence" I-Site label

It's official! The I-SITE Montpellier Université d'Excellence has been confirmed. This is great news for the University of Montpellier and its 15 partners, confirming the relevance and quality of the work undertaken collectively since 2017. It also means that the university will continue to receive the funding it needs to secure its internationally recognized position and meet the major challenges of tomorrow.

Just over four years after being awarded the "Initiative Science Innovation Territoire Economie" (I-SITE*) label, the MUSE project has proved its worth, demonstrating the strength of mobilization across the entire region. Local authorities, research organizations, healthcare establishments, partner schools and companies have all rallied around the University of Montpellier. "This isa fine reward for the collective work undertaken by all the scientists, teacher-researchers, engineers, administrative staff and students in the MUSE consortium," declares Philippe Augé, President of the UM.

An unprecedented dynamic

" We have collectively demonstrated our ability to set in motion an unprecedented dynamic to create a major university with a driving role for its region and a strong international reputation," continues the President. A great deal of collective effort has gone into this project, but the University of Montpellier is now firmly established on a national and international scale, with a strong identity focused on three major global challenges: food safety, environmental protection and human health.

The news also prompted a reaction from the Region's President Carole Delga, who described the decision as "proof of the dynamism and excellence of research in Montpellier and Occitanie. The work carried out within MUSE is fundamental for the future of our planet, and in line with the Region's strategic priorities. We owe it to ourselves to work collectively on these subjects, to bring a promise to the younger generations, and a dynamic to our regions".

Passing the tests

A happy ending to a 4-year probationary period punctuated by a series of tests: a mid-term evaluation at the end of 2019, a site visit at the end of 2021, and finally, on January 19, a hearing by an international jury of a delegation led by Philippe Augé and including Antoine Petit, CEO of CNRS, Gilles Bloch, CEO of Inserm, Elisabeth Claverie de Saint Martin, CEO of CIRAD and François Pierrot, Executive Director of the MUSE I-SITE.

The members of the consortium presented to the international jury all the actions undertaken to build an internationally recognized university: the impact of research support programs, the joint signature of scientific publications, pedagogical innovations, collaborations with the socio-economic world, international attractiveness and structural changes with the UM's transformation into an experimental public establishment on January 1... With the results that we know.

Building an internationally recognized university

Ranked among the world leaders in ecology according to the Shanghai thematic rankings since 2018, the UM has also risen from the top 400 to the top 200 in two years in the overall Shanghai rankings, and has been recognized as the most innovative university nationwide according to the Reuters global rankings published in October 2019. The hosting in Montpellier in October 2020 of the New Africa-France Summit, embodied at the University by the Montpellier Global Days, is a perfect example of this international visibility, which positions it as the European gateway to the South.

For François Pierrot, Executive Director of the MUSE I-SITE. " This scientific attractiveness has in fact created a leverage effect for other projects, with numerous successes already: the ExposUM project obtained as part of the ExcellenceS future investment program, the SFRI IDIL program in favor of interdisciplinarity and internationalization of training , or the Pôle Universitaire d'Innovation label and the implementation of the Occitanie Region's key challenges."

What's next?

The permanent nature of the I-SITE label means that the State's allocation (550 million euros, or 16 million euros per year) will remain unchanged, enabling us to continue structuring the new experimental public establishment and maintain our trajectory by launching new support and transformation initiatives in all academic fields, so that together we can continue to build the university of tomorrow.

* The IDEX/ISITE initiative, launched in 2010 as part of the "Investissements d'Avenir" program, aims to create a limited number of research universities in France, on sites with outstanding scientific potential and the ability to create synergies between universities, schools, research organizations, healthcare establishments and businesses.