The University of London and HESAM Université sign Memorandum of Understanding facilitated by the Mairie de Paris and co-organised by ULIP
On Thursday 13 June, delegates from the University of London and HESAM Université gathered at the historic Hôtel de Lauzun on the Île Saint-Louis for a ceremony celebrating the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions. This is a significant development in a broader Paris-London collaboration that was consolidated with a workshop at the Hôtel de Ville earlier this year. Marie-Christine Lemardeley, the Deputy Mayor of Paris responsible for higher education, opened the ceremony by congratulating the universities on this progress and welcomed everyone to the beautiful surroundings of the Hôtel de Lezaun, a building owned by the Mairie de Paris and home to research institutions such as the Institut d’études avancés. In keeping with the Mairie’s wish to use such historic sites as an active part of the research and university life of the city, Lemardeley said that contrary to the clichés “Paris is not a museum-city. Paris is a campus-city”.
Before signing the MoU, Peter Kopelman (Vice Chancellor, University of London) and Jean-Luc Delpeuch (Président, HESAM Université) spoke respectively of the commonalities between their two universities, including their federal structure, their shared focus on transdisciplinarity, and their commitment to internationalist values and collaborative work, regardless of political obstacles. With reference to the ongoing Brexit crisis, Kopelman remarked that there are “no borders for research and innovation”.
Areas for potential collaboration outlined in the MoU include movement of faculty, scholars and staff between the two institutions, development of joint curriculum, and research collaborations. In this regard, it was proposed that the University of London become partners in three research projects supported by the French National Research Agency. The first research project, “Sustainable materials and design”, aims to train architecture, engineering and design students in the conception and production of objects that address both socio-economic and environmental concerns. Another project entitled “The factories of the future: technologies serving employment, work and activity” combines social sciences and engineering sciences around the common objective of devising the "factory of the future". A third research project entitled “Life Cycles, from objects to territories” aims to create a transversal space for exchange, experimentation and production of innovative knowledge. The focus of the research project – the notion of the life cycle – is considered as an intermediary between different forms of knowledge and action.
This is indicative of the mutual commitment of the universities of Paris and London to develop research projects with interdisciplinary scope, as well as an orientation towards work on the creative industries, which ULIP will continue to support as these projects develop.