16 July 2015

You are responsible for a company or institution

As you know, none of the questions asked by an innovative organization can be covered by a single function...

Innovation is essentially cross-functional.
Inter-functionality in organizations echoes interdisciplinarity in universities and schools.

However, higher education institutions that prepare students to join a company or institution do not, or seldom, make “experiential” interdisciplinarity central to their educational philosophy.

Centre Michel Serres places interdisciplinarity at the centre of its activities.

Educational approach built on innovation projects

Building on interdisciplinarity and university-industry relationships, the Centre Michel Serres bases its educational approach on conducting innovation projects in partnership with the world of work.
Objective: to offer students “on the ground” learning and a better understanding of the business world, as well as of public organizations.
All Centre Michel Serres innovation projects are intended to provide practical solutions to modern day social, environmental, cultural, economic challenges.

Some contemporary issues addressed by the Centre Michel Serres in the context of interdisciplinary innovation projects:
• new forms of social life, longer life expectancy, urban density, changing work, etc.
• environmental change, global warming, loss of biodiversity, etc.
• scar city of natural resources, water, fossil fuels,etc.
• access for all to health care, culture, education, etc.
• social and economic impacts of digital technologies, advances in life and earth sciences, the use of new materials,etc.
• impact of cultural, historic, heritage, archaeological, etc. structures on the development of a territory.

In each project,the solution is provided by a multidisciplinary team of around ten students(master level, M1 or M2, or Post-master) constituted on an ad-hoc basis, associating human and social sciences (sociology, anthropology, law, economics,…), engineering sciences (mechanical, energy, digital engineering), design and architecture, management sciences (public and / or private management), but also, incertain circumstances the sciences of art and heritage, humanities, philosophy.
These students work together on the innovation project throughout the semester, approximately 60% of the time. The student team is supervised by a project manager, with an associated team of multidisciplinary researcher-lecturers.They workin conjunctionwith the innovation project sponsor.

Relations with the project sponsors

The innovation projects handled by the multidisciplinary student teams, with their supervisors, are suggested by sponsors, businesses, public institutions, local authorities, associations. They are selected for their educational value, for their multidisciplinary character, for their ambition (which must be adapted to the time spent).

An agreement binds the Centre Michel Serres and the project sponsor. It stipulates the obligations of the parties, in particular the sponsor’s contributions. Projects traditionally start in September and February each year, the agreements are drawn up in June and December of each year for the next academic semester.

At the end of the semester, in accordance with the agreement made, the students present their conclusions during an oral presentation; and produce a thesis. If the confidentiality and / or intellectual property clauses permit, the thesis is published and put online.

Other relations with businesses and institutions

Students working towards the Centre Michel Serres diploma must do an internship lasting at least 4 months(starting in the summer) in a company ora public organization.

These internships put them in a position to participate in the life of across-functional team working on an innovation project, regardless of its nature.

Other support
Companies or institutions, recognizing the merits of the Centre Michel Serres project and the relevance of its educational approaches, may offer special financial assistance:
• payment of the apprenticeship tax,
• donations to the Fondation Michel Serres pour l’Innovation (in the process of being set up).

cms@hesam.eu or marc.lecoq@hesam.eu
Tel : 01 44 24 64 62


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