ACT: making the university an experimental campus

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The ACT (Augmented university for Campus and world Transition) project aims to transform the University of Bordeaux campus sites into a regional living laboratory and experimental project incubator focusing on environmental, societal and social transitions.

Photo : Inner courtyard on the Bastide campus © Gautier Dufau
Inner courtyard on the Bastide campus © Gautier Dufau

In a nutshell:

  • Call for projects: Integration and development of IdEx and ISITE (IDéEs), PIA3
  • Budget: 17 million euros


The ACT project is aimed at developing, testing, validating and disseminating new means of tackling major environmental, social and economic transition challenges, thanks to the transformation of the University of Bordeaux campus sites into a vast living laboratory.

The project is broken down into four areas identified within ongoing actions or emerging projects likely to bring communities together: 

  • health, well-being and inclusion
  • sustainable campus in the city
  • food and resilient ecosystems
  • preparing the university's own transition

The project is based on a new interdisciplinary approach combining natural, human and social sciences, drawing on data science and guided by the impact of research it conducts. To this end, it mobilises the multidisciplinary expertise and diversity of the university's scientific community, while also integrating the views of its external stakeholders and citizens in general.

The University of Bordeaux as a model for transition

In order to be a key resource for transition both locally and globally, the university must be capable of acting at all levels. To reach its goals, ACT has been organised in sub-programmes:

  • Innovation projects: to build communities and get them involved in solving issues of socio-environmental transition on campus
  • Livings labs: to transform the university campus sites into a laboratory leading to innovation projects in an environment that reflects real-world complexities
  • Educational programmes: to build and promote an interdisciplinary lifelong learning programme that brings together natural, technical and social sciences focused on transition issues
  • Research and methodological development: to support cross-disciplinary research, creativity and innovation by developing and improving existing research methodologies
  • Digital transformation: to develop new methodologies and new tools to transform the way data is collected, managed, used and shared
  • International reach: to encourage and support participation in international challenges to address major international problems or issues 
  • Co-investment: to create opportunities for co-investment and raising external funds.

To achieve its objectives, the University of Bordeaux will be able to rely on its new multidisciplinary approach, as well as on experimental fields located on the different university campus sites, organised on the real scale of the metropolitan area, and dedicated to the major challenges of health and sustainable development. The university's adoption of its new strategic plan of health and sustainable development objectives - which can serve as a reference for public policy and make it possible to educate future decision-makers - rounds out the range of tools available.

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This work benefited from a government grant managed by the French National Research Agency (ANR) under the Investments for the Future Programme (PIA) reference ANR-20-IDES-0001.


  • Philippe Moretto

    Vice-President for transitions and societal dialogue

    +33 (0)5 40 00 34 72

  • Carli Fabre

    Programme Head