• Communiqué de presse

Five-year strategic partnership agreement between Université Laval and Sorbonne University

Université Laval and Sorbonne Université confirm a five-year strategic partnership aimed at enriching collaborations and strengthening the societal involvement of both universities and their international influence.

The objective of this agreement is to bring together teams from both institutions to facilitate networking and stimulate exchanges between professors and students in order to create transdisciplinary research programs and courses capable of addressing various global issues and transferring knowledge to society.

Common themes have been identified by both parties, with four initial priority areas of interest:

  • Oceanography, marine stations and technologies;
  • Science communication and journalism;
  • Changing societies: artificial intelligence, ethics, humanity and philosophy;
  • Environmental transition and sustainable development.
  • A student exchange agreement has also been signed between the faculties and various components of the two institutions.

"Laval University and Sorbonne University share the same strategic vision of our international partnerships. In terms of research and education, they structure our exchanges for both our staff and our students," said Sorbonne University President Jean Chambaz. "The themes on which we have positioned ourselves are based on our complementary topics that are conducive to real in-depth work. They lead us to address important issues for our societies and to develop responses to the challenges they face. I am delighted that our partnership is now a long-term one. "

"I am very proud that Laval University is joining forces with Sorbonne University; a high-level partner that chooses to further stimulate its exchanges with French-speaking America by associating with us on several themes. Our two universities share common values and together we will have the strength to go further and better respond to the social and environmental issues that are important to us," said Sophie D'Amours, President of Université Laval.

A very important form of cooperation

The partnership between Sorbonne University and Université Laval facilitates the movement and hosting of professors, researchers, undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows between the institutions.

This common will of the two universities to develop their resources in research, education and innovation will promote knowledge transfer activities, joint specialized training and the mobility of students and professors. The association with other researchers and research teams on the international scene and the realization of scientific events, particularly in the form of colloquia or thematic seminars, are also among the main objectives of the partnership.

An already-fruitful alliance

Sorbonne University and Laval University have been working together for several years on student mobility and teaching and research projects. They quickly realized that their approaches were similar and that they had every interest in taking advantage of this synergy to formalize and accelerate their contacts.

For example, the Sorbonne Center for Artifical Intelligence (SCAI) and the International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technology (OBVIA) are proposing a virtual school on the theme of responsible AI, sustainable health and climate change, starting in September 2021. Predictive and augmented medicine, environment and climate, innovation, inclusion and bias mitigation are the focus.

In addition, current collaborative projects on communicating the environmental transition, which links science and society, will crystallize journalism research efforts to offer, among other things, a course that will be offered concurrently beginning in fall 2022. Media publicizing and the effectiveness of the discourse of scientific figures in public debates are the focus of this research, which takes stock of practices that have developed over the years, and especially during the pandemic.

Finally, in the marine and oceanography sector, the Takuvik international joint unit has been collaborating for several years with Sorbonne University. In particular, researchers from both universities are working on a research project that uses marine robots equipped with optical sensors in the Arctic, with the goal of determining the impact of ongoing and projected environmental changes on the ecosystems of the ocean and carbon flows.

In December 2018, a delegation from Laval University, including Rector Sophie D'Amours, was welcomed by Jean Chambaz, President of Sorbonne University, and members of its management. The visit highlighted the strong similarities between the two institutions, particularly in their vision of research and training development and in their strategic planning. A few months later, in April, it was the Sorbonne University president's turn to visit Laval University with his delegation, thus allowing for continued exchanges and strengthening the initial momentum of the synergy that has quickly taken hold.