MED-QUAD in Tunisia reminds the role of the university as a main actor for territorial social and economic development


The University of Sousse, MED-QUAD partner from Tunisia, organized an international seminar entitled “the Civic University at the centre of its territory: research and development". The seminar took place on 7th and 8th September 2022 in Sousse to give the chance for interaction between academia and citizens. The main topic on which the seminar focused was the role of Civic University and how its operation can contribute to strengthening cooperation in the Mediterranean. 

MED-QUAD project is a cross-border cooperation project that aims to create the conditions for effective interaction between the main innovation players of the Quadruple Helix approach: academia, industry, civil society and governments in the digital economy. The project covers six countries from the Mediterranean through a partnership of seven complementary organizations. 

The operation of a Civic University benefits to the society as a whole: at local, regional, national and global level by rediscovering the role of “anchor institution” in place, making innovation, economic and social development. The vision of MED-QUAD project is that universities must become “Civic Universities” and along with industries and local governments must fully play the role of Institutions that are OF the city not just IN the city. MED-QUAD foresees the creation of innovative model of cross-border living labs where Universities, firms and cities acquire the capacity for remaining the key spatial units where knowledge is produced, transferred and talents are attracted. For those purposes 11 representatives from universities in Italy, Greece, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, and Tunisia attended the international seminar online.  

The researchers and experts provided preliminary research about Smart Water Use Applications (SWUAP) and Applied Research for Cultural Heritage Exploitation (ARCHEO) living labs. The living lab is an open space accessible to the citizens where pilot projects regarding new products and services are tested, resulting from the fermentation process of the Quadruple Helix approach factors and serve the specific needs of citizens. The lectures explained the outcomes of the research which will have an impact on the development of the university in its territory and provide beneficial solutions to the problems facing various sectors. The international seminar tackled the importance of researchers and their role to develop the socio-economic environment by responding to the current societal needs and challenges. Startups, final thesis projects, training and internships are the core thematic fields that the event endorses. 

The main goals of the international seminar were achieved through targeted presentations open to the public via live streaming on Youtube. Participants had the opportunity for constant interaction, ideas exchange and extensive discussions about the role of Civic University and to get to know the tasks and responsibilities under the MED-QUAD project. A promotional video of the entire material from the implementation of the international seminar is available here