INOS, integrating open and citizen science into active learning approaches in higher education

The University of Bordeaux is partner of the project INOS, an Erasmus+ strategic partnership project.

  • 11/02/2020

Nicola Morelli (Aalborg University), Vasso Kalaitzi (LIBER), Katerina Zourou (Web2Learn), Pirkko Siklander (Oulu University), Antoine Blanchard (UBx), Kai Pata (Tallinn University), Astrid Verheusen (LIBER), Hélène Schwalm (UBx)

The practice of “Open Science” (OS)* and one of its components, “Citizen Science” (CS)** is of increasing interest to researchers and research laboratories. By developing these practices, the aim is to encourage the free circulation of scientific ideas and results, and to motivate the active participation of the general public in the research cycle.

What is INOS?

Launched in September 2019, INOS is a three-year project that aims at modernizing Higher Education Institutions’ (HEIs) curricula through civic engagement in OS and CS. It studies the deployment of these practices within the Higher Education system with a focus on three priorities: 1) bringing open and citizen science together, 2) implementing active learning methods and 3) mainstreaming OS and CS in Higher Education interdisciplinary curricula and practice.

INOS is designed according to six objectives which each have corresponding intellectual outputs:

  • Evaluate the position and role of HEIs as regards OS and CS thanks to in-depth field analysis.
  • Develop a learning design framework for OS based on active learning pedagogies that encourage creativity and innovation and increase knowledge dissemination.
  • Organize “open knowledge activities” in the partner HEI (e.g. Datathon, service jam, Knowledge café, etc.) that raise awareness at a local, national and international level
  • Promote interdisciplinarity by bringing together staff and students for open innovation activities (e.g. hackathon, fablab, gamelab, Innovation sprint, FutureFactory, etc.)
  • Improve higher education learning, teaching and training resources and skills with the development of reports, teacher training guides, recommendations, etc.
  • Encourage policy change by raising awareness of the societal impact of OS and CS inside and outside HEIs and by bringing together diverse profiles. 

UBx and its expertise in interdisciplinarity

At the University of Bordeaux (UBx) the INOS project is led by the Department of Innovation, Partnerships and Businesses, which has experience in designing and organizing innovative projects that break down university silos and connect students, lecturers, researchers and stakeholders. These projects include challenges like Hacketafac (student-managed actions that offer new digital services for campus life), a scientific game jam, SPINE (a citizen neuroscience game that engage schools with clinical research), an artist residency program that has led to art-science festivals, etc. On the basis of this expertise, the University of Bordeaux team will lead actions for the objective on the promotion of interdisciplinarity.

Antoine Blanchard, who leads the UBx participation in the project, notes: “As the largest university of the consortium, we are delighted to be part of INOS. Our aim is to build on the many success stories of our partners, but also to share our pilot projects and adapt them for the transformation of  our education model. INOS will bring together many initiatives that were not yet on the radar".

INOS will promote a community of practice where active learning is leveraged for open science and open innovation. 

Antoine Blanchard — UBx

The INOS consortium

The INOS project targets a variety of stakeholders such as HEI management, academic and library staff, students as well as policy makers, funding bodies, business partners, European and international networks. Reflecting this wide scope, the transnational project brings together four European universities, one pan-European network and one SME (small and medium-sized enterprise). Associated partners further the outreach of the project.

Partners and associated partners


  • Aalborg University (Denmark), coordinator
  • Tallinn University (Estonia)
  • Oulu University (Finland)
  • University of Bordeaux (France)
  • LIBER (Netherlands)
  • Web2Learn (Greece)

Associated partners

  • University of Geneva, Switzerland)
  • University Library of Southern Denmark
  • Scientific knowledge services Germany
  • Technical University of Denmark
  • AIESEC, Aalborg, Denmark
  • Grasshopper films, GBR, Germany
  • TRACES Association, France

> For more information, consult the dedicated website.

* Open science aims at transforming science through ICT (information and communications technology) tools, networks and media, to make research more open, global, collaborative, creative and closer to society (DG Connect)

* Citizen science is scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur (or non-professional) scientists (source: Wikipedia)