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Picture of a group of students and researchers seated around a table listening to the summary of a group workshop

Summary of a group workshop, OneWater Wall-Free Lab Pilot

© OneWater

Wall-Free Lab Pilot / March 2023

The first scientific event in the OneWater – Eau Bien Commun programme – the Wall-Free Lab pilot – was held on 27-29 March 2023. The aim of this hackathon-style seminar was to get participants to think collectively and in interdisciplinary terms about a common research question, and to help researchers on the Programme Committee (CODEFIS) to draft the Wall-Free Lab call for projects, due to be launched in 2024. This type of ‘Wall-Free Lab’ call for projects is new in the French research landscape and aims to develop multidisciplinary approaches to a single, complex and shared issue. It is inspired by the European Commission’s ITN/ET/Doctoral Networks.

Forty or so researchers, lecturers, doctoral and post-doctoral students, and stakeholders from the socio-economic sphere came together over three days at the Saline Royale venue in Arc-et-Senans. The participants all came from different backgrounds, specialisms and areas of expertise, and pooled their ideas on a fictitious scenario: water management around the Senegal river basin. 

One post-doctoral student said that this type of hackathon is ‘something that all doctoral students should try. When you’re a young researcher [...] seeing different points of view and methods and creating a network is very rewarding.’ Meanwhile, a participant from the socio-economic sector said that ‘research processes are sometimes far removed from communities. That’s what’s different about OneWater and it’s very welcome.’ As another socio-economic stakeholder pointed out, the next stage is to see how the ‘OneWater research work can lead to tangible solutions for the market, responding to socio-economic issues.’   

A summary of the workshops and discussions was provided at the OneWater Science Days (10-12 July 2023) by four doctoral and post-doctoral students who attended the pilot event.