Le programme "Intercontinental Academia", développé en lien avec le réseau mondial des instituts d'études avancées (UBIAS) que coordonne la fondation RFIEA depuis 2021, a pour objectif le développement de projets interdisciplinaires sur des grandes questions scientifiques par des chercheurs prometteurs grâce à un mentoring effectué par des experts de renommée mondiale. 


Ideated in 2012 by Prof. Eliezer Rabinovici, chair of the CERN council and former director of the Israel Institute for Advanved Studies, the Intercontinental Academias (ICA) create a global networks of research leaders in which some of the best young academics work together on paradigm-shifting, cross-disciplinary research, mentored by eminent researchers from across the globe. 


During an Academia, participants get together in two sessions (ten days each) over the course of one year. The experience transforms the scholar's’ own approach to research, enhance their awareness of the work, relevance and potential impact of other disciplines, and to inspire and facilitate new collaborations between distant disciplines. The Academia creates the conditions for a stimulating scientific sessions that lead to significant collaborations and long-lasting outputs. Four ICA were developped so far. The RFIEA Foundation coordinated the fourth edition.



Paris- October 16-28, 2021

Belo Horizonte - November 6-17, 2022

The fourth edition explores fundamental interdisciplinary questions at the intersection of cognitive science, neuroscience, and artificial intelligence. Decisive advances have been made during the past decades in the analysis of brain activity and its behavioral counterparts, as well as in the information processing sciences. Complementarities between neuroscience/cognitive science and artificial intelligence provide grounds for exploring synergies and raising ethical questions between these disciplines that hold tremendous challenges and opportunities for societal progress.


Previous editions of ICA have had great success in building bridges between continents, cultures, and disciplines:



Singapore: March 19-27, 2018
Munich: September 2018
Princeton: October 2018
Birmingham : March 19-27, 2019

The third edition was a joint venture of The Nanyang Technological University IAS in Singapore and The University of Birmingham IAS in Birmingham, UK. The goal of ICA3 was to look at laws in different fields of study (natural and physical, social and political...), encouraging researchers to find commonalities between seemingly distant disciplines and to open minds to new methods of investigation. Looking at laws and tensions that arise from them, participants questioned how laws originate, how and why they are broken, as well as the enforcement or manifestation thereof across various disciplines. Two years later, some participants are still in touch and working on joint projects with researchers they have met at ICA3.



Jerusalem: March 6 - 18, 2016
Bielefeld: August 1 - 12, 2016
Johannesburg: January 21 - 25, 2019

The second edition was a collaboration between the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies of the Hebrew University Jerusalem (IIAS), and the Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Forschung (ZiF) of Bielefeld University. ICA2 aimed to promote an unprecedented interdisciplinary dialogue on human dignity and to initiate further cooperation between participants with diverse scientific and cultural backgrounds. Discussing crucial ethical, practical, and historical debates of interdisciplinary nature and societal importance, this edition of ICA resulted in lasting cooperation between the parties involved. It culminated in a third colloquium hosted by the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS) at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2019.



São Paulo: April 17 - 29, 2015
Nagoya: March 6 - 18, 2016

The pilot project for the Intercontinental Academia operated as a joint venture of IEA-USP (Sao Paulo, Brasil) and the IAR (Institute for Advanced Research) of the Nagoya University (Nagoya, Japan). This edition was guided by three goals: to stimulate joint research among UBIAS members; to establish cooperation networks among the next generation’s scientific leaders; and to explore new forms of collective academic practices and new formats of scientific training, collaboration and dissemination. Cyclical or linear, measurable or incalculable, vast or microscopic, eternal or finite, relativist or absolute, time as a concept (or a reality) affects us all. From astrophysics to chronobiology, from philosophy to anthropology, participants have expanded on this issue in their varied disciplines exploring how time plays a pivotal role in shaping the world around us, and consequently shaping our understanding of it. The meetings led to the filming of a MOOC on Time and a documentary that sums up this first edition of ICA.




ICA was brought to life by the coalition of University-Based Institutes for Advanced Study (UBIAS). Initiated in 2010, UBIAS counts 45 member institutes which, next to being international environments for exceptional research, contribute to the academic achievements of their respective home universities.