ABG celebrates its 30th anniversary, 10 years of the New Chapter in the Thesis and… the next 30 years!

The ABG will celebrate its 30-year anniversary on 16 November 2010, in the presence of Madame Valérie Pécresse, Minister of Higher Education and Research. Thirty years dedicated to helping PhD students, PhDs and their employers, thirty years working for the mobility of young researchers. The event will take place at the University of Paris Descartes Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine.

[Read also Skills enhancement, the New Chapter in the Thesis celebrates 10 years.]

This anniversary marks a turning point in the history of the association. Whilst its goals and values remain the same as those of its founders, methods and means are evolving and adapting to an environment of intensive change. Universities are becoming autonomous and pooling their PhD training courses in the framework of the PRES (research and higher education clusters); businesses are involved in innovation and even “open innovation”; PhDs and PhD students are gathering together to form associations, an imperative for their survival… It is no longer possible for any economic or academic player to act in an isolated manner without cooperating and pooling knowledge and skills. It’s the age of collective intelligence.

For an open governance
Bearing in mind these developments, ABG has altered its statutes. The Association of French Regions, the Conférence des Présidents d'Université and the Conférence des Grandes Écoles are now ex officio members. A board of “PhDs associations” has also been formed within the board of directors.
Pooling, cooperation, interactivity
The new Web 2.0 platform has been online for a few weeks now. It was designed to improve the flow of interaction between all ABG partners by pooling database and information and communication tools and thus develop true collaborative tasking.

The future is being built through networks
From its very beginning, ABG was founded on the logic of networking: a network of advisors in universities, engineering schools and institutions; businesses, recruiters and partners networks. It’s a strategy that is without doubt responsible for its success and longevity. Its youngest network, the ABG alumni network, which now has nearly 2200 members, is bound to broaden its scope.

Innovation, Training
Strengthened by its successful past ventures, the Doctoriales® and the skills enhancement programme labelled A New Chapter in the thesis®” programme, both of which are now recognised courses, ABG continues to engineer innovative training programmes. It is adding to its range with a self-assessment programme for PhD students and broadening its target by also addressing students (with AvanThèse®) and postdocs (with the Post-Doctoriales®).

New Identity

The association’s goal can no longer be defined as bringing closer two supposedly opposed worlds: economic and academic. An in-depth study on image, identity and communication tools was therefore carried out to position ABG as a network, an agent working for two worlds which complement each other and rise to the challenge of the knowledge economy using expertise, skills and intellectual talent…

In autumn of 1980, the first general assembly of the Bernard Gregory Association was held. The Employment Grants initiatives that came about spontaneously in various scientific institutions around the country, had found an effective intermediary in the political of senior officials such as Bernard Gregory. These visionaries understood that the PhD as merely an access route to working as a researcher and public sector teacher was a thing of the past. They knew that businesses would have an increasing need for skills from the world of research. Uniting their initiatives, grouping people and institutions into networks, pooling means: the founders’ methods have been tried and tested. With this experience ABG can feed its projects and ambitions for the next thirty years. Techniques change but the spirit remains the same.