Call for applications – Cross-Creathon Maastricht-Lille 2022

« Citizen Engagement in Circular Economies »

Are you a bachelor/master/PDEng/PhD student or young professional in Belgium, the Netherlands or the Lille region? Do you have original ideas on how to innovate and improve citizen involvement in the circular economy? Are you creative and/or entrepreneurial?

Then this might be your opportunity to participate in the Cross-Creathon Maastricht-Lille on Citizen Engagement in Circular Economies. Scroll down to fill in the application form and submit it with your CV before 8 December 2021.


What is a creathon?

Creathons are ‘creative marathons’ and are best described as interactive workshops that bring together talented students and young professionals. Participants come from different personal, professional and educational backgrounds and work together to deliver innovative solutions, projects or prototypes related to a pre-formulated topic. Click here for more information about our previous creathons.


Context of the Cross-Creathon Maastricht-Lille 2022

Throughout the years, the regions around Lille and Maastricht have transitioned from industrial to post-industrial economies. Both cities have seen their industries, textiles in Lille and coal in Maastricht, close or convert to other activities. This development coincides with ongoing public investment to strengthen the circular economy in these regions. The Dutch government has an ambitious target to achieve a circular economy by 2050, and France has issued a roadmap to accelerate its transition into a circular economy by 2025. Additionally, both the Lille region and Maastricht share a border with Belgium, a country that is continuously experimenting with coordination mechanisms between the federal and regional governments in areas such as climate change, water resources management, waste management and circular economies.

Citizen engagement has the potential to facilitate and stimulate circular thinking and thus promote waste reduction and sustainable consumption habits. These can lead to  new services, sharing economies and longer product lifecycles. Therefore, the participants of the Cross-Creathon Maastricht-Lille will work on creating concrete, transferable solutions to encourage and enable citizen participation in cross-border circular economies.


A trinational in-person event

The creathon is divided into two stages. The first part consists of preparatory sessions 7-9 February in Maastricht. One month later, the second and final sessions will be held in Lille 16-18 March. All of the selected participants, 32 in total representing all three countries, will have to attend both stages.

Coached by three experts – from Lille, Maastricht and Belgium -, the participants work in diverse teams in terms of disciplines, level of study, nationality and/or residence and gender.

  • During the first stage in Maastricht, small groups will be formed in order to work collectively on one of the pre-formulated challenges. At the end of the first stage, each team will present their project proposals to the other teams, the coaches, the organisers and to local partners to collect valuable feedback.
  • During the second stage in Lille the focus will lie on finishing and fine-tuning the projects based on the previously received feedback. At the end of the programme, all teams will present their ideas and how they can be implemented in front of a jury of experts. The winning team members receive financial aid in the form of a mobility grant in order to help further develop the group’s proposal.

The programme of both stages will include inspirational talks by several experts, site visits, collective working sessions and networking events. In Maastricht, participants will also be invited to join part of the programme celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty (more details to follow).

Please note that the development of the proposals will require continual work between the two stages (9 February-16 March). Each team will decide themselves how to organise this in combination with the team members’ other activities. To help in this process, an online meeting with the coaches will take place between the stages in order to discuss the teams’ progress.


Practical information

  • Organisers: The Cross-Creathon Maastricht Lille 2022 is organised by the Lille European Metropolis, Studio Europa Maastricht, the French-Dutch Network for research and higher education, the Institut français des Pays-Bas, the Embassy of France in Belgium and Nuffic, the Dutch organisation for the internationalisation of education.
  • Partners: University of Lille in France and Howest University of Applied Sciences in Kortrijk, Belgium
  • When and where: 7-9 February 2022 in Maastricht (NL) and 16-18 March in Lille (FR), both events will take place in person provided the health regulations in both countries allow.
  • For whom: Bachelor/master/PDEng/PhD students and young professionals aged 18-30 and residing in Lille, Belgium or the Netherlands are eligible; international students are also welcome.
  • Language: The working sessions will be in English.
  • Costs: The organisers will cover the costs of transportation to/from (travel between France, Belgium and the Netherlands and vice versa) and during the events (public transportation, bicycles), accommodation (two or three nights in a hotel in Lille for non- residents and three nights in a hotel in Maastricht for non-residents) and meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner for both stages). The participants are responsible for all other costs.
  • Participation: All 32 selected participants must attend both stages in both countries. Participation in the full programme is mandatory. Any unjustified absenteeism or inappropriate behaviour will lead to exclusion from further participation in the creathon.
  • Jury: The organisers will choose a panel with members from different professional backgrounds (higher education and research, business and the culture sector). The jury is sovereign in its deliberations and designates the winning team. The jury will meet 18 March in Lille to assess the presentations. The teams will present their respective projects in the form of a 5-10 minute pitch in front of the jury and other attendees.

Project proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria and topics:

* Relevance             * Originality-creativity

* Impact                   * Coherence

* Feasibility              * Concreteness

* Scalability              * Team spirit

The names and affiliations of the winning team will be publicly announced at the end of the jury’s deliberations. An online article will showcase all the proposals and will include photos taken during the sessions and the final ceremony in Lille.


*The creathon will only take place in adherence to the coronavirus regulations issued by the Dutch and French healthcare authorities. Currently, all participants will need a EU digital coronavirus certificate to travel and to participate in the programme. In line with national and university guidelines, the nature of both stages remains subject to change due to evolving coronavirus restrictions.

APPLICATION DUE DATE: </b><b>December 8

Send an e-mail to Coralie Ostertag and Vicky Weits


Tentative programme :