Sustainable research

Sustainable development at the heart of research

Our researchers work in 11 interdisciplinary research institutes, covering a wide range of topics such as environment, ecology, health, human and animal welfare, text, languages, complex systems, digital, heritage, economics, finance and materials...

The UNamur research portal

All the scientific publications linked to the UN SDGs are available on the UNamur research portal.  Click on the sustainable development objective to get the list.

The UNamur research institutes

Development Finance & Public Policies (DeFiPP)

DeFiPPDeFIPP consolidates research work done in three pre-existing centers, CRED, CEREFIM and CERPE, each of which represents one of the three main research lines: development economics, public policies and regional economics & finance and monetary economics. The main aim of DeFiPP is to promote research of excellence in economics and finance, with a strong international visibility, while using the economic methodology, both in theory and in empirical research, which is the uniting link between the poles. Cross-fertilization will occur through the common sharing of new methods or approaches.

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Namur philosophical space (ESPHIN)

ESPHINESPHIN is a transdisciplinary space open to the outside world and designed to encourage new research. It addresses themes developed in its two founding departments: Philosophy in the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters and Sciences-Philosophies-Society in the Faculty of Science. In synergy with other entities, the researchers also aim at the emergence of new themes in the major fields of philosophy such as anthropology, ethics, aesthetics, epistemology, logic and metaphysics.

President :

Vice-President : Laurent Ravez

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Institute of Life, Earth and Environment (ILEE)


Research at the Institute of Life, Earth and Environment (ILEE) is relevant to several of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For example, we study the impact of multiple stressors (chemical, physical or pathogenic) and/or pollutants (pesticides, pharmaceuticals, endocrine disruptors, neurotoxins, atmospheric residues) on organisms but also on ecosystems, and solutions are sought to strengthen their resistance and resilience and/or limit harmful products (e.g. immuno-stimulation, search for alternative pharmaceuticals). Furthermore, by prospecting and characterising geological resources (water, metals and other raw materials) and by integrating human use over the centuries, from Antiquity to the current Anthropocene, ILEE contributes to the sustainable management of natural resources, including architecture and art. The transition to a more sustainable agriculture is investigated through the concept of ecosystem services via mapping, modelling and integrated assessment. The consequences of climate change on human migration or the interactions between the different agents responsible for the transmission of vector-borne and zoonotic diseases are also at the heart of ILEE's research.

President : Patrick Kestemont

Vice-President : Johan Yans

Contact :


UNamur Institute for Research in Didactics and Education (IRDENa)

IRDENa Institute

The Institute for Research in Didactics and Education (IRDENa) gathers researchers from different Faculties and Departments, providing a multidisciplinary approach and aims to amplify the synergies between researchers in the world of education and didactics. Their mission is to foster the emergence of new resources and new research methodologies, from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, in order to improve the quality of education (SDG #4). IRDENa's research objects are defined on the basis of the living social issues that cross our societies. Education, training and teaching are approached closely through the issues of learning and contemporary social environments, addressing the contexts of crisis, mobility, precariousness and awareness.

Thus we can identify several goals as mentioned by the United Nations, "education is the key to achieving many other sustainable development goals. When people have access to quality education, they can break the cycle of poverty (SDG #1). Education therefore helps to reduce inequalities (SDG #10) and to achieve gender equality (Goal #5). It also provides the means to live more healthily and sustainably (SDGs #3 and #11). Education is also essential for fostering tolerance among peoples and contributes to more peaceful societies (SDG #16).

Link to the IRDENa publications linked to the SDGs...

President :  Sephora Boucenna



Namur Digital Institute (NADI)

NaDIOur society is undergoing a digital revolution, impacting its organization, but also its practices, and even its values. Most sectors of our society have to integrate this revolution, including eHealth, eGov, eServices, collaborative economy. Solving these challenges requires a transdisciplinary approach including technology and scientific foundations, but also societal, ethical, juridical and economic points of view. 

Presidents : /

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Namur Institute of Language, Text and Transmediality (NALTT)

NaLTTUniting linguists and literary scholars, the Institute of Language, Text and Transmediality at UNamur constitutes a platform for diachronic and synchronic interdisciplinary research into the manifold ways in which different types of verbal and multimodal communicative practices manifest themselves in, give shape to, are regulated by, and reflect culture and society.

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Namur Research Institute for Life Sciences (NARILIS)


Research conducted at the Namur Research Institute for Life Sciences (NARILIS) aims at advancing scientific and medical knowledge for the benefit of patients.

Basic research in life sciences is crucial to improve our understanding of normal and pathological processes in the human body. This exploratory research opens the door to substantial progress in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Researchers of the University of Namur have developed strong relationships with field physicians at CHU UCL Namur hospital. These close ties are a unique opportunity to build bridges between basic research and clinical practice, and to work in a translational manner. On the one hand, questions raised by clinicians will guide scientists towards new research paths. On the other hand, some of the scientific discoveries may be translated to clinical applications, and ultimately improve patient care. 

NARILIS is actively contributing to the fight against cancer, infectious diseases, thrombosis, diabetes, obesity, inflammatory diseases, disorders of the nervous system, skin diseases and the effects of ageing. NARILIS also offers its expertise and resources to participate in the global efforts to tackle public health emergencies, such as the Covid-19 pandemic.

President :

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Namur Institute for Complex systems (naXys)

naXysThe main objective of naXys is the study of such complex systems, by means of the analysis of real-world data, their modelling through mathematics and numerical simulations, and their control and optimization. Our belief is that a proper understanding of systems requires a modelling step, which allows to identify causal relationships between various parameters and to identify the mechanisms by which they operate. This abstraction must be based on empirical validation, but the mining of data alone is neither sufficient nor satisfactory. For this reason, a knowledge of the specific domain and the use of adequate tools in modelling, analysis and simulations are essential.

President : Anne-Sophie Libert

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Namur Institute of Structured Matter (NISM)

NISMNISM research interests cover various topics in the field of organic and physical chemistry, materials chemistry, surface science, solid-state chemistry and physics from both a theoretical and experimental point of view.  NISM enables the exchange of ideas and competences in the field of synthesis and functionalization of molecular systems and novel materials (0 to 3D), the rational design of solids with specific architecture and surface properties as well as the development of advanced techniques for the study of their physicochemical properties.

President : Vincent Liégeois - Vice-president : Francesca Cecchet



Patrimonies, Transmissions, Heritage (PaTHs)

PaTHsThe Patrimonies, Transmissions, Héritage (PaTHs) institute is a federation of research centres and groups that have emerged in and around the Faculty of Philosophy in recent years. The rapprochement of researchers active in these groups should lead to the promotion of a diachronic approach to social and cultural phenomena in the broadest sense, and also to the intensification of collaboration between "human sciences" which are usually perceived as complementary, but whose objects and research methods are in fact very heterogeneous. A sustained attention to the "trace" in all its forms, subject to the protocols of critical analysis conceived by the disciplines invited to the dialogue, will make the heuristic specificity of the research conducted within the Institute.

President :  - Vice-president :



TransitionsThe TRANSITIONS Institute aims to explore the different ways in which human nature and society experience the processes, times and impacts of transitions, with a focus on critical areas such as the environment, economy, development, mobility, politics, education, justice and social cohesion.  With these strengths, TRANSITIONS promotes interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary collaborative research around themes rather than disciplines.  In this regard, the Institute's goal is to develop innovative capacities and strategies that enable us to creatively facilitate and cope with the transitions at hand, and to pursue our collective interests and well-being in a sustainable manner.

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University Press

The UNamur press (PUN) offer two collections of publications (in French) on sustainable development: