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On 1 July 2014, Italy has taken over the EU Council Presidency and an overall goal of its presidency is to achieve higher and more sustainable growth, enabling Europe to reap the benefits of economic interdependence.

This objective will remain unattainable without the critical contribution of strong and competitive national research systems embedded into a truly European Research Area (ERA), which constitutes a key element of the valorisation of the human resources component: researchers of ERA must be appropriately trained.

Doctoral education is considered one of the best instruments for the implementation of this training. Furthermore, doctoral education can play a role in fostering innovation, self-entrepreneurship and competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises.

In light of these reflections, the Presidency organises the event ‘International, Intersectorial, and Interdisciplinary: the triple “i” approach to doctoral training’ (Interdoc 2014) with the aim of re-launching the Principles for Innovative Doctoral Training, with a view to strengthening the international dimension of European doctoral education, in line with the recommendations of the Bologna Ministerial Conference held in Bucharest.

In the structure of the  Principles for Innovative Doctoral Training, three key elements are considered fundamental for the striving of research excellence in an attractive environment. These elements are: i) international networking through mobility and collaborative research; ii) exposure to non-academic environment by fostering intersectoral collaboration and mobility experiences; iii)interdisciplinarity by crossfertilization between disciplines. 

The event Interdoc 2014 will promote the implementation of the three key elements in doctoral training, through the discussion, elaboration and sharing of best practices already in act in European institutions for higher education.

Interdoc2014 also proposes an innovative approach to the heterogeneous landscape of higher education institutions involved in Art doctoral training. In fact, beyond their peculiarities, these institutions may provide optimal examples of the  implementation of interdisciplinarity and international networking in doctoral education.