5.5 Million Euros for the European Campus
Today, the monitoring committee of the Interreg VA Upper Rhine Program has approved three joint proposals of the Eucor universities. The European Union will provide 5.5 million euros in funding for the three projects of the universities at the Upper Rhine. The Interreg proposal led by the University of Basel seeks to create an Upper Rhine cluster for sustainable research.
Interreg is a joint initiative of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) designed to promote cross-border cooperation in Europe. The monitoring committee of the Interreg VA Upper Rhine Program has approved funding for three joint projects at the Upper Rhine universities. The two proposals “European Campus – Cross-Border Structures” and “Upper Rhine Cluster for Sustainability Research” were submitted jointly by the Universities of Basel, Freiburg, Haute-Alsace, and Strasbourg as well as the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology within the context of Eucor – The European Campus. In the case of the proposal “SERIOR,” submitted by the University of Koblenz and Landau, all of the Eucor universities are project partners.
European Campus – Cross-Border Structures
The central Interreg proposal “European Campus – Cross-Border Structures” involves the implementation of structural measures for the joint development of existing potential at the universities. The five universities of Eucor – The European Campus will analyze the regional science and research profile and take this analysis as a basis for a common structural and development plan. Moreover, they will work out the conditions for joint appointments of high-ranking academic staff. Finally, the universities also plan to develop new teaching and advising concepts; improve the transition to the regional employment market; promote mobility and interculturality among students, researchers, and administrative personnel; and create a common corporate identity for the European Campus. The EU will provide 2 million euros in funding for the project.
Upper Rhine Cluster for Sustainability Research
A second Interreg proposal led by the University of Basel has to do with the creation of an Upper Rhine cluster in one of the research foci of the European Campus: sustainability research. This cluster will concentrate on the general theme “governance of sustainable growth,” encompassing ecological, social, and economic sustainability. The main focus areas will be management and development of resources; transformation processes and technologies; electricity, infrastructure, and social change; and multicultural governance. The EU will provide 1.7 million euros in funding for the project.
“Sustainability research at the Upper Rhine has now received a great opportunity for further dynamic development. With 55 research groups from the natural and social sciences and from several universities, the Upper Rhine cluster will become an important international player in the field of sustainability,” says Prof. Dr. Paul Burger, Head of Sustainability Research at the University of Basel.
The Eucor universities, the University of Koblenz and Landau, and further project partners intend to establish a trinational graduate academy on the topic of risk management and risk appraisal. A joint qualification program for junior researchers and a knowledge transfer program with businesses and political organizations will open up new research potential on the Upper Rhine. The EU will provide 1.8 euros in funding for the project.
On the Path to the First European University
The European Campus was created against the backdrop of longstanding cooperation between the universities on the Upper Rhine. In 1989 they teamed up to form an international network called Eucor (European Confederation of Universities on the Upper Rhine). By establishing the European Campus, the five universities aim to take this cross-border cooperation in research and teaching to a new level in order to gain a key advantage in the international competition for the best minds and ideas.
By signing the founding documents for a joint “European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation” (EGTC) on 9 December 2015, the Universities of Basel, Freiburg, Haute-Alsace, Strasbourg and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology are on their way to the first European University.