Please activate JavaScript!
Please install Adobe Flash Player, click here for download

uni'alumni 2015_ENG

University.” Another forum for cooperation is the organization “Upper Rhine Trinational Metropolitan Region,” which combines politics, business, and research. Hans-Jochen Schiewer has served as Eucor president since 2013 and is thus spokesman of the “research pillar” of the trinational metropolitan region, which also includes further research insti- tutes and higher education institutions. He aims above all to integrate the region’s research institu- tions more closely: “We want to make the geo- graphical junction of the Upper Rhine into a center of gravity for top-notch research with international appeal.” The result will be an unparalleled research area for European researchers. As the flagship project, the Eucor universities and further partner institutions will establish a large-scale research infrastructure focusing on bioinnovations to create new incentives for collaboration. Also planned is a virtual center of competence on sustainability. Political Consent At an executive committee meeting in December 2013, the Eucor members decided that the first step into the future is to find a legal form for the European Campus. In order to apply for funding together, whether from the German Research Foundation, the Swiss National Science Founda- tion, the French National Agency for Research, or the European Commission, the European Campus must be registered as a legal entity. “But we can’t build the bureaucratic bridge over the Rhine all on our own: We need the backing of government and society in all three nations,” explains Schiewer. In July 2014, Baden-Württemberg’s minister president Winfried Kretschmann and the Alsatian regional council president Philippe Richert issued a joint statement signalizing their support for the “creation of a ‘European Campus’ on the Upper Rhine with the goal of building up a science and research area without ‘walls and borders’ and with international attraction, appeal, and visibility.” The State of Baden-Württemberg is providing 130,000 euros for the project. The Region of Alsace is con- tributing 60,000 euros and has promised to supply an additional 60,000 euros over the Initiative d’excellence (IDEX), the French version of the Excellence Initiative. The decision in September 2014 to accept Switzerland as a partially associated member in the European Commission funding pro- gram “Horizon 2020” will also make it easier for the partners institutions in Basel to participate in the European Campus. A suitable legal form has been found: The Eucor universities are currently in the process of founding a European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC). “There has never been a legal entity of this kind combining five universities across national borders,” emphasizes Schiewer. “The Eucor uni- versities are establishing a European Campus – with its own identity and its own funding opportunities. At the same time, they will not relinquish their uniqueness. We are creating a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.” Mathilde Bessert-Nettelbeck “Further strengthening interculturality in academics is among our most im- portant goals at the University of Upper Alsace. The European Cam- pus is therefore a very important project for us. The Eucor programs of the University of Upper Alsace and the center NovaTris are already unique today in the intercultural qualifications they provide.” Prof. Dr. Serge Neunlist, Vice President of the University of Upper Alsace and Eucor Vice Rector “The establishment of a European Cam- pus together with our Eucor partners is a concrete step toward realizing ‘interna- tionalization at home’ for the University of Basel, a core element of Basel’s interna- tionalization strategy. The European Campus makes the Eucor universities into a big international player whose diversity is attractive for students and doctoral candidates from around the world.” Prof. Dr. Maarten Hoenen, Vice Rector for Instruction & Development of the University of Basel and Eucor Vice Rector Photo: NovaTris/UHAPhoto: University of Basel 6 Cover Story uni'alumni 20156