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uni'wissen 01-2015

In the large-scale project European Campus, five universities on the Upper Rhine are consolidating their research strength Center of Gravity for Cutting-Edge Research by Mathilde Bessert-Nettelbeck If you want to find new insight and develop new technologies, you need to look beyond your own garden fence. Scientists in Germany study- ing climate change, for instance, cannot afford to limit the scope of their inquiry to their own coun- try with regard to knowledge, methods, and in- sight. To produce results that are relevant on a global scale, they need access to international literature and infrastructure as well as contact with colleagues from around the world. But at the same time, education and research need to overcome barriers and bureaucratic hurdles – even though the vision of a united Europe has been realized in part with the European Union, the euro, and the Schengen Agreement. A strong regional network can help researchers to consolidate scientific resources and surmount linguistic and national boundaries. In order to achieve this, the universities in the Upper Rhine region are building up a common European Campus in the “three-country corner,” with the Universities of Freiburg and Strasbourg leading the way. The Upper Rhine Plain is not just at the center of Europe in a geographical sense: The strengths of the region include its economic clout, its scien- tific potential, and the innovations that emerge from its many research institutions and universi- ties. It is thus also of central significance with regard to industry and research. “Our vision is a ‘zone franche’ for science and research, a place for innovation in which the universities and research institutions complement each other and create synergies in research and instruction,” explains Prof. Dr. Hans-Jochen Schiewer, Rector of the University of Freiburg. Proven Partnerships The idea for the European Campus builds on proven partnerships for research and teaching between France, Germany, and Switzerland: In 1989 seven German, French, and Swiss universi- ties teamed up to form the “European Confeder- ation of Universities on the Upper Rhine” (Eucor). Today the confederation includes the University of Freiburg and the Karlsruhe Institute of Tech- Special topic: Research in the Upper Rhine region The University of Freiburg and its partners on the Upper Rhine are creating the European Campus, a common German-French-Swiss higher education area. This uni’wissen dossier introduces the project and presents four examples of cross-border research in the trinational Upper Rhine region. 5uni wissen 01 2015 5uni wissen 012015