Press Release 037/2013

KIT Scientists and Students Fill German-French Relations with Life

“France Is Guest at KIT“ – Program Reflects the Large Range of Cooperation Projects
German-French cooperation projects in research and education are of high priority at KIT. (Source: Federal Foreign Office)

With a German-French week under the heading of “Frankreich zu Gast am KIT” (France Is Guest at KIT), KIT will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty from March 18 to 22, 2013. The program will give an overview of the fruitful cooperation of KIT with partners in France. The highlights of this week will be the conference “Technology for the Future” with the Nobel prize laureate in phyiscs Carlo Rubbia, the Annual Reception of KIT, and a presentation by the Member of the European Parliament Daniel Cohn-Bendit. Representatives of the media and interested visitors are cordially invited.

In the areas of research, education, and technology, KIT closely cooperates with French partners. The predecessor institutions of KIT, the University of Karlsruhe and Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, were committed to this tradition already. “Science and technology are of central importance to the relationship between Germany and France and to the future of Europe,” says Chief Science Officer (CSO-5) of KIT, Dr. Karl-Friedrich Ziegahn. At KIT, the German-French Initiative DeFI coordinates cooperative ventures, joint research projects, and German-French study programs. “It is not only the geographical vicinity of the city of Karlsruhe to France that makes KIT predestined to fill German-French relations with life. Our numerous joint projects make France our most important partner country,” says Professor Wolfgang Seemann who heads KIT-DeFI together with Professor Johannes Orphal.

KIT maintains partnerships to 46 universities in France. Several departments of KIT offer integrated study programs that are completed by double degrees. Zäzilia Seibold, Ph. D. student at KIT, for instance, passed the German-French double program in mechanical engineering. She spent three semesters at Lyon and did not only extend her knowledge, but also familiarized with the French culture of learning, a stressful but enriching experience. In the research sector, KIT is involved in many bilateral projects on electric mobility. KIT also cooperates with France in the European energy research consortium KIC InnoEnergy. KIT is member of EUCOR, the confederation of Upper Rhine Universities, and committed to the trinational Upper Rhine Metropolitan Region (TMO). 

The German-French week “France Is Guest at KIT” from March 18 to 22, 2013 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty will highlight the large range of cooperation projects by presentations, symposiums, workshops, information and cultural events. The program addresses scientists as well as students, pupils, and the interested public. On Thursday, March 14, 17 hrs, the exhibition “Plantu” will be opened. It presents political cartoons by the French cartoonist Jean Plantureux (KIT Campus North, entrance hall of the central administrative building 141). The program proper will start with the event “Wissenschaft und Musik kennen keine Grenzen” (Science and music have no borders) with presentations and music on Monday, March 18, 19 hrs (KIT Campus South, Festsaal im Studentenhaus). The German-French Institute for Environmental Research (DFIU) will organize a conference on sustainability on Tuesday, March 19, 10 hrs (KIT Campus South, Audimax, building 30.95). Parallel visits of the electric vehicle exhibition of the CROME (CROss-border Mobility for EVs) project will be possible.

Some Highlights of the Program:

Conference “Technology for the Future“

(Thursday, March 21, 13.30 hrs; KIT Campus South, Audimax, building 30.95) The Nobel prize laureate of physics Professor Carlo Rubbia from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS, Potsdam), the quantum and physical chemist Professor Joachim Sauer from the Humboldt University of Berlin, and physicist Professor Gabriel Chardin from the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS, Paris) will present valuable findings of German-French cooperation in science and research. Aerospace technology, high-speed trains, vehicle construction, information and communication technologies, materials and environmental research are only some examples.


KIT Annual Reception 2013
(Thursday, March 21, 18 hrs; Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design - HfG Karlsruhe) German-French friendship will also be a central topic of the KIT Annual Reception. The program will include a keynote speech about German-French energy research by Bernard Salha, Vice President of the EDF Group, and a podium discussion under the heading of “Learning from the neighbor – research, innovation, and academic education in Germany and France” with German and French experts from science, politics, and industry (invited guests only).


Presentation by Daniel Cohn-Bendit: ”50 Years Elysée Treaty“
(Tuesday, March 19, 19 hrs; KIT Campus South, building 11.40, Tulla-Hörsaal) Daniel Cohn-Bendit, member of the European Parliament, will present the Jean Monnet keynote lecture about new challenges for German-French friendship. Among others, he will discuss the question how both countries can contribute new solution concepts for managing the crisis in Europe by jointly designing the EU. The lecture will be organized by ZAK | Center for Applied Cultural Science and Studium Generale of KIT, the Heinrich Hertz Society, and the Karlsruhe University Society (KUG, Karlsruhe Universitätsgesellschaft e.V.).


Better twice than not at all – opportunities, offers, and perspectives of a German-French study program

(Friday, March 22, 10 hrs, KIT Campus South, Audimax, building 30.95, seminar rooms A and B) The partners of KIT-DeFI will present themselves at various workshops and information stands. Among them will be French partner universities, industry partners, and the German-French University. Ph. D. students, scientists, and alumni will report about their experience after receipt of a double degree.   

The complete program of the German-French week can be found at


Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,800 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

or, 13.03.2013

Monika Landgraf
Chief Communication Officer
Head of Corporate Communications
Chief Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41150
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
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Contact for this press release:

Monika Landgraf
Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-21150
Fax: +49 721 608-41150
monika landgraf does-not-exist.kit edu

The press release is available as a PDF file.