Press Release 029/2022

Four Cross-border Professorships for the Upper Rhine Region

Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann Visits Eucor – The European Campus in Strasbourg. Four Binational Professorships – A Pioneering Project within a European Framework
2022_029_Vier grenzueberschreitende Professuren fuer den Oberrhein_72dpi
Minister-President Kretschmann Visits Eucor – The European Campus in Strasbourg (Photo: Staatsministerium Baden-Württemberg, Jana Höffner)

Studying, researching, and teaching across borders is the vision of the university network Eucor – The European Campus. During a two-day trip to the Strasbourg-Kehl border region, Baden-Württemberg’s Minister-President Kretschmann and other members of the cabinet and parliament visited the university network Eucor – The European Campus at the University of Strasbourg yesterday. In addition to the five rectors and presidents of the Eucor universities, high-ranking French representatives of the Région Grand Est, Eurométropole, and the Académie de Strasbourg took part in the political exchange on the further development of Eucor. 

With Four Cross-border Professorships, Eucor – The European Campus Succeeds in Launching a Pioneering Project in the European Framework 

“The university network Eucor connects five excellent universities from three countries. Together, we are researching issues of importance to the future in the Upper Rhine region: Personalized medicine, quantum technology, sustainability, and European identities. These are topics that are so essential that we can only find the best solutions together,” says Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann. “With Eucor, we can also secure our leading position in the European research and education area. And strengthen the innovative power, competitiveness, and prosperity here in the border region. In this way, Eucor is European integration in action. For a Europe that is not only a scientific and economic area, but, above all, a community of values. Based on freedom, democracy, and the rule of law. And a historically unique peace project. This is something that is more important than ever these days.” 

“In times in which Europe is again experiencing the evils of war at its borders, the exchange between the managements of the Eucor member universities and the political representatives of the Région Grand Est and the State of Baden-Württemberg provided the opportunity to speak about the central role of academic education and research for the economic and social development of our regions.

Digital technologies, the environment, health, and Europe are big success factors for the transformation of our society and our economy. The very concrete measures presented by Eucor, including the establishment of a cross-border professorship of the University of Strasbourg and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, prove that our universities are able to provide answers and solutions for the big challenges of our time. 

After 30 years of successful cooperation in higher education policy, I am convinced that Eucor has succeeded in demonstrating the concrete added value of cooperation among universities for the border region in a European context. The Upper Rhine region is an area in which identities, cultures, economies, and mobility are crossing borders.

The visit provided the opportunity to speak about what we have in common with the State of Baden-Württemberg and in particular about trend-setting issues relating to water and the future of industry against the backdrop of climate change, the energy transition, and digital transformation,” says Jean Rottner, President of the Grand Est Region.

The visit focused on the four new binational professorships that are currently being launched by the member universities of Eucor – The European Campus. The first is a professorship of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the University of Strasbourg in the future field of quantum computing, whose first holder is Professor Dr. Anja Metelmann. In February, the scientist who had worked in Berlin moved to KIT to teach quantum sciences and technology and conduct the corresponding research in this priority area of EUCOR. Now, she will also lead a research team at the University of Strasbourg and teach there. The cross-border character of this professorship is the first of its kind in Europe and a pioneering project of the Upper Rhine university network. A second binational professorship will be established by KIT and the University of Haute-Alsace (Mulhouse-Colmar) in the field of “Digital Process Engineering for Sustainable Materials and Energy.” This cross-border professorship will complement KIT’s portfolio as of the 2022/23 winter semester. In cooperation with the University of Basel and the University of Strasbourg, the University of Freiburg will pool its competencies in the Eucor focus area “European Identities.” With cross-border professorships in English studies and in Law, there will be a total of four binational professorships on the Upper Rhine in future. 

„With the forthcoming four bridge professorships, Eucor is ideally positioned to advance joint research into socially relevant topics of our time,” says Minister of Science Theresia Bauer.

Internationally Visible Teaching and Science Hub in the Upper Rhine Region

On the French side, the President of Région Grand Est and Deputy Rector of the Académie de Strasbourg participated in the political exchange on Eucor – The European Campus. The Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg was accompanied by a high-ranking political delegation, including the Minister of Science, the Minister of the Interior, the Minister for the Environment, the Minister of Justice and Migration, and the Minister of Regional Development and Housing. 

“Support of our trinational network by the State of Baden-Württemberg is of enormous importance. My special thanks go to Minister-President Kretschmann, who, after the breakdown of the negotiations on the EU-Switzerland Framework Agreement, continues to work personally to ensure that relations do not erode and that Bern and Brussels will hopefully reach an agreement after all, also in the interest of science. Many thanks and merci!,” says Professor Dr. Andrea Schenker-Wicki, Eucor President and Rector of the University of Basel. 

Establishment of the cross-border professorships would not have been possible without the support from the State of Baden-Württemberg. Thanks to financial support by the Ministry of Science, Research, and the Arts (MWK), the two Baden-Württemberg universities in Freiburg and Karlsruhe were able to launch two binational professorships each in cooperation with the French and Swiss partner universities.

“Three years ago, we adopted a joint strategic plan for the years from 2019 to 2023, in which we defined our key thematic areas. Today, we are proud of having succeeded in creating a vibrant cross-border teaching and science hub on the Upper Rhine with the international doctoral college QUSTEC in quantum sciences and technology and the new cross-border professorship in quantum computing,” says Professor Dr.-Ing. Holger Hanselka, President of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. 

Background Information on Eucor – The European Campus

The European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) Eucor – The European Campus is the result of long cooperation among the universities on the Upper Rhine. In December 2015, the five member universities – University of Basel, University of Freiburg, Université de Haute-Alsace, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), and Université de Strasbourg – signed the founding documents for acting together via a dedicated legal entity. 

This was the first EGTC of universities on the European level. The main focus areas in research of Eucor – The European Campus are quantum sciences and technology, personalized health – precision medicine, sustainability, and European identities. 

The EGTC pools the competencies and potentials of 15,500 scientists, 13,000 doctoral researchers, and more than 130,000 students. Eucor – The European Campus aims to establish a clearly structured science and research area of international outreach without walls and borders.


KIT: Margarete Lehné, Press Officer, Tel.: +49 721 608-41157, E-Mail:margarete lehne does-not-exist.kit edu

Office of Eucor – The European Campus: Viviane Schmidt, phone: (+49) 0761/203-4282, email:presse does-not-exist.eucor-uni org

University of Strasbourg: Alexandre Tatay, phone: +33 (0)6 80 52 01 82, email:tatay does-not-exist.unistra fr

Some of the Members of the Delegation from the Baden-Württemberg Government: 

Winfried Kretschmann, Minister-President of the State of Baden-Württemberg (BW)
Theresia Bauer, Minister of Science, Research, and the Arts, BWThomas Strobl, Minister des Inneren, für Digitalisierung und Kommunen, BW

Thomas Strobl, Minister of the Interior, Digitalization, and Local Government, BW

Thekla Walker, Minister for the Environment, Climate, and Energy Sector, BW

Marion Gentges, Minister of Justice and Migration, BW

Nicole Razavi, Minister of Regional Development and Housing, BW

Some Representatives of the French Regional Authorities:

Jean Rottner, President of Région Grand Est

Christian Debève, Conseiller Régional, Président de la Commission Relations Internationales, Région Grand Est

Jeanne Barseghian, 1st Vice-President of Eurométropole and Mayor of the City of Strasbourg

Present Rectors and Presidents of the Eucor Universities:

Prof. Dr. Andrea Schenker-Wicki (Eucor President and Rector of the University of Basel)

Prof. Dr. Kerstin Krieglstein ((Rector of the University of Freiburg)

Prof. Dr. Pierre-Alain Muller (President of the Université de Haute-Alsace, UHA)

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Hanselka (President of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, KIT)

Prof. Dr. Michel Deneken (President of the University of Strasbourg)

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 10,000 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,800 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.

mle, 01.04.2022

Margarete Lehné
Chief Press Officer (acting)
Phone: +49 721 608-41105
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
presse does-not-exist.kit edu

Contact for this press release:

Margarete Lehné
Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41157
Fax: +49 721 608-41157
margarete lehne does-not-exist.kit edu
The photo in the best quality available to us may be requested by
presse does-not-exist.kit edu or phone: +49 721 608-41105.

The press release is available as a PDF file.