The glossary below offers a selection of words or expressions related to the Trinational Metropolitan Region Upper Rhine, to European programmes and more specifically to the INTERREG programme Upper Rhine. Its trilingual version (English, German, French) could be very useful to project leaders in order for them to communicate efficiently with the project partners.

For a convenient use of the glossary, each English word will be followed by its German and French translation. The complete descriptions of these words are available under the German and French version of the glossary.




Concerning the INTERREG V Upper Rhine program, actions are activities like the organization and realization of launch event, completion of bibliographic study, an experiment etc.



Application for EU funding (INTERREG Upper Rhin)

Förderantrag/Antragstellung auf EU-Mittelförderung

Demande de concours communautaire

The grant application or application for EU funding including the application form and the annexes, contains all of the necessary information for the detailed analysis of the eligibility and the opportunity for project submission. The project leader and their partners have to create to grant application with the support of the Joint Secretariat and respect its observations done as well as those of the work group throughout the application process.



Associated partner (INTERREG)

Assoziierte Partner

Partenaire associé

Associated partners are service providers, companies, administrations, and organizations etc. which don’t directly participate to a project but whose rendered service contributed to its success.

In the specific case of the INTERREG Upper Rhine Program, the associated partners are the organizations participating in a project without giving any financial support or receiving any funding.

In other terms, these partners can participate as observers, advisors or product testers (without any compensation).




A beneficiary is an institution or a body which receives financial support within an INTERREG project from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). In a more global sense, the “final beneficiaries” are the people who benefit from the projects’ results.


Best practices

Best Practices (“Gute Praktiken”)

Bonnes pratiques

The best practices are examples of the procedures and behaviors which lead to achievements.

Call for projects


Appel à projets

In the case of a call for projects, special prerequisites are set for project selection in order to produce a limited number of projects in terms of content within a specific timeframe.
Project selection in the INTERREG V Upper Rhine Program is generally done on an ongoing basis. This process may be suspended by the program committee as part of a project call.



Civil Society Pillar

Säule Zivil Gesellschaft

Pilier Société Civile

Every citizen, as well as every nonprofit structure, (such as associations) are considered as part of the Civil Society Pillar.

The objective is to help citizens (especially youth) (re)discover their common identity based on a historical, cultural and linguistic heritage.

This strategy is implemented by the Eurodistricts who support cross-border projects of the civil society such as micro INTERREG projects.

Furthermore the local collectivities of the Upper Rhine organize trinational citizen forums in order to integrate civil society in the TMR development.






Clusters are dense geographical concentrations of companies and institutions with mutual interests in a specific branch. The clusters encompass related indutries and other important entities for competitiveness, for example they include suppliers of specific products, research structures, machinery, services and specialized infrastructure suppliers.



Cofinancing partner (INTERREG Upper Rhin)

Kofinanzierende Partner

Partenaire cofinanceur

According to the INTERREG Program, every organization giving financial support to a project is considered as a cofinancing partner, regardless if this structure has expenditures or not.

The structures whose financial contribution consists exclusively in staff costs are also considered financing partners.



Cohesion policy


Politique de cohésion

The EU pursues a policy of reinforcing economic and social cohesion. The objective is to create a harmonic development of the community as a whole.

The European cohesion policy (better known as the regional policy) is designed for all regions and cities in the EU in order to promote the creation of new employment, company competitiveness, economic growth, a sustainable development and the amelioration of the European citizens’ quality of life.

The EU created the European Structural and Investment Fund (ESI Funds) in order to promote these developments.

Dialog Science

Dialog Science is a series of events centered around sciences in the Upper Rhine which takes place annually from October to November. Prestigious universities, research institutes and other actors organize presentations of projects, seminars, meetings, workshops and more.

This annual forum seeks to encourage exchange and networking between institutions, project research teams as well as scientific, economic, political and societal representatives from the three countries.

Economic Pillar of the TMR

Säule Wirtschaft der TMO

Pilier Economie de la RMT

The Consular chambers as well as the agencies of economic development in the Upper Rhine gather together in the Economic Pillar of the TMR. This network determines strategic action areas and achieves common projects in order to eradicate existing obstacles of economic cross-border activities and to take advantage of synergies created by the companies of these three countries.

The main objectives of the Economic Pillar are the development of clusters, the integrated policy of the labor market, tourism, and the development of a sustainable economy.



Eligibility (of expenditure)


Eligibilité des dépenses

It refers to an expenditure subjected co-financing. An expenditure is eligible if it is conform to a specific criteria determined on a scale of the program, in accordance with national and European rules and regulations.



Eucor – The European Campus

Eucor brings together five Universities of the Upper Rhine: Basel, Freiburg im Breisgau, Haute Alsace, Karlsruhe and Strasbourg. Thanks to this project, a common strategy and governance of these universities was created and a true European Campus emerged. In this way it increases the cross-border and worldwide visibility of the Upper Rhine as a scientific cooperative area. The European Campus offers cross-border formations, such as master and bachelor degrees or trinational seminars.






An Eurodistrict is a cross-border agglomeration in Europe. It refers to a European administrative entity regrouping in either urban areas, rural areas or combination areas, located on both sides of a state’s border in order to promote cross-border cooperation.

The members can decide to build a cooperative framework (for example in domains of transport, education, culture, healthcare, infrastructure, water supply etc.) to oversee the integration of the territories and their communities.

They can also set up a common development strategy and the expansion of common public policy over the disparities between the countries. In the Upper Rhine Region there are 4 Eurodistricts:

  • Eurodistrict Freiburg / Center and South Alsace
  • Eurodistrict Pamina
  • Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau
  • Trinational Eurodistrict Basel




The Euro-Institut is a binational and bicultural Franco-German institution created in 1993 which supports all cross-border procedures. Its main mission is to be a resource for successful cooperation. It can actively assist in creation and optimization of cross-border projects.


To that end the Euro-Institut proposes trainings, comparative seminars or traineeships to pursue the improvement of cross-cutting competences. The Euro-Institute alsohelps with the achievement of cross-border projects by offering coaching regarding intercultural communication and comprehension.



European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

EFRE (Europäischer Fonds für Regionale Entwicklung)

FEDER (Fonds Européen de Développement Régional)

The European Regional Development Fund is one of the 5 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI funds) and is in charge of reinforcing economic and social cohesion in the European Union by correcting the disparities between regions. The EU funds used for purpose of the INTERREG V Upper Rhine Program come from the European Regional Development Fund.



European Structural and Investment Fund (ESCF)

Europäische Struktur- und Investitionsfonds (ESI)

Fonds Européens Stucturels et d’Investissement (FESI)

The ESI funds provide financial support to members of the EU to promote solidarity and economic competitiveness.

The EU supports the economic and social  development in every EU country in accordance with the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy, with 5 funds:

  • European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
  • European Social Fund (ESF)
  • Cohesion Fund
  • European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)
  • European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)

Every region can benefit from the ERDF and the ESF. Howerver only the less-developed regions can benefit from the Cohesion Fund.



European Territorial Cooperation (ETC)

Europäische Territoriale Zusammenarbeit (ETZ)

Coopération Territoriale Européenne (CTE)

One of the big objectives of the EU cohesion policy.

Equipped with a total of 8.948 million euros of the ERDF, its objective is to reinforce regional competitiveness, to reduce the negative effects of borders, and to connect actors and citizens across the borders.

The different INTERREG programs constitute the tools to implement ETC.

Franco-German University

Deutsch-Französische Hochschule (DFH)

Université franco-allemande (UFA)

The Franco-German University (UFA) is composed of the network of French and German higher education establishments. It plays an expert role in Franco-German academic relations. Its objective is to reinforce cooperation between France and Germany in the domains of higher education an research.




Governance refers to the making and application of decisions.

Concerning the cross-border cooperation in the Upper Rhine region, different kind of governances structures were created such as the Upper Rhine Council. Furthermore, there are also examples of non-institutionalized structures such as RTM  in this cross-border cooperation.

In cross-border projects, very different but closely correlated governance models are often developed, in order to structure the cross-border collaboration over time (for example ThiRhenaTech or Eucor – The European Campus). The objective is to take cross-border decisions together.



Graduate Academy Serior

The Graduate Academy Serior offers trinational training programs ( Germany, France, Switzerland): to PhD students and postdocs: scientific training and mentoring in summer schools and lecture series as well as praxis oriented program for knowledge and technology transfer.

The Graduate Academy Serior is aimed primarily at young scientists whose PhD- or Postdoc-research concerns risk management. The program for knwoledge and technology transfer allows stakeholders from entreprises, politics, local administrations or NGOs to participate in the Graduate Academy Serior.

Horizon 2020

Horizont 2020

Horizon 2020

The new research and innovation program Horizon 2020 is the successor of the 7th framework program for research and technologic development (FP7).

Horizon 2020 is the fusion of all research and innovation programs of the European Commission. Horizon 2020 has funding of more than 80 billion euros allotted for 2014-2020.

Indicators (INTERREG Upper Rhin)



Indicators are used to follow, evaluate, and check the achievement of a project. The prerequisite to obtain community co-financing by the INTERREG Program is that every project must contribute to at least one of the achievement indicators of the specific objective which the project is linked to.


Given the special significance of the achievement indicators of the performance framework, the following types require particular attention.


We distinguish 2 types of indicators in the INTERREG Upper Rhine Program:

  • the output indicators are used to measure the contribution of the project to the specific objective targeted. They are described in the operational program and progressively supported by project outputs during their establishment (eg. The number of users of products, offers and services created in the tourism sector and the media)
  • the result indicators are used to quantify the contribution of the INTERREG Program to the set objectives. The operational program contains outcome indicators (eg.  the number of persons employed in the field of tourism, culture or in the creative sector)



INTERREG or as it called officially “European Territorial Cooperation” is a part of the structural and cohesion policy of the EU. This program funds projects achieved by partners coming from different European countries with the support of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). More than 100 of these programs exist today on the external and internal borders of the EU. The TMR is covered by the following programs:

  • The INTERREG Upper Rhine Program which promotes cross-border German, French and Swiss projects in the Upper Rhine area
  • The northwest Europe INTERREG Program, promoting transnational projects in the areas of Great Britain, Ireland, Southwest of the Netherlands, Luxembourg, the north of France, southwest Germany, north Rhine-Westphalia and Switzerland
  • The INTERREG Europe Program which supports the cooperation of regional and local authorities throughout Europe
  • The INTERREG Alpine Space program supports the transnational cooperation and covers part of the TMR. The program extends from the East border of France, south Germany, Switzerland, north of Italy, northeast of Slovenia and Austria.

All of the programs offer funding opportunities for scientific projects.

Joint Secretariat

Gemeinsames Sekretariat

Secrétariat conjoint

Body in charge of assisting the different committees with the application of the INTERREG V Upper Rhine Program, but also the potential receivers, project leaders, and their partners in the elaboration and application of their project.

The Joint Secretariat is located in the Région Grand Est office.

Lead partner


Porteur de projet

According to the INTERREG Upper Rhine Program, the lead partner is the structure that submits the applications for EU funding on behalf of all the project partners. It then provides the coordination and operational, administrative and financial realization of the project. It is the only interlocutor of the managing authority and receives the European Development Fund (ERDF) payment for the whole project.



Lighthouse project


Projet phare

It is an exemplary project that leads the way for many projects to follow. Such projects gain a high amount of publicity.

Managing authority


Autorité de gestion

The Managing Authority is responsible for the application of the Program concerning the member states and the European Commission.

The ManagingAuthority for the INTERREG V Upper Rhine Program is the Région Grand Est.

If you are a partner of an INTERREG project, we will get you in touch with an interlocutor of the Management Authority who will answer your questions concerning the financial realization of your project and who will check the eligibility of your expenditures.

New Regional Policy (NRP)

Neue Regionalpolitik (NRP)

Nouvelle Politique Régionale Suisse (NPR) 

The participation of Switzerland in the INTERREG project interferes with the New Regional Policy. The NRP’s mission is to support innovation, capacity, and competitiveness in bordered regions. The cantons are responsible for the application of the NRP. In Switzerland the INTERREG project is examined according to the objectives of the regional policy of each canton of the INTERREG Program and respects the objectives of the regional policy of the Confederation and/or the cantons. The cantons also have the possibility to participate to INTERREG beside the NRP. In this way, the cooperation projects that don’t respect the objectives of the NRP can also benefit from cantonal assistance. The Regio Basiliensis (IKRB) acts like a regional service of coordination for INTERREG and the NRP.

Operational Program (O.P)

Operationelles Programm (O.P)

Programme opérationnel (P.O)

The operational program (O.P) is the core document for every European Structural and Investment Fund. Every region (also the cross-border and transnational regions) develops an O.P for all funds executed on their territory.

In each program, a strategy is stated for contribution to the EU program for smart, sustainable and interactive growth. Each program financed through the European Structural and Investment Fund is regulated by an O.P.

The operational program is the major document for the INTERREG V Upper Rhine Program: it incorporates the strategy that will determine the decisions for the realization of the INTERREG V Upper Rhine Program. It includes the following elements:

  • a diagnosis of the situation in the planning area
  • an elaborated strategy to answer the diagnosis during the time of the program
  • the modalities for the realization of the strategy (especially the financial means from the EU and the classification of the 12 specific objectives for the achievement of a project)

Political Pillar of the TMR

Säule Politik der TMO

Pilier Politique de la RMT

In the Political Pillar of the TMR, the decision-making bodies of the cross-border cooperation come together. Its objective is to provide a clear and transparent repartition of the missions between the different organizations as well as a common form of communication.

The four bodies of the cross-border cooperation of the region Upper Rhine are represented there: the Conference of the Upper Rhine, the Upper Rhine Council, the four Eurodistricts and the city network.



Priority axes


Axes prioritaires

Each program financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds defines priorities or priority axes based on thematic objectives suggested by the European Commission. These priorities define themes and areas of action which are the core of the program.

The operational program INTERREG Upper Rhine has 4 priority axes with different thematic objectives of the EU:

  • Priority axes A: intelligent growth – transform the Upper Rhine in a cross-border region of knowledge and innovation to be competitive on international level
  • Priority axes B: sustainable growth – promote a respectful development of the environment in territories, the economy and mobility in the cross-border area of the Upper Rhine
  • Priority axes C: inclusive growth – promote job creation in the Upper Rhine area
  • Priority axes D: territorial cohesion – promote the cross-border cooperation between government agencies and citizens in the Upper Rhine






In cross-border cooperation, a program is a financial support such as INTERREG Upper Rhine or Horizon 2020. However, to encompass a much broader definition, this term can refer to countless other things such as a work program etc.






According to the INTERREG Upper Rhine Program we distinguish the “idea of project” (a concept/wish to develop a structure form) and the project itself (the achievement of the concept thanks to European funds). We can also use the term “operation”.



Project Idea


Idée de projet

Concerning the INTERREG Upper Rhine Program, a project idea is the concept that needs further structural development. This concept is described in the request for funding and when it is completed, can be called as project.



Project partners


Partenaires de projet

They are project “leader” partners who work actively on a project.

According to the INTERREG Upper Rhine Program, we differentiate between the lead partner, the co-financing partners and the associated partners.



Project team / consortium

Projektgruppe / Konsortium

Groupe de projet / Consortium

The project team (or consortium) includes the different project partners, this means the lead partner, the Swiss project partners (as the case may be), the other co-financing partners, and the associated partners.

Regional Partner of the Science Offensive

Regionale Partner der Wissenschftsoffensive

Partenaires régionaux de l’Offensive Sciences

Regional Partners of the Science Offensive are all of the regions participating in financing the Science Offensive. The regions which contribute to it are Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and the Région Grand Est.



Regio Brasiliensis 

Regio Brasiliensis is the joint regional office of the cantons of Basel-City, Basel-Landschaft, Aargau, Solothurn and Jura responsible for cross-border cooperation.

Regio Brasiliensis is the Swiss partner for Upper Rhine cooperation. Its aim is to provide incentives from the Swiss side designed to develop the Upper Rhine area into a cohesive European border region and to actively contribute to attaining this objective.



Research in sustainable development


Recherche en développement durable

Research in sustainable development works on the execution of sustainability, sustainable development and strategies in terms of local, regional and worldwide sustainability, as well as in specific domaines (sustainable development management in companies, education etc.).

Within the scope of the INTERREG Upper Rhin Program, a sustainability cluster called “Upper Rhine Cluster for Sustainability Research” was created. Its main objective is to both reinforce scientific excellence and interactions between science and society in the Upper Rhine area.

Science barometer


Baromètre de sciences

A representative survey of the organisation Wissenschaft im Dialog (“Science in Dialogue”) identifies the attitude of the population concerning science and research annually.



Science Offensive


Offensive Sciences

The Science Offensive is an innovative and unique financing tool in Europe. Its objective is to support cross-border excellence research projects in the Trinational Metropolitan Region of the Upper Rhine.

The particularity of this funding is that the INTERREG co-financing of the laureate is automatically completed with financing from regional partners of the Science Offensive (Région Grand Est, Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate).

Furthermore, the selection of the projects is based on an examination by international scientists. The projects receiving the highest number of points by the experts are selected.



Scientific Pillar of the TMR

Säule Wissenschaft der TMO

Pilier Sciences de la RMT

The Science Pillar of the TMR is the cross-border network of all universities, higher education and research institutions as well as companies and associations elaborating research activities or scientific mediation.

Its objective is to further develop the cross-border cooperation and to complete it with new innovative projects in order to make the Upper Rhine the most dynamic scientific cross-border area by 2020.

The coordination office of the Science Pillar actively supports the members of this network and helps them to achieve their cross-border activities.



Science Transfer


Tranfert de connaissances

Science Transfer is the process of a scientist adapting and transmitting knowledge stemming from their research and to communicate it to one or more specific (non-scientist) audiences.



Short form




The submission of a short form is the first obligatory step to obtain support within the INTERREG Program. It contains the main points of application which allows advancement to a primary examination and evalutation of the project propositions.



Specific objectives

Spezifische Ziele

Objectifs spécifiques

Each program financed by the European Structural and Cohesion Fund (for example FEDER in Alsace or INTERREG) has defined its specific objectives to which the financed projects have to contribute. The specific objective describes the required development for the achievement of the project.

The specific objectives of the INTERREG program are a declinaison of an EU priority, in form of researched evolutions in a precise regional context.

The INTERREG V A Upper Rhine operational program includes 12 specific objectives. In order to gain co-financing, each project has to choose to contribute to only one specific objective. The projects have to contribute to the achievement of this specific objective.



Steering Committee (INTERREG Upper Rhin)


Comité de suivi

Composed of decision-making representatives of the program partners, the Steering Committee is the central body of the Program and is responsible for the supervision and evaluation of the INTERREG Upper Rhine Program. It is in charge of examination and project approvals which will be co-financed by EU funds as part of the Program.

Technology transfer


Transfert de technologies

The technology transfer is the process of transferring discoveries resulting from academic or private research to industries or other users for the purpose of commercializing it in form of new products or services.



Trinational Metropolitan Region Upper Rhine

Trinational Metropolregion Oberrhein

Région Métropolitaine Trinationale du Rhin supérieur

The Trinational Metropolitan Region Upper Rhine is a body of coordination from politic attendees, local authorities and fields split into 4 pillars: science, economic, politic and civil society. The area of action of the TMR includes Alsace, a part of the State of Baden-Württemberg, the south of Palatinate and five cantons of Switzerland: Northwest Basel-City, Basel-Country, Jura, Solothurn and Aargau.

The objective of the TMR is to make the Upper Rhine more innovative, to promote sustainable development and to transform it to a unique region in Europe and the world thanks to a common strategy of development.




The TriRhenaTech project regroups the universities of applied sciences of the Upper Rhine under a common governance. In order to provide cross-border visibility, a service ensures inter-university dialogue and supports scientific collaboration as well as the mobility of students and cross-border training.



Type of measure


Type d’actions

Concerning the INTERREG V Upper Rhine Program, the type of measure refers to a bundle of actions having the same objective and/or the same deliverables (example: type of measure: communication; 1st measure: internet website creation; 2nd measure: launch event etc.).

In other funding programs we also talk about “workpackages”.

Upper Rhine


Rhin supérieur

The Upper Rhine region is the Franco-Germano-Swiss border area composed of 4 territories: Alsace, northwest Switzerland, south of Palatine and the Baden region. It is an international space which offers a highly qualified workforce.



Upper Rhine Conference

Oberrheinkonferenz (ORK)

Conférence du Rhin supérieur

The Upper Rhine Conference is an institutional body for cross-border cooperation on a regional level. The Franco-Germano-Swiss Upper Rhine Conference coordinates the governmental and administrative services of Baden Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, the cantons of Basel-city, Basel-country, Aargau, Jura and Solothurn as well as government services and territorial collectivity of the region Grand Est.


The Franco-Germano-Swiss Conference of the Upper Rhine has the following bodies: the Steering Committe, the Joint Secretariat of the Upper Rhine Conference, the Coordination Committee and 12 work groups with approximately 35 groups of experts.



Upper Rhine Council


Conseil Rhénan

The Franco-Germano-Swiss Upper Rhine Council is an assembly of elected political representatives of the region. 71 representatives are members of this Council: they can be parliamentarians or other representatives (county commissioners, mayors etc.) coming from 4 regions: Alsace, north and south Baden, southeast of Palatine and northwest of Switzerland.

Work Group (INTERREG)


Groupe de travail

Composed of technical representatives of the program partners, the INTERREG Program work group assists the Steering Committee. It is in charge of examining every request for funding, which has been submitted to the Joint Secretariat and to propose to the Steering Committee an answer to each request. It examines each submitted project at least once. It also gives opinions on suggestions relating to the implementation of the Program submitted by the Managing Authority. It typically meets 6 times a year, 3 times before each meeting of the Steering Committee.