The Upper Rhine has a dense scientific landscape whose excellence is recognised far beyond the regional borders. In order to strengthen and support the cooperation of academic and research stakeholders in the Upper Rhine Trinational Metropolitan Region for the benefit of innovation and regional development, the partners of the Science Pillar of the TMO have developed a funding instrument that is unique in Europe: the Science Offensive.
The Science Offensive is a joint initiative of the states of Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate, the Région Grand Est and the Interreg Upper Rhine Programme to promote excellent cross-border projects in the field of science and innovation. Following a selection procedure that focuses on the scientific quality and innovation potential of the projects, the laureates are thus co-financed by ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) funds, supplemented by co-financing via the regional partners.
Within the framework of the science offensive, the scientific actors and their partners are also provided with a substantial offer of support. Through thematic workshops, networking events or even training measures, the coordination office of the Science Pillar provides information about the initiative and offers direct support to the actors from research and innovation in the development of their project idea, the preparation of funding applications and the implementation and exploitation of their projects.
Since the launch of the “Science Offensive”, 21 project consortia involving 26 scientific institutions have been supported with 11.6 million euros in EU funding and 5 million euros in additional funding from the regional partners within the framework of 3 project calls. In total, more than 21 million euros were invested in research and innovation in the Upper Rhine, which underlines the effectiveness of this funding instrument.
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The Science Offensive in the period 2021-2027
Based on its success, the initiative is to be continued for the period 2021-2027, for which two calls for projects are planned. Building on the dynamism of cross-border scientific cooperation, the co-financing partners of the Science Offensive now want to support the transfer and exploitation of the results of public research and strengthen the positive effect of scientific findings on businesses and society, for the benefit of the economic, social and ecological development of the Upper Rhine Trinational Metropolitan Region.
The fourth call for projects of the Science Offensive will be published in the first quarter of 2023. It is intended to support cross-border projects for knowledge and technology transfer in the innovation topics selected in the Operational Programme of the Interreg VI Upper Rhine Programme, which are in line with the innovation strategies of the partner regions. This call is aimed in particular at scientific and transfer institutions in the Upper Rhine region, but also at corresponding actors in the whole Région Grand Est, the Länder of Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate. The projects (French and German partners) will receive 75% funding (50% Interreg, 25% via the regional partners). Potential partners from Northwest Switzerland can apply for Swiss funding, e.g. at federal or cantonal level.
As soon as the call for projects is published on the website of the Interreg Upper Rhine Programme, information events will be organised for the target audience at the most important university sites on the Upper Rhine. The project consortia will be offered support in the preparation of their project proposals.
The procedure for selecting and evaluating projects funded under the Science Offensive is composed of two stages:
- The submission of a short form (available when the call for projects is published) by the project leader to the Interreg programme.
The elements of the short form are evaluated in parallel by the Interreg Programme Secretariat and independent evaluators to ensure the quality of the selected knowledge and technology transfer projects.
- The consortia of projects selected after this first phase will be invited to submit a full funding application.
The whole process (publication, submission, evaluation) until the formal approval of the projects will take 12 months. The exact timetable will be announced when the call for projects is published.
– Visit the website of the Interreg VI Upper Rhine programme
– You would like to develop a project idea and are looking for partners in the Upper Rhine?
- Take a look at the interactive map showing the players involved in knowledge and technology transfer in the cross-border region.
- Contact the team at the coordination office directly, who will guide you in your search for relevant partners.
– To receive the latest information on the Science Offensive and cross-border opportunities in research, development and innovation, subscribe to the Science Pillar newsletter.