Further funding programmes for cross-border cooperation
There are numerous funding opportunities for cross-border projects in the Upper Rhine region. Because it can be difficult to keep track of all the different programmes, criteria, expenses eligible for funding, potential partners and deadlines for applications, we have prepared the following overview. On this page, you can find the most important funding programmes and sources of external, third-party funding for binational and trinational projects in research and academics in Germany, France and Switzerland. The selection of programmes is limited to collaborations between universities and science and research institutions. The funding instruments of the Eucor member universities can be found on a separate page.
Possibilities for funding trinational projects in the Eucor area
With the Seed Money funding programme, Eucor works to make it possible for teachers and researchers from the member universities to initiate new collaborations and cross-border projects. In an annual call with an overall budget of 300,000 euros, projects can receive up to 60,000 euros in financial support over a maximum period of two years. Funding is granted to projects in teaching, research, innovation and transfer.
The Interreg programmes are an instrument of the European Union for implementing its Cohesion Policy. The goal of the Interreg A Upper Rhine Programme (Interreg A stands for cross-border cooperation) is to support collaboration between Germany, France and Switzerland. For the funding period of 2021 to 2027, Interreg Upper Rhine has 125 million euros at its disposal. These funds from the European Union make it possible to co-finance various kinds of projects by up to 50%. There are two kinds of projects in the cooperation between universities and science and research institutions:
So-called “classic” projects, which have a budget between 100,000 and 5,000,000 euros and are funded for a duration of maximum 36 months and are chosen through an ongoing call for proposals that is updated annually.
“Selected” projects with a budget of less than 100,000 euros. The calls for these projects are only issued for specific topics.
Because Switzerland is not a member of the EU, it cannot benefit directly from the European funding of the Interreg Programme. In order for Swiss actors to participate in the programme nonetheless, the Federal Government of Switzerland and the cantons involved in the programme allocate funds as part of the New Regional Policy (NRP). Due to this arrangement, a Swiss institution may not be responsible for an Interreg project, but it can be a project partner. Further information about the participation of Switzerland in the Interreg Upper Rhine Programme can be found here.
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 for the promotion of excellent cross-border projects in science, research and innovation. Projects can be co-financed by up to 75% of the overall budget (50 % from Interreg and 25 % from the regional partners). Potential partners from northwest Switzerland can apply for funding on the federal or cantonal level.
For a project to be eligible for funding, its consortium must consist of at least one German and one French project partner as well as an associated partner who benefits from the transfer. Associate partners may be non-university institutions that do not receive funding but are the beneficiaries of the transfer as part of the project. The overall financial volume of the project can be between 100,000 and 1,000,000 euros. The funding period can be for 24 months, and can be extended to up to 36 months.
Funding for preparatory meetings
The Franco-German University (FGU) provides financial support for the preparation of new projects for French-German degree programmes and/or the cooperation of young researchers. The funding for this is a maximum of 2,500 euros and is limited to one application per year and per intended collaboration. This is a permanent call for proposals. Applications must be submitted latest one month before the beginning of the meetings.
Funding instruments for binational research projects
The French National Research Agency (ANR), the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) all have bilateral agreements that enable the funding of binational research projects – i.e. between France and Germany, France and Switzerland and Switzerland and Germany. A single application must be submitted to one of the funding agencies for each project.
For German-French projects – in other words, projects that apply for funding from the ANR in France and the DFG in Germany – the application procedure is based on the so-called lead agency principle. This means that the two agencies take turns issuing calls for proposals and evaluating applications. In odd years, the application must be submitted to the ANR. In even years, the call for projects is organised by the DFG. It is important to note that, in the case of an application to the ANR, preregistration is required latest by November of the year prior to submitting the application. The joint funding period of ANR-DFG projects can be up to 36 months.
It should be noted that the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MESRI) also issue calls for projects in the area of artificial intelligence.
The procedure for French-Swiss projects is similar to German-French projects in that the ANR and the SNSF also apply the lead agency principle. The applications are processed by the ANR in odd years and by the SNSF in even years.
A permanent call is in place for collaboration proposals between Germany and Switzerland for which there is no application deadline. Applications for funding must be submitted either to the DFG or the SNSF, after which each agency evaluates the project in a so-called weave process, which usually takes more than six months. The funding period is for a maximum of 36 months.
Horizon Europe is a funding programme of the European Union for research and innovation. It continues where the Horizon 2020 programme left off and covers the period from 2021 to 2027 with an overall budget of 95 billion euros. The programme consists of various calls for proposals with different goals and procedures. The first pillar called Excellent Science specifically offers funding opportunities for European research projects.