Seed Money: results of the third cross-border funding round

Seed Money

For the third consecutive year, Eucor – The European Campus has selected joint projects involving member universities in the fields of training as well as research and innovation to finance their implementation. To this end, an annual budget of € 300,000 is made available by the universities in order to promote the networking of scientists.

As in previous years, the Seed Money initial funding scheme met with keen interest: 37 applications were submitted in response to the 2019 call. Experts from the five member universities took part in the evaluation commissions to select the eight projects selected this year, including two in the “Training” category and six in the “Research and Innovation” category.

Here are the projects that will be funded by Seed Money in 2020.

Category “Training”

  • Bachelor Études européennes transfrontalières

Lead: Université de Strasbourg
Funding: 37,000 €
Partners: Universität Basel, Universität Freiburg, Hochschule für Verwaltung Kehl
Description: This project aims to set up a trilingual bachelor’s degree (French, German, English) with the title: Grenzüberschreitende Europastudien in einer globalen Welt / Études européennes transfrontalieres dans un monde global / European cross-border Studies in a global world allowing French, German and Swiss students to pursue an integrated curriculum in European multidisciplinary studies comprising 180 ECTS over 3 years of study. The content will focus on “Europe from local to global”, with two specific anchors: local / cross-border on the one hand and European / global on the other hand. Students will spend one year in each of the partner universities.

  • Eucor – Languages

Lead: Université de Strasbourg
Funding: 24,000 €
Partners: Universität Basel, Universität Freiburg, Université de Haute-Alsace
Description: The aim of Eucor – Languages is to establish working relationships between the modern languages departments of the four members of Eucor – The European Campus where degrees in modern languages and philology of foreign languages exist: Basel, Freiburg, Mulhouse and Strasbourg. The project provides for regular meetings between departments (staff and students) and a coordinator to facilitate contacts.

Category “Research and Innovation”:

1. In the field of Physical Sciences & Engineering

  • Quantum Machine Learning

Lead: Université de Strasbourg
Funding: 30,000 €
Partners: Universität Basel, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
Description: “Quantum machine learning” sits at the interface of quantum mechanics and machine learning, exploring how results and techniques from one field can be used to solve the problems of the other. The project aims at establishing a close-knit community of students and researchers with international visibility and organising an Eucor-wide workshop on “Quantum Machine Learning” with the intention to prepare coordinated research funding applications across these fields in 2020/21.

  • C4-PON: Establishment of a Cross-border Competence Center for the Characterization of (micro) Pollutants and their (in)organic Nanovectors around decommissioning sites: Application to the Grand Canal of Alsace and the Old Rhine (Fessenheim site, Alsace)

Lead: Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
Funding: 38,000 €
Partners: Université de Strasbourg, Université de Haute-Alsace
Description: The project focuses on the problem of notably metallic micro pollutants in the context of the decommissioning of nuclear facilities. At the Fessenheim site, extensive analyses will be performed associated with the assessment of the potential mobility of these micro pollutants in the ecosphere. As part of the project, a comprehensive methodology – transferable to various industrial places and scenarios – will be developed. The partners will set up a cross-border competence center in the frame of Eucor – European Campus, dealing with respective environmental analyses and their assessment.

2. In the field of Life Sciences

  • Exploiting the CXCR4-CD44 axis for cancer treatment

Lead: Université de Strasbourg
Funding: 51,000 €
Partners: Universität Basel, Universität Freiburg, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
Description: In order to contribute to developing innovative and complementary approaches to fight against cancer, the partners aim at understanding how CXCR4 signalling complexes form and how this impacts cytotoxic lymphocytes (CTL) behaviour by using proteomics, in vivo targeting and computational modelling. As CXCR4 plays an important role in CTL reactivation, more insight about its regulation in space and time may provide novel information with therapeutic potential for improving immune checkpoint therapy (ICT).

  • Using artificial intelligence to identify biomarkers for psychiatric disorders

Lead: Universität Freiburg
Funding: 42,000 €
Partners: Université de Strasbourg, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
Description: Aim of the project is to identify objective physiological markers for Psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia spectrum disorder (SSD) and Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Using electroencephalogram and artificial intelligence, the partners aim to optimize the given experimental paradigms to measure low-level visual biomarkers for SSD and ASD.

3. In the field of Social Sciences & Humanities

  • Food democracy and meta-organizations

Lead: Université de Haute-Alsace
Funding: 43,000 €
Partners: Universität Basel, Universität Freiburg, Université de Strasbourg, Ministère de l’Agriculture, Rhenamap
Description: The project aims to create a consortium of 13 researchers from four Eucor universities who are already collaborating on the theme of food democracy and of meta-organisations. The objective of the consortium is the construction of alternative agro-food models. They develop complementary approaches in the disciplines of sociology, economics, management, geography and philosophy.

  • Making Infrastructure Global? Design and Governance of Infrastructural Expansion in the Global South

Lead: Universität Freiburg
Funding: 35,000 €
Partner: Universität Basel
Description: The researchers are addressing the issue of contemporary infrastructure projects that often look alike, produced as they are by planning agencies that operate across the world in public-private partnerships. Based on three cases of energy infrastructure projects in East Africa, North Africa and Latin America, this project analyses the contested power dynamics triggered by attempts at making infrastructure global. The transregional approach includes the establishment of a cross-border research platform between Basel and Freiburg.

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