Research to Business
KTUR – Knowledge Transfer Upper Rhine: since 2019, transfer actors, universities and companies from the trinational Upper Rhine region have been working together in a joint project to intensify knowledge and technology transfer (KTT). (Image: Leonid Andronov /

The EU project KTUR enters final spurt

Since fall 2019, the EU project "Knowledge Transfer Upper Rhine" (KTUR) has been driving knowledge and technology transfer in the trinational Upper Rhine region. On October 12, 2021, the KTUR project partners met in Freiburg (Germany) to launch the final year of the project. Time for an interim balance – and a look into the future!

Network of transfer offices

In the last months, the twelve partner universities have intensified the cooperation between their transfer offices through regular exchanges on topics related to knowledge and technology transfer. The focus of the participants from the three countries is still on getting to know each other personally. To this end, a first staff exchange is taking place this fall: Two staff members from the Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Management departments at KIT will visit the team of SATT Conectus, the transfer office for the universities of Strasbourg and Haute-Alsace.

Tailored continuous education offer

After a phase of detailed analysis and needs assessment, the KTUR partners have developed a first cross-border continuous education offer. In a six-day training course with lecturers from France and Germany, employees of companies in the Upper Rhine region will be able to attend a seminar on the topic of "Machine Learning" starting in spring 2022.  Participants will learn the theoretical basis and, in a second step, develop an understanding of deep learning and data visualization.

The KTUR Start-up Talks are entering their second season. On November 18, two female founders will answer questions about social entrepreneurship. (Image: KTUR)

Support for start-ups in the Upper Rhine region

Since the beginning of the project, various trinational formats have been introduced in the area of start-ups: In regular "Lunch Talks", for example, doctoral students, students and people interested in founding a company can exchange ideas with start-ups in the Upper Rhine region, or get to know a method for concretizing their business ideas in a workshop on "Design Thinking". A highlight in August was the trinational Summer School on Entrepreneurship: 30 students from eight partner universities came together for an intensive working week in Freiburg, Basel and Strasbourg. The format proved very popular and a second Summer School is already planned for 2022. Additionally, the project group is working on launching a new series of events that will bring together entrepreneurs and creatives.

The participants of the KTUR Summer School 2021. During one week, the students from three partner countries explored the major aspects of entrepreneurship. (Image: University of Freiburg)

KTUR Entry Point

During the KTUR project meeting in October 2021, the team presented a first prototype of a digital information and exchange platform for knowledge and technology transfer in the Upper Rhine region. This "Single Entry Point" will highlight the excellence and uniqueness of the partner universities in the Upper Rhine valley, provide easy access to cooperation opportunities and increase the visibility of existing and future collaborations. The online platform will offer further functions for the different target groups, such as a calendar of events, available continuing education courses and further offers of the KTUR network as well as guidelines for trinational start-ups. After an initial "closed" test phase, the user base will be expanded for an open beta version in spring 2022.

Save the date: Innovation Day Upper Rhine

In addition to smaller transfer events for industrial partners, a major focus in spring 2022 will be the organization and preparation of the "Innovation Day Upper Rhine". This major transnational event on innovation will take place on April 12, 2022 in Strasbourg and will address a broad audience, ranging from students and research teams to start-ups and company representatives, with a mixed offer of plenary sessions and workshops. The aim of the Innovation Day is to bring research and innovation from the Upper Rhine region closer to the public and to create opportunities for networking and exchange in order to initiate new transfer projects.

Within the framework of the first trinational Innovation Day on the Upper Rhine, the partners of the KTUR project invite to develop the knowledge and technology transfer between Germany, Switzerland and France. (Image: KTUR)

Plenty accomplished, still more to come!

As a conclusion, the implementation of the KTUR project measures has been very successful so far: The exchange between industry and science has been stimulated and the first foundations have been laid for a long-term network in the Upper Rhine region. The transfer institutions and partners involved are already actively discussing how the project could be continued after the end of its term in September 2022. Until then, all participants will continue to work with commitment on various offers and activities. You don't want to miss anything? Then sign up for the KTUR newsletter!



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