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Researching in the Border Triangle

The regional foundation ‘Regio-Stiftung’ funds projects related to Basel, Freiburg and Strasbourg

Freiburg, Jun 30, 2017

Researching in the Border Triangle

Fotos: LianeM/Fotolia, Thomas Kunz, Boris Stroujko/Fotolia

They provide funding to students for international exchanges and research work, support scientists in their projects and give instructors the opportunity to integrate new ideas into their seminars and lectures: The 51 foundations at the University of Freiburg reflect the distinctive character of their respective founders. Sarah Schwarzkopf presents several of the foundations in her series.

Strengthening regional cohesion: Strasbourg (left), Freiburg (right) and Basel (below).
Photos: LianeM/Fotolia, Thomas Kunz, Boris Stroujko/Fotolia

To support cohesion in the border triangle: that is the main goal of the Regio Stiftung. It is a part of the endowment fund at the University of Freiburg and is designed for students in all fields of study.

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Stoeckle started the foundation in 1981. The moral theologian and Benedictine from Bavaria was the rector of the University of Freiburg at the time. He wanted to support scientific projects at his university that had some kind of connection with the Basel-Freiburg-Strasbourg region. “The basis back then was 60,000 German marks, a rather low sum that wouldn’t be appropriate in this day and age for starting a foundation,” explains Andreas Lang, Head of the Department of Endowment and Estate Taxes at the University of Freiburg.

Two Conditions

The research work that is supported can either deal with a certain aspect of the region or simply be conducted in cooperation with other universities in the border triangle. The only two conditions are that the funded project has a scientific purpose and a “regional idea’ behind it. Every kind of financial support for scientific efforts is possible, spanning from subsidizing printing costs to financing travel.

“There are certainly numerous projects with a regional theme at the University of Freiburg. We just have to find them,” explains Lang. People can submit recommendations at the coordinating International Office. With support of the office, the university rector makes the final decision as to which application receives funding from the foundation.

“In the past few years the International Office has purposefully accumulated the foundation’s revenues as there wasn’t enough funding for larger projects. This year we expect to receive an application, most likely in cooperation with EUCOR, but we don’t have the details on that yet,” reports Jasmin Bernhard from the foundation’s administrative office at the university. In 2017 the Regio Stiftung had a distribution of around 1,900 Euros that will flow back into the foundation’s savings from the past years.


Foundations at the University of Freiburg

The 51 foundations at the University of Freiburg go back in part to the late Middle Ages. The 17 oldest make up the United Academic Endowment Holding. The younger ones, with the exception of three, belong to the endowment fund. The University receives its basic capital in the form of material resources or monies that are then invested. It makes an annual distribution of two thirds from every foundation. The remaining third gets reinvested to balance out inflation. The donors determine who is eligible to apply for funding. As a rule, need goes before achievement. The donors have also defined the individual purpose of their foundation in their statutes.

An Overview of all Foundations