The Upper Rhine Cluster for Sustainability Research (URCforSR) is a tri-national network in which all EUCOR universities (Basel, Freiburg, Karlsruhe, Mulhouse and Strasbourg) as well as other higher education and research institutions from the Upper Rhine region cooperate in an interdisciplinary way with the private sector in the field of sustainability research. The overarching goal of the cluster is to develop interdisciplinary and cross-border research and innovation projects to accelerate the transformation to sustainability across sectors and levels of governance in the Upper Rhine region. The University of Freiburg is currently leading this network. Within the framework of the different projects, URCforSR has built partnerships with a broad range of territorial actors (industry, policy-makers, civil society organizations).
The cluster’s projects focus mainly on the topic of sustainable energy systems touching upon the areas of renewable energy potential, mobility, energy storage, and demand management (smart grids and meters). Currently, the URCforSR is entrusted with the task of developing, a concept for the sustainable development of the Fessenheim area as an innovative and low carbon region, in the context of a feasibility study. Four French-German competence groups have been established in the fields of green batteries and battery recycling (circular economy), hydrogen and smart grids. The aim is to develop concrete pilot projects that can be implemented in the Fessenheim area. A fourth group focuses on the social, legal and environmental challenges related to these pilot projects. By the end of 2021, the URCforSR will develop a roadmap for the realization and financing of the pilot projects.
More information can be found on the URCforSR website: www.sustainability-upperrhine.info
About the project funding: The cluster was initiated in January 2016 and was initially funded by the INTERREG Upper Rhine V Programme until December 2018. The University of Freiburg took over the funding from January 2019 to December 2020. Currently, the feasibility study project allows for the further funding of the cluster. It is funded by the French state, the Region Grand Est, the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Construction and Territory, and the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts of Baden-Württemberg.