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On Friday, 17 May 2019, the first Franco-German University Forum took place on our production site in Blieskastel, Germany. More than 50 invited guests from universities, colleges, institutions and representatives of politics from the border region were present. The event was created to promote cross-border cooperation in the region and to initiate long-term joint projects in the field of research and innovation.
During the forum was discussed what the next steps could be for successful cross-border cooperation. Among the participants were representatives from Saarland University, the universities of Kaiserslautern and Darmstadt, University of applied sciences Saarland, the Saarland chamber of commerce and industry (IHK Saarland), RWTH Aachen University, but also from the Université de Lorraine in the French border region.
The programme included a keynote speech by Ammar Alkassar (representative of the Saarland state government for strategy and innovation) on Franco-German cooperation and a discourse by Marc Helfter (Disruptive Innovation Director) on the innovation strategy of Hager Group. Dr. Hilko Hoffmann from the German Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence presented about the cooperation between his institute and Hager Group. Finally, there was a discussion with Prof. Dr. Patrick Barthel from the Université de Lorraine and the start-up centre BLIIIDA from Metz about opportunities for Franco-German cooperation.
Johannes Hauck, from the Corporate Strategy Department, commented: "In order to initiate cooperation and joint research, contacts and a network must first be established. The long-term goal of such events is to promote innovation and initiate concrete cross-border projects in cooperation with German and French companies, universities, colleges and institutes".