The major social challenges of our time do not stop at national or system borders. We are convinced that the best results come from the interaction of different perspectives. It is precisely innovative forms of collaboration between science and society that are needed in order to provide the best possible answers to social challenges.
The Lake Constance Arts & Sciences Association supports and facilitates cooperation between 25 higher education institutions around Lake Constance, across Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. World-leading research universities, universities of applied sciences, teacher training colleges, as well as music and art academies work together under our auspices, creating mutual synergies from their individual strengths and perspectives.
We are organized in the form of a European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) and supported by the International Lake Constance Conference, an organization in which the states, provinces and cantons bordering Lake Constance in Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria and Switzerland have joined forces. We are also supported by Interreg Alpenrhein-Bodensee-Hochrhein and the Swiss Canton Thurgau. Interreg is a series of programs for the cohesion between regions in and out of the European Union.
We develop innovative solutions for the region in transnational cooperation with industry and other non-academic partners. Close collaboration in these projects leads to long-term partnerships: we see our diverse approaches as a strength as we learn from one another and exploit new opportunities in knowledge transfer.
Social impact is at the centre of all our projects; be it in the form of innovative products and services, new societal alliances or evidence-based policy advice. To this purpose, our researchers work together with companies, policymakers and civil society. All partners are united in their understanding that the greatest challenges do not stop at state borders or system boundaries, and that the best results arise in collaboration between diverse stakeholders.
Our projects span national borders as well as types of higher education institutions. Seventy-one projects in research, teaching and innovation were funded between 2008 and 2019. Cooperation between research and real-world application is particularly intensive in our thematically focussed innovation clusters, the Labs.
In addition, we seek to enable opportunities for potential. For example: we network experts across the higher education landscape in working groups, we initiate joint strategic projects through personnel recruitment, and we have launched a think tank in which scientists and non-academic stakeholders discuss joint solutions to future challenges.
Academic research, analysis and testing – our projects are much more than this. Our central focus is on tangible results developed in and for the Four-country region. For this reason, our impact reaches far wider than scientific publications, presentations and media reports. Paramount are the innovations that arise in the projects: from software supported solutions in dementia patient care, to networked production processes in mechanical engineering, to new technology in material processing. We support a broad spectrum of projects, such as the development of new forms of participation in policymaking and civil society or the improvement of writing skills amongst students in vocational training.
These successful real-world applications of our projects contribute to fact-based decision-making in policy, industry and society.