November 8, 2019
The prize, which was awarded for the first time this year, was given in recognition of projects based on a solid concept which both support and promote the notion of European unity.
Professor Franz Quint, Vice-President for Research, Cooperation and Quality Management at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, who lead the ProKaTim (Pro Karlsruhe Timișoara//Signal Processing Karlsruhe Timișoara) project, was selected as the first winner of the award. At the award ceremony, which took place on November 5 at the European School Karlsruhe, Professor Quint received a cash prize of €2,000. This money will flow back into the project, which is his brainchild.
During the ceremony Professor Quint said that the prize was a great honor for him and that he was proud his project made a contribution to European unity. The project aims to give students at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences and the Politehnica University of Timișoara, Romania, who are unable or unwilling to take part in a semester abroad, the opportunity to cooperate on a practical project that transcends university and international boundaries. This way, the students can gain valuable intercultural experience at an early stage. Plus, they learn to show sensitivity to and respect for other mindsets than their own as well as to develop their capacity for teamwork. As a result, cooperation between the universities in the twin towns will be intensified in the long term and, thanks to the involvement of the majority of students, be put on a firmer footing.
The independent European award panel was made up of renowned representatives of the region. “The European dimension is very important for the TechnologieRegion Karlsruhe,” explained Jochen Ehlgötz, chairman of the award panel and CEO of TechnologieRegion Karlsruhe GmbH. “This region is making a difference for Europe”, he emphasized, referring to the collaborative efforts of international institutions and players on the ground to promote the region, demonstrate its capacity for innovation and market it internationally.
The laudatory speech for Professor Quint was delivered by none other than Consul General Radu-Dumitru Florea, from the Romanian General Consulate in Stuttgart, who also provided some insight into the successful cooperation the students of Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences and the Politehnica University of Timișoara have enjoyed thanks to the ProKaTim project.
“Now is the right time for a European Prize,” said Bernd Bechthold, CEO of the b.i.g. Group, in his capacity as President of the European Prize, “as we have to set an example for Europe.” Isabel Gotovac, from SWR radio, hosted the evening’s award ceremony, her professional and entertaining individual interviews delving deeper into the topic of Europe. Daniel Gassner, Principal of the European School Karlsruhe, welcomed the international guests, thanked everyone who had worked to support the European Prize, and explained how European ideals and values are realized in multicultural educational institutions. EU Commissioner Günter H. Oettinger is the patron of the Karlsruhe European Prize.