FH Aachen, Gebäudedetail mit Schriftzug
Photo: Arnd Gottschalk, FH Aachen

Competence for Europe

Research-intensive, close to the border, well networked with SMEs – the FH Aachen has great potential to participate in EU projects. Unfortunately, far too little use is made of this yet. This strategy is meant to change this.

Initial situation

Research-intensive, close to the border, internationally positioned, well networked with industry in the Euroregion, and equipped with the trendsetting research topics Industry 4.0, mobility, and energy – the FH Aachen has great potential to participate in EU projects, now and in the future. At the same time, recent analyses of participation numbers indicate that the full potential has not been exploited yet.

According to SWOT Analysis, the main barriers to EU participation are:

  • the high teaching load of professors, in combination with a missing academic middle level and a funding gap in the application phase
  • the lack of internal and external European identity
  • insufficient EU-wide networking

In addition to being close to the border, the Aachen location is characterised by the incomplete structural change towards a modern knowledge and technology region. The FH Aachen wants to become the first point of contact for the large number of SMEs that have located here. However, as of yet, cross-border SME contacts have not been further developed in a systematic manner towards European cooperation projects.


With the concept presented here, the FH Aachen wants to take the decisive leap forward from bilateral cross-border cooperation towards international joint research, with the objective of making optimal use of the university’s big thematic and structural potential.

In concrete terms, this means that, with the strategy presented here, the FH Aachen has set the following objectives:

  1. Through targeted support of researchers during the application phase, both the participation rates and the success rate of EU applications are to be markedly increased in the area of the FH future topics of Industry 4.0, mobility, and energy.
  2. The “FH Aachen” brand is to be built at a European level, visibility and networking of the university are to be increased. To this end, the participation of researchers in networking events in Brussels and their involvement in technology platforms etc. are to be promoted.
  3. Euroregional advantages of the FH Aachen should pay off and result in successful EU applications. To this end, existing bilateral SME contacts are to be specifically developed towards European joint research.
  4. The increase in EU competence of the FH Aachen administration is also an objective.


Objective 1: Increase in participation rates and the success rate of EU projects in the area of FH future topics

  • Financial support for the application. In order to increase the quality of applications, funds are to be provided for internal FH “application writers”.
  • Customised support from the EU-Focus-Team. Researchers that are already active within the EU are to exchange information a regular basis.
  • Introductory lectures on the research framework programmes are to motivate researchers lacking EU experience to participate in EU projects.

Objective 2: Building the European “FH Aachen” brand

  • Improved forwarding of information on EU events in Brussels as well as granting travel allowances
  • Development of a communication strategy for successful EU projects, so that they increasingly become the focus of public attention.

Objective 3: Euroregional advantages of the FH Aachen have to pay off and result in successful EU applications

  • Cataloguing, and systematic reappraisal of, all existing SME contacts as well as the formation of SME/researcher-tandems with the objective of including each other in EU applications.
  • SME-EU-training at the FH Aachen.

Objective 4: Increase in EU competence of the FH Aachen administration

  • Regular training of administrative staff
  • Process analysis/-optimisation of approved EU projects, in order to strive for lead management in the medium term.


2018-7-1 to 2022-6-30

Contact Persons

Britta Eilmann, Fachhochschule Aachen, Porträt

Britta Eilmann

+49 241 6009-51020

Maya Schulte Mitarbeiterin FH Aachen, Porträt

Maya Schulte
Projektmanagerin EU-Strategie-FH

+49 241 6009-51026