The cooperation between Bavaria and Québec

The fact that two regions, separated by 6,000 km and a language barrier, decided to work together so closely is due to many similarities:

  • Bavaria and Quebec see a particular importance in defending their own culture and identity, which are fundamental to their respective political identities
  • Bavaria and Quebec share a relatively recent Catholic and rural past, yet both regions took advantage of their economic structures, which favour the growth of small and medium-size companies, in order to turn into high-tech centres
  • both regions see a particular importance in the development of renewable energies – solar and wind in Bavaria, hydroelectric in Quebec
  • Bavaria’s population and culture, just as Quebec’s, are renowned for their warmth and friendliness

The diversity of the bilateral collaboration after 25 years is proof of the close friendship that both regions have developed for one another over the years. Be it between social institutions like the Red Cross in Bavaria and in Quebec, or between student bodies like HFF München and L’INIS; from technological exchanges and common research projects in various industrial branches to active political contacts and exchanges between Bavaria’s Landtag and Québec’s National Assembly: the bilateral relationships take all sorts of forms and can hardly be summed up. 

A multi-faceted collaboration over more than 25 years

Political relationships

In 1989, after a few years of bilateral relations, Bavaria's Minister-President Max Streibl and Quebec's Premier Robert Bourassa signed a cooperation agreement in Munich, thus officializing the framework of the existing relationship. This agreement aimed at promoting commercial, scientific, technological and cultural exchanges between the two regions.

The partnership developed in a very dynamic manner and to date, over 600 successful projects have been carried out. The success of Bavaria-Quebec relations is mainly due to a common political will, as well as to the friendship and trust that developed over the years of working together.

Cooperation projects are decided upon once every two years, at bilateral meetings held alternatively in each region. Each government supports common initiatives with financial and logistical means, respecting the principle of reciprocity.

Economic partnership

Bavaria and Quebec boast similar economic interests and developments. Both regions are high-tech locations of international repute, thanks to the efficient concentration and collaboration of actors within their industrial sectors. Specific, branch-related, government-supported clusters bring together SMEs, multinationals, research institutes, technical and higher education centres, engineering schools and professional associations, creating the settings for synergies and an integrated development approach, thus fostering growth and innovation. 

The long standing friendship and collaboration in economic development and technological transfer between Bavaria and Quebec has led to the establishment of several fruitful partnerships, sometimes spanning up to 10 years: between MTU and Pratt & Whitney; between IABG and Bombardier; between bavAIRia and AeroMontreal as well as between LBC and CRIAQ – just to name a few from the aerospace sector.

Further technological issues relating to mutually beneficial economic developments are also at the core of the Bavaria-Quebec relations: Umweltcluster Bayern and Écotech Québec are aiming at common projects in the green tech field; Fraunhofer ISC Würzburg and IREQ are working together over battery life enhancement; Zentrum Digitalisierung.Bayern and IVADO are establishing contacts in the AI and big data sectors. The audiovisual niches (video games, post-production, special effects, etc.) are a promising industry for closer collaborations between the Montreal hub and the Bavarian talent platform.

Cooperation in R&D

The Bavarian Office for Research Coordination (Dr. Florence Gauzy), helps scientists and graduate students from higher education institutions in Bavaria, and fosters research collaboration – as opposed to individual research – based on a reciprocity principle.

The program is organized in three stages:

  • networking
  • support during funding application process
  • multilateral expansion

The program also supports scientists logistically and administratively in their applications for third-party financial support (German Research Fund (DFG), European Union, international programs).

Projects large and small are welcome and will be examined with the same attention, regardless of their field. The participation of companies is always desirable. Applications may be submitted at any time and will be examined in order of receipt.

Cooperation projects are decided upon once every two years, at bilateral meetings held alternatively in each region. Each government supports common initiatives with financial and logistical means, respecting the principle of reciprocity. 

Support to student mobility and exchanges

The Bavaria-Quebec cooperation has seen several exchange programs and funding opportunities set up over the course of its existence. These programs are most often managed by third parties directly involved in the local education system on both sides, be they universities or dedicated student exchange bureaus. 

Foreign Language Teaching Assistants Program

As part of its cooperation with the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (German Teaching Exchange Services Office), the Quebec Ministry of Education offers a Foreign Language Teaching Assistants Program (second or third language) to Quebec students wishing to work in Germany, where they can support Fernch classes.

German schools wishing to welcome a French Teaching Assistant from Quebec through this program can apply here. German students can also take advantage of the reciprocal program to become Teaching Assistants in Quebec.

Bavaria-Quebec School Exchange Program

In cooperation with the Bayerischer Jugendring (BJR - Association for Bavarian Youth), the Quebec Ministry of Education offers pupils from Grades 9 and 10 the opportunity to spend 3 months in Germany as exchange partners with pupils from 9th and 10th year Gymnasium, who then come spend 3 months in Quebec. The program is managed by the BJR in Bavaria and Éducation internationale in Québec (Échanges Azimut) and spans over 6 months. 

Quebec pupils interested in this opportunity should contact Échanges Azimut. For German students interested in the spending time in Quebec, the gateway is the BJR.

Premier's Scholarships

In order to strengthen and foster links and exchanges between universities and students of Bavaria and of Quebec, the Quebec Ministry of International Relations offers 2 scholarships "Bourse du premier ministre Québec-Bavière". The grants are 5000$ each and are awarded for short-term stays in Bavaria (4-12 weeks) to Quebec undergraduate and graduate students who wish to carry on their studies or take on research endeavours. More detailed information is available on the website of the Education Ministry.

Bavarian students may on their side apply for a Stipendium des Ministerpräsidenten. Awarded yearly to between 3 and 5 students, they support with a total amount of 1500 euros each, for students to spend 4 to 12 weeks in Quebec in order to write their graduation paper on a Quebec-specific issue. More information should be requested with Dr. Sabine Schwarze, Chair of the Romanic Languages Department at Universität Augsburg (tel. +49 (0) 821 598 2740). The Institut für Kanada Studien website also lists further scholarship opportunities for Canada.

Mobility opportunities for young professionals

Since 2013, a cooperation agreement between the Bavarian State Chancellery and LOJIQ facilitates young professionals' exchanges. Through this agreement, Bavaria became one of LOJIQ’s target regions where students or young professionals can apply to internships in Bavaria, or to financial support to complete a professional project there. This is aimed at 18 to 35 year-olds. More information can be requested with LOJIQ.

Cultural relations

The Bavaria-Quebec cooperation has seen several exchange programs and funding opportunities set up over the course of its existence. These programs are most often managed by local cultural institutions, e.g. third parties directly involved in the local cultural landscape. Some of them span over several years or are still ongoing, some are one-time projects. 

Cooperation projects are decided upon once every two years, at bilateral meetings held alternatively in each region. Each government supports common initiatives with financial and logistical means, respecting the principle of reciprocity.

A glance at some Bavaria-Quebec projects

Milestones of the Bavaria-Quebec partnership

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