ECCIR’s yearly trips to Europe were always a highlight. Each year from 2012 – 2019, the ECCIR took a group of 15-20 Albertan companies to Europe to meet potential partners, and to learn about the places they may one day do business. It was always a source of pleasure and pride to see useful connections made and project ideas develop. Over the years, Bernd and the ECCIR staff had the opportunity to accompany over 80 different Albertan companies to Europe, where they had the chance to interact with hundreds of European companies and research institutes. Of course, these trips involved almost as much fun as they did business, and lasting friendships were created between the Albertan participants. Whether it was road trips across Germany, dinners out with company representatives, or meetings with government officials, Bernd’s deep knowledge and amazing sense of humor made each trip both fun and successful.
In addition to running the Alberta-Europe Technology Collaboration Fund and organizing the various events that supported it, ECCIR organized multiple international symposia around the topics of Entrepreneurship, E-Health, and Artificial Intelligence, together with the University of Alberta, the German Center for Innovation and Research in New York, and numerous other local and international partners. These events all proved to be exciting and challenging adventures.
ECCIR also hosted numerous cultural events, such as the exhibition “Canada and Germany: Partners from Immigration to Innovation,” curated by the German Embassy in Ottawa, that travelled from Ottawa to Edmonton to celebrate Canada’s 150th year. In addition to hosting the exhibition, ECCIR arranged two film screenings, a “Chemistry of Beer” lecture and tasting, and a press event to open the exhibit. In 2019, a year of notable anniversaries, ECCIR organized events to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Alexander von Humboldt’s birth, and to commemorate 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.