The Commissioner for Europe of the Minister of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing Baden-Württemberg
The importance of European research funding and technology transfer was recognised in 1990 by the Minister of Economics at the time, Hermann Schaufler, who appointed a Commissioner for Europe to help small and medium sized enterprises (SME), in particular in their communication with Brussels. Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum (SEZ) was founded shortly afterwards as a operational unit under the realms of the Steinbeis Foundation which was to guarantee close ties to Baden-Württemberg's research landscape.
With the Single European Act (SEA) entering into force in July 1987, the importance of funding European research was recognised and was reflected in the significant increase in the funding which became available. Prior to the adoption of the SEA it was normally larger enterprises from the region that benefited from EU funding programmes, with smaller and medium sized enterprises finding it difficult to take part in such programmes. There was a call for a specialised organisation to be created that would support more SMEs to get involved in European innovation processes.
Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum was formed in its current location, Haus der Wirtschaft, in Stuttgart, Germany in 1990 as a contact point for companies and offering assistance in questions on European research funding, the formation of international consortia and project bidding for funding.
- The first Commissioner for Europe of the Minister of Economic Affairs and founder of Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum: Prof. Dr. Hans J. Tümmers, 1990 - 1995
- The second Commissioner for Europe of the Minister of Economic Affairs: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter S. Nieß, 1995 - 2002
- The third and current Commissioner for Europe of the Minister of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Norbert Höptner, since 2002