What is research.swiss?

research.swiss is a centralised platform showcasing scientific and technological cooperation opportunities between Switzerland and the rest of the world. Launched by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) in collaboration with Swissnex, the new platform aims to facilitate collaboration in research and innovation by providing researchers, higher education institutions and innovators with a unique overview of the most important funding instruments, calls for joint research projects, and mobility programmes.

As a small and landlocked country in the heart of Europe, Swiss research and innovation is already very international.

Facts & Figures
70%

70% of all Swiss scientific publications result from international cooperation.

SOURCE: Evaluation of Switzerland’s bilateral cooperation programmes in science and technology
Facts & Figures
50%

As much as 50% of PhD students at universities and institutes of technology are non-Swiss.

SOURCE: Statistics of higher education institutions 2018 edition, Federal Statistical Office, FSO.
Facts & Figures
10

Switzerland is the most innovative country in the world for the tenth consecutive year according to the Global Innovation Index 2020.

SOURCE: Wipo
Facts & Figures
1

In 2019, Switzerland was once again the country with the most patent applications per million inhabitants in Europe

SOURCE: IGE
Facts & Figures
10

In total, ten universities from Switzerland made it into the top 1000 universities worldwide.

SOURCE: topuniversities.com

The Vision

The Federal Council’s ‘International Strategy on Education, Research and Innovation’ states that Switzerland should continue to occupy a leading position in this area. Key factors for implementing this vision include committed and internationally active Education, Research and Innovation (ERI) actors and the required framework conditions as well as financial resources. Swiss ERI actors rise to the international challenges emerging from the tension between competition and cooperation. Through that, they strengthen their ability and willingness to learn, to conduct research, and to innovate and be creative. They promote the exchange of ideas and contribute to the development of solutions to global problems.

International cooperation and competition are an integral part of Switzerland’s policy to promote education, research and innovation, and underlie the guiding principles of self-responsibility, excellence, creativity and the ability to compete and innovate. Funding is awarded on a competitive basis and is based on the criteria of efficiency and effectiveness. Actors in the fields of higher education, research and innovation act autonomously.

The Platform

Up to now, scientific and technological cooperation opportunities between Switzerland and the rest of the world could only be accessed through a multitude of decentralised websites. It was time-consuming for Swiss researchers to obtain a list of all international funding schemes. research.swiss fills this gap by providing a comprehensive overview, searchable by institution, type of scheme and eligible country. The platform aims to offer Swiss researchers real added value and contributes to the further internationalisation of Switzerland’s research and innovation landscape. As an aggregator platform, research.swiss does not substitute existing websites, but acts as a centralised information platform for all international funding opportunities.

The Opportunities

A variety of funding instruments support the vision of Switzerland’s International Strategy on Education, Research and Innovation, and will continue to do so to maintain or increase Switzerland’s high level of internationalisation. The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is the most important federal funding body in the Swiss ERI sector. Its main task is to promote basic research from all disciplines initiated by the science community. The SNSF strives to facilitate and promote the international integration of the Swiss research community. Innosuisse is the federal centre of excellence tasked with promoting knowledge-based innovation in the interest of the economy and society. Through a variety of programmes and international cooperation, Innosuisse aims to strengthen the innovative power of Swiss companies. Promoting young scientists is one of Switzerland’s ERI priorities. Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships are open to all states with which Switzerland maintains diplomatic relationships; for industrialised countries, reciprocity is required. The scholarships are primarily designed for postgraduate researchers to help establish long-term scientific cooperation. On a multilateral and European level, Switzerland actively participates in the European Research Area, participating in the European Union’s Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development since 2004. Equally important is Switzerland’s membership in various leading international research infrastructures and organisations such as the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), the Institute Max von Laue – Paul Langevin (ILL) and the European Space Agency (ESA).

To promote cooperation with non-European partners in the ERI sector, the Federal Council launched the Bilateral Programmes in 2008. The aim is to strengthen research and innovation cooperation with regions that demonstrate promising scientific and technological potential. Based on the principles of mutual interest, joint financing and scientific excellence, the programmes are intended to facilitate long-term and sustainable partnerships. They consist of two complementary instruments: Joint Research Projects with the BRICS countries, as well as with Argentina, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam, and pilot activities with promising regions. Together with Swissnex, the Swiss global network charged with forging ties in education, research and innovation, the Bilateral Programmes are Switzerland’s main instrument in the bilateral and non-European area to support the international activities of Swiss ERI actors and to strengthen Switzerland’s international attractiveness in the ERI sector.

In cooperation with