The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

CHF 84 million for Swiss researchers

  • By The Swiss Times
  • 25 October 2023

The Swiss government is making a maximum of 84 million Swiss francs available for 2024 for individual projects by Swiss researchers as a transitional measure. The money is intended to maintain innovation despite differences with the EU.

CHF 84 million for Swiss researchers
Test tubes (Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash)

Due to the current non-association with the Horizon package, researchers in Switzerland are not eligible for the corresponding European calls. Therefore, as in previous years, researchers in Switzerland will be offered an adequate national substitute, as the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER) announced on Wednesday.

For this purpose, funds are used, which the parliament had spoken at the end of 2020 for the participation of Switzerland in the Horizon package. The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) will entrust the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) with the calls for proposals, he said.

The Federal Council continues to pursue the goal of Switzerland’s association in the Horizon package “as quickly as possible”. However, the 2024 calls for European grants (ERC Starting Grants, ERC Consolidator Grants) would close as early as October and December 2023, respectively. Therefore, they would not be accessible to researchers in Switzerland even in the event of an association in 2024, the EAER added.

Horizon Europe, the ninth EU framework program for research and innovation, runs from 2021 to 2027 and, with a budget of a good 95 billion euros, is the world’s largest research and innovation funding program. Switzerland was associated with the predecessor program Horizon 2020. The Federal Council has already provided transitional measures amounting to 1.85 billion Swiss francs for the 2021, 2022 and 2023 calls.

©Keystone/SDA

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