Eight new National Centres of Competence for Research to be launched

15 April 2010

Bern, 15.04.2010 - At a press conference in Bern, Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter announced the launch of eight new National Centres of Competence for Research (NCCRs). These will be set up with the long term support of the executive boards of the Universities of Bern, Geneva, Zurich, the EPF Lausanne (2) and the ETH Zurich (2). The Universities of Bern, Geneva and Lausanne will be additionally involved as co-leading houses in four of the new NCCRs. The Confederation is allocating CHF 30 million per year for the eight new NCCRs between 2010 and 2013.

The launch of eight new National Centres of Competence for Research is the result of a call for project submissions made by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) in 2008. The SNSF assessed the proposals it received in two stages: a pre-proposal stage with 54 projects submitted, and a full proposal assessment of 28 projects by a panel of international experts. All ten NCCRs subsequently recommended for implementation by the SNSF deserved recognition for outstanding scientific merit. In line with the funds available for creating new NCCRs, the FDHA finally decided to set up eight new NCCRs. In addition to their scientific excellence these meet the important condition of relying on long-term support within the development plans of their individual universities.

The following NCCRs will be launched:

Prof. Matthias Hediger, University of Bern: NCCR TransCure - From Transport Physiology to Identification of Therapeutic Targets. Federal funding 2010-2013: CHF 14.2 million.

Prof. Howard Riezman, University of Geneva (Co-Leading House: EPF Lausanne): NCCR Chemical Biology. Federal funding 2010-2013: CHF 13.3 million

Prof. Dario Spini, University of Lausanne (Co-Leading House: University of Geneva): NCCR LIVES - Overcoming Vulnerability: Life Course Perspectives. Federal funding 2010-2013: CHF 14.5 million

Prof. François Verrey, University of Zurich: NCCR Kidney.CH - Kidney Control of Homeostasis. Federal funding 2010-2013: CHF 16.5 million.

Prof. Pierre Magistretti, EPF Lausanne (Co-Leading Houses: Universities of Geneva and Lausanne): NCCR The Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases. Federal funding 2010-2013: CHF 17.5 million

Prof. Ursula Keller, ETH Zurich (Co-Leading House: University of Bern): NCCR Molecular Ultrafast Sciences and Technology. Federal funding 2010-2013: CHF 17.3 million

The federal government has been supporting research networks of the highest quality through its National Centres of Competence for Research programme since 2000. It places particular emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches and new, innovative angles within the individual disciplines. The scientific evaluation of the first 14 NCCRs by international experts painted an extremely positive picture with results ranging from "very good" to "excellent" on an international level.

Address for enquiries:

State Secretariat for Education and Research SER
Claudine Dolt, Scientific Advisor National Research
Tel. 031 322 78 38
Hallwylstrasse 4
3003 Berne

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