State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation
State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation
Discipline: Research Management, Innovation
Affiliation: Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research
- Swiss Science Council SSC
- Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)
- Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences
- Science et Cité
- Marcel Benoist Foundation
- Innosuisse, Swiss agency for the promotion of innovation
- Foundation for Technology Assessment, TA-SWISS
- ETH Board
The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) is the federal government’s specialised agency for national and international matters concerning education, research and innovation policy. The SERI is responsible for the ETH domain (ETHZ, EPFL, Eawag, EMPA, PSI, WSL). The SERI is also partly responsible on the federal level for the cantonal universities, universities of applied sciences and various research centers. The SERI is part of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research.
The 25th meeting of the Joint Committee for Research and Innovation between Switzerland and the European Union (EU) / Euratom took place on 27 October. Discussions focused on implementation of the existing agreement between Switzerland and the EU on Horizon 2020, the Euratom programme and the international fusion reactor ITER.
For the first time, the winners of the two prestigious Swiss science prizes, the Marcel Benoist Swiss Science Prize and the Latsis Prize, are being announced at the same time. In this anniversary year, the Marcel Benoist Swiss Science Prize, often referred to as the Swiss Nobel Prize, goes to Rudolf Aebersold (ETH Zurich/University of Zurich) for his pioneering work in the field of systems biology. The National Latsis Prize, awarded to young researchers under the age of 40, goes to Maryna Viazovska (EPF Lausanne) for her ground-breaking mathematical problem solving. The Swiss science prizes will be presented by Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin at an awards ceremony in Bern on 4 November.
State Secretary Martina Hirayama participated by videoconference in the informal meeting of the ministers for research and innovation of the EU member states on 21 July 2020. The biannual event focused on the dialogue about joint research and innovation activities to foster a sustainable and sovereign Europe, in particular in the context of global crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic. Switzerland's participation highlighted its commitment to the European Research Area and emphasised that it attaches great importance to generating and sharing knowledge at the international level.
On 24 June 2020, the Federal Council elected the members of the ETH Board for the period 2021-2024, appointing in the process long-standing member Barbara Haering as Vice President and Cornelia Ritz Bossicard as a new member of the ETH Board. The Federal Council replaced incumbent Vice President Beth Krasna, who will step down at the end of 2020. All previous members of the ETH Board and President Michael Hengartner stood for re-election and their appointment was confirmed.
Horizon Europe, the EU's next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, is due to start in 2021. Along with three other European initiatives, Horizon Europe forms the '2021-2027 Horizon package'. On 20 May 2020 the Federal Council adopted a dispatch on funding requesting Parliament to approve CHF 6,154 million in funding to secure Switzerland's participation in the Horizon package. Provided Parliament approves this funding, the Federal Council and the EU will be able to renew their bilateral research agreement and secureSwitzerland's continued and uninterrupted participation in the Horizon package as an associated state.
The swissnex Network is celebrating its 20th anniversary on 15 October 2020. Ever since the first location opened in the year 2000 in Boston, USA, swissnex has been connecting Switzerland with the rest of the world in the fields of education, research and innovation. It fosters the international exchange of knowledge, ideas and talent and promotes the excellence of Swiss research and innovation abroad. As it celebrates its anniversary, swissnex is looking into the future, identifiying opportunities and challenges of the ERI landscape in Switzerland.
In a video conference on 27 August, Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin and South Africa's minister for science, Blade Nzimande, welcomed the recent signing of the Lead Agency Agreement between the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) as an important milestone in scientific relations between the two countries. The agreement facilitates cooperation between researchers in Switzerland and their South African counterparts. It is the first agreement concluded by the SNSF with a non-European country.
The Confederation will continue to draw on independent scientific expertise from academic and research circles during the 'special situation' in accordance with the Epidemics Act. The FDHA General Secretariat and the Federal Office of Public Health have accordingly adapted the mandate of the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force (SN-STF), which was set up during the epidemiological 'extraordinary situation'.
Neuchâtel, 26.05.2020 - Five years after obtaining their federal proficiency certificate, 26% of young people were in occupations requiring a higher level of education than that of the occupation they trained in during their apprenticeship. 22% were in a different occupation but which required a similar level of qualification and only 4% were in an occupation requiring a lower level. This means that less than half of these young people, 48%, remained in the occupation that they trained in according to a study carried out by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).
In 2019 the swissnex Network ran over 340 activities and events throughout the world in conjunction with over 180 partner organizations. It also supported 58 Swiss start-ups to internationalize their business and promoted exchange between a range of players in different fields, which are of relevance to the Swiss education, research and innovation landscape, for example in space engineering. The swissnex Network's 2019 annual report is published on the website www.annualreport.swissnex.org and marks the launch of the organization's 20th anniversary celebrations.
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