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
- ETH Board
- Foundation for Technology Assessment, TA-SWISS
- Innosuisse, Swiss agency for the promotion of innovation
- Marcel Benoist Foundation
- Science et Cité
- Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences
- Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)
- Swiss Science Council SSC
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.
Every year since 1920, the Marcel Benoist Foundation has awarded the Swiss Science Prize. This year, the CHF 250,000 will be awarded in the field of humanities and social sciences. Nominations can be submitted from now until 15 April.
The space sector has been evolving for a number of years. In Switzerland also, space activities by stakeholders from science and industry have increased significantly. For this reason, the Federal Council announced on 18 December that the legal framework for these activities would be reviewed. It has therefore mandated the EAER to conduct a thorough examination of Switzerland's legal framework and implementation related to international space treaties, in particular with respect to authorisation, supervision, liability and the registration of space objects. The EAER report is expected in autumn 2021.
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 2 February, State Secretary Martina Hirayama attended the launch event for Horizon Europe, the 9th EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, via video conference. On 3 February, she will represent Switzerland at the informal meeting of ministers for research and innovation of the EU member states.
State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation Martina Hirayama took part in the tenth meeting of the EU/ESA Space Council, which was held via video conference on 20 November 2020. The Council has adopted a joint resolution on key principles for the global space economy that will apply Europe-wide, and in its meeting underlined the importance of coordinated action between the European Space Agency (ESA), the EU, and the individual member states.
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'.