First Meeting of the -Switzerland - United States Joint Committee on Science and Technology

Bern, 24.05.2024 - On May 24, 2024, Switzerland and the United States convened in Bern for the inaugural Joint Committee Meeting (JCM) on science and technology to further strengthen the partnership between their scientific communities. Swiss State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation Martina Hirayama and U.S. Chargés d’Affaires, a.i., Bradford Bell, opened the JCM. Ambassador Jacques Ducrest, Head of International Relations at SERI, co-chaired the discussion with Rahima Kandahari, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Oceans, and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES).

State Secretary Hirayama emphasized the paramount importance of the United States as a key partner for Switzerland in science and technology and underscored the critical role of international collaboration for Switzerland. Deputy Assistant Secretary Kandahari applauded the 171 years of diplomatic engagement between the two countries and emphasized how science and technology cooperation exemplifies the mutual benefits of the productive U.S.-Switzerland relationship.

The Swiss delegation comprised leaders and experts from the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS), Federal Office for the Environment (FoeN), Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM), Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), Swiss Innovation Agency Innosuisse, Swiss Polar Institute (SPI), Swiss Quantum Commission (SQC), the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) and the ETH AI Center. The U.S. delegation included leaders and experts from the National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Department of Energy, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Department of State. The meeting was convened under the bilateral Agreement Relating to Scientific and Technical Cooperation between the two governments, signed in 2009.

The two countries are sister republics with shared values, anchored by a collective commitment to build resilient, inclusive democracies, and advance human rights. This in-person bilateral dialogue on science and technology cooperation broadens and strengthens our collaboration and commitment to each other. Continued scientific engagement and people-to-people ties between Switzerland and the United States will not only propel both economies forward, but also lead toward a more resilient future.

Switzerland and the United States collaborate on virtually every pressing challenge of our time, from critical and emerging science and technology, to addressing the climate crisis to creating a more prosperous future for our peoples. Both partners work to create inclusive scientific research communities to consider the importance of preserving principles for scientific cooperation, such as promoting the integrity and security of the international scientific enterprise, to encouraging the participation of researchers and organizations from all sectors in cooperative activities.

The JCM reaffirmed the Swiss-U.S. commitment to continue the close partnership and coordination on science and technology cooperation.