Switzerland is currently considered a non-associated third country in the Horizon package 2021-2027. This allows research and innovation players in Switzerland to participate in about two-thirds of the programme. They do not, however, receive funding from the European Commission. The transitional measures adopted in 2023 make a distinction between accessible and non-accessible parts of the programme, as in 2021 and 2022. Accessible parts of the programme are primarily collaborative projects with Swiss project partners, which are funded directly by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI). The non-accessible parts include calls for proposals from individual funding sources such as the European Research Council (ERC), the European Innovation Council (EIC), as well as individual projects that are part of Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions. Collaborative projects in the fields of quantum science, space and high-performance computing are also non-accessible, as the EU considers these areas to be strategically relevant. Transitional measures for these instruments have been provided by the Federal Council and are administered by the Swiss National Science Foundation, Innosuisse, the European Space Agency and further institutions.
The Federal Council has allotted a total of 625 million Swiss francs to fund the 2023 transitional measures. This will be drawn from the funding that Parliament had earmarked at the end of 2020 for Switzerland’s participation in the Horizon package.
Horizon Europe, the ninth EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, runs from 2021 to 2027. With an overall budget of EUR 95 billion, it is the largest research and innovation funding programme in the world. Switzerland was associated to the predecessor programme, Horizon 2020. The Federal Council seeks to attain the same status in Horizon Europe and related programmes and initiatives (Euratom programme, ITER and the Digital Europe Programme) as soon as possible. It has already adopted transitional measures amounting to CHF 1.2 billion for the 2021 and 2022 calls for proposals.