Bern, 05.04.2017 - On 5 April 2017 the Federal Council approved the strategic goals for the ETH Domain for 2017-2020. The most important goal is to maintain the outstanding level of teaching and research in international comparison. The goals are harmonised in terms of timeframe and content with the Confederation’s budget appropriation, which amounts to around CHF 10.4 billion.
The main goals set for the ETH Domain by the Federal Council are that it should maintain its leading international position in research and offer first-class, research-based teaching and attractive programmes for students. Various further goals are derived from this central role played by the ETH Domain in the Swiss education, research and innovation system. It should operate and develop research infrastructure and make this available to the entire research community. It should also strengthen cooperation with the cantonal universities, the universities of applied sciences and private research partners, and support the entrepreneurial efforts of its members. On an international level the ETH Domain should further expand cooperation and networking with the world’s best institutions and maintain its appeal to the best students and researchers.
Until recently the ETH Domain was steered by the Federal Council through performance mandates, however, as of the 2017-2020 funding period, this will occur by means of strategic goals according to the principles applied to steer autonomous units of the Confederation (as is the case for the Institute of Intellectual Property or the Federal Institute of Metrology METAS). Parliament established the necessary basis by amending the ETH Act at the end of September 2016.
As the performance mandate for 2013-2016 was already largely structured on the new model, this had no significant impact on the form or orientation of the strategic goals for 2017-2020. The positive developments seen in recent funding periods and the ETH Domain’s excellent scientific record meant that no far-reaching changes were deemed necessary. The strategic goals are harmonised in terms of timeframe and content with the Confederation’s budget appropriation. This was set by Parliament at around CHF 10.4 billion for 2017-2020.
The Federal Council will report annually to Parliament and the public on progress towards achieving the goals defined for the ETH Domain.
Responsibility for implementing the strategic goals rests with the ETH Board in its capacity as the strategic management and supervisory body for the ETH Domain. In addition to the ETH Zurich and EPFL in Lausanne, the ETH Domain also comprises the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology Empa, and the Swiss Federal Institute for Aquatic Science and Technology Eawag.