Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann introduces State Secretary designate

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Bern, 23.08.2018 - On 23 August, Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann presented Martina Hirayama to the media in Bern. The new State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation appointed in July will take up her post in January.

For Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann, the head of the EAER, Martina Hirayama has the ideal profile to be State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation. This demanding post requires an individual with the ability to optimally integrate the various stakeholders in the ERI sector with a view to ensuring the success of the system as a whole. It also requires a high degree of expertise in terms of digitalisation, as well as a strong affinity to business, and to SMEs in particular.

Martina Hirayama will take over the running of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI on 1 January 2019. SERI has around 300 staff and annual transfer expenses of CHF 4.2 billion.
The State Secretary designate has been dean of the ZHAW School of Engineering since 2011 and will remain in her current post until the end of September. In her first outing before the assembled political correspondents she cited three key points.
She considers digitalisation to be a great opportunity, but in order to be able to reap the benefits, the Swiss population needs future-oriented education and training and the country must have sound infrastructure and a clear legal framework. Future ERI-policy priorities will have to be defined and formulated in close cooperation with all partners and relevant sectors. It is also essential to continue to encourage Swiss ERI actors to participate in international cooperation, which provides enriching exchanges and competition in terms of innovation.