Bern, 29.03.2017 - On 29 March Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, the head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER), met his British counterpart, Jo Johnson, the Minister of State for Universities. Research and Innovation.
Jo Johnson, the Minister of State for Universities. Research and Innovation, travelled to Bern to pay a courtesy visit to Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann. He paid a visit to CERN the same day. The two ministers discussed bilateral and multilateral scientific cooperation. The meeting was also attended by the State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation, Mauro Dell?Ambrogio.
The UK is one of Switzerland’s most important partners in the field of science and research. Contacts between the two scientific communities are thriving and excellent, as can be seen in the cooperation between the Paul Scherrer Institute and the Science and Technology Facilities Council, the UK agency tasked with promoting and supporting scientific and engineering research, in constructing SwissFEL in Villigen (Aargau). Both countries are members of most major international research organisations, such as CERN, the European Southern Observatory ESO and the European Spallation Source ERIC, offering researchers excellent platforms for collaboration.
The European Union’s framework programmes, particularly Horizon2020, are the most important instrument for bilateral cooperation, where there have been over 2000 collaborations to date, particularly in the fields of research infrastructure, IT, communication and health. Between 2011 and 2016, over 900 direct collaborations between Swiss and British researchers were supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) receiving over CHF 75 million from the Swiss side. Over the same period, Swiss researchers involved in over 1000 projects funded by the SNSF indicated that they were working with colleagues from the UK.
Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann will travel to London on Friday, 31 March, to meet Liam Fox, the Secretary of State for International Trade.