Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann meets Georgian Vice Prime Minister

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Bern, 29.08.2017 - Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, the head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER), met with Mr Aleksandre Jejelava, the Georgian Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Science, in Bern on 29 August. The minister also met with Mauro Dell’Ambrogio, the State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation.

During a working visit to Switzerland, Georgian Vice Prime Minister Aleksandre Jejelava travelled to Bern to pay a courtesy visit to Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann. Discussions focused on cooperation in the field of vocational education and training and research.

Mr Schneider-Ammann and Mr Jejelava are delighted with the excellent partnership in the field of vocational education, established thanks to a project launched by the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC) in 2013. They were also very pleased about the renewal of the cooperation strategy for the Southern Caucasus for the period 2017-2020. The strategy, which was drawn up in conjunction with the Georgian Ministry for Education and Science, aims to modernise vocational education and training in agriculture.

State Secretary Dell’Ambrogio also held talks with Vice Prime Minister Jejelava about Georgia’s system of education and research. Mr Dell’Ambrogio expressed his delight at Georgia’s recent accession to Horizon 2020, the EU’s framework programme for research and innovation. More intensive scientific cooperation could develop in the area of agriculture as Agroscope fosters close contacts with research partners in Georgia. Mr Jejelava had the day before paid visits to Agroscope in Posieux (FR), as well as to Fribourg’s Agricultural Institute in Grangeneuve, and the University of Fribourg.

Relations between Switzerland a Georgia in the field of science are good, but remain modest at present. The SCOPES programme, run jointly by the SDC and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), enabled over 35 collaborative projects to receive funding between 2009 and 2016. Nine young Georgian scientists have been awarded Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships since Georgia joined the programme in 2013.

This year also marks the 25th anniversary of bilateral relations between Switzerland and Georgia, an event that will be celebrated when President Doris Leuthard pays a presidential visit in December.