At its meeting on 7 September 2022, the Federal Council elected Nobel Laureate for Physics Didier Queloz as Chairman of the Marcel Benoist Foundation with effect from 1 January 2023. The researcher and co-founder of Actelion and Idorsia, Martine Clozel, will also sit on the Board of Trustees from the beginning of 2023.
The Marcel Benoist Foundation, established by the Federal Council in 1920, awards the Swiss Science Prize every year. Under the terms of Marcel Benoist’s will, the prize of 250,000 Swiss francs is awarded to researchers who have made a scientific invention or discovery that is relevant to human life.
The Board of Trustees includes one representative from each university in Switzerland, the Confederation and the French Embassy in Switzerland. Following an amendment to the Foundation’s statutes, the chairmanship will go to a renowned personality from the field of science and research and will no longer be held by the head of the EAER department. In addition, a prominent business leader can now be elected to the Board of Trustees.
This further strengthens the Board’s responsibilities in relation to the public-private partnership. The Foundation is supported by a patronage committee with private donors. The Federal Council elects the members of the Board of Trustees from science and industry; the head of the EAER Department awards the prize; and the EAER / SERI provides the Foundation Secretariat. In addition, the selection of the award winner is made by the Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF for the Board of Trustees.