Bern, 09.03.2018 - On 9 March the Federal Council approved the agreement on Switzerland’s participation in the European funding initiative Joint Technology Initiative Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership (JTI ECSEL). This initiative supports transboundary research and development projects in digitalisation, developing marketable products in the fields of microand nanoelectronics, system integration and intelligent systems. The project costs are met by the EU and by Switzerland; research institutions receive 70 per cent of their costs, SMEs between 50 and 60 per cent, and large corporations between 30 and 35 per cent.
The ECSEL programme is open to all EU member states and to states associated in the European Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation (Horizon 2020). From 2014 to 2020, projects worth a total of EUR 4 billion will be conducted. EUR 1.8 billion of this amount comes from the Horizon 2020 budget, and approximately the same amount is contributed by the participating countries. Businesses and corporations also contribute in the form of in-kind contributions.
The ECSEL research agenda is set by the industrial associations involved in its organisation. The participating countries have a say in its strategy, central assessment and awarding of funding. The annual calls for projects, which take place under the auspices of the Horizon 2020 ’Industrial Leadership’ pillar, are centrally organised and assessed. The funding initiative is aimed in particular at small and medium-sized enterprises and at research institutions.
Since Switzerland became associated in Horizon 2020 in 2017, it has been entitled to be represented in the ECSEL governance bodies. Switzerland’s participation was approved by Parliament in 2016, in its Dispatch on the Promotion of Education, Research and Innovation 2017-2020. The Swiss Innovation Agency (Innosuisse) and the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation are responsible for the implementation of the funding initiative.
In signing the agreement, Switzerland commits to contribute project funding according to the ECSEL programme statutes drawn up jointly with the other participating states. To this end it must provide a funding budget for the Swiss project partners. The 2018 ECSEL call for projects is open to Swiss applicants. Details of the conditions for participation can be found on the SERI website (www.sbfi.admin.ch) and the ECSEL website (www.ecsel.eu).