State Secretary Martina Hirayama on working visit to the Netherlands

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On 23 June, Martina Hirayama, State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation, travelled to The Hague for talks with Dutch Minister for Education, Culture and Science, Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director General for Higher and Vocational Education, Science and Emancipation, Feite Hofman, and Deputy Director General for Enterprise and Innovation, Michiel Sweers. The trip also included a visit to the Quantum Delta NL Foundation. Talks focused on cooperation between Switzerland and the Netherlands in the areas of higher education, research, innovation and quantum science and technology.

State Secretary Hirayama exchanged views with Minister Dijkgraaf and Director General Hofman on bilateral relations between the two countries in higher education, science and research, on ways to strengthen this cooperation and on Switzerland’s association to Horizon Europe. They also discussed experiences on topics such as knowledge security in cross-border cooperation and open science policy.

During the visit to Quantum Delta NL and in talks with Deputy Director General Sweers, the focus was on innovation cooperation and opportunities to boost cooperation in the field of quantum science and technology.

The Netherlands is one of Switzerland’s major partners in education, research and innovation. There are a large number of direct collaborations between researchers and institutions in both bilateral and multilateral contexts. Swiss and Dutch researchers cooperated in around 1,300 projects under Horizon 2020 (2014-2020), making the Netherlands one of Switzerland’s ten most important partners in terms of the number of research collaborations. Innovation cooperation between the Netherlands and Switzerland is also very well established under Eureka, the initiative for cross-border cooperation. The Netherlands is Switzerland’s second most important partner in the area of innovation, both in Eureka and in other European Union calls for proposals.