Switzerland and Colombia to strengthen bilateral research and innovation cooperation

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Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin welcomed Colombia’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Arturo Luna on a courtesy visit to Bern on 1 March. Mr Luna also met with State Secretary Martina Hirayama. The talks focused on strengthening bilateral research and innovation cooperation between the two countries.

The head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER), Federal Councillor Parmelin, exchanged views with Mr Luna on their countries’ current priorities regarding research and innovation. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen cooperation in these areas.

During the working meeting with State Secretary Hirayama, Mr Luna also held talks with high-level representatives from Innosuisse, the Swiss Innovation Agency, and from the University of St Gallen. The university has been appointed by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) as the Leading House for the Latin American Region for 2021-24 and is mandated to launch research and innovation cooperation instruments with partner institutions in the region. The meeting focused on the framework conditions for this cooperation and highlighted the excellent cooperation as part of the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.

Cooperation between Switzerland and Colombia in the fields of education, research and innovation is based on various instruments. In recent years, Swiss researchers have shown a growing interest in collaborating with Colombian partners in the context of these activities. Cooperation instruments include the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships, which have enabled 170 Colombian scholars to carry out research at a Swiss university since 1961.