The fourth meeting of the Joint Scientific Committee Switzerland

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The Swiss delegation, led by State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation Martina Hirayama, also included USI Rector Luisa Lambertini and SUPSI Director General Franco Gervasoni. 

On 31 January 2024, State Secretary Martina Hirayama and Anna Maria Bernini, the Italian Minister of Universities and Research, opened the fourth meeting of the Swiss-Italian Joint Scientific Committee in Rome. The meeting’s purpose was to discuss cooperation in the areas of university education, research, and innovation.

State Secretary Martina Hirayama and Minister Anna Maria Bernini commenced the meeting by outlining the latest political developments and priorities in education, research, and innovation (ERI) in their respective countries. They highlighted the strong and fruitful bilateral cooperation between Switzerland and Italy, emphasising its intensity and excellent quality.

The exchange between the delegations, which were made up of senior representatives from the worlds of academia, research and innovation, covered developments in the ERI field, the bilateral and multilateral cooperation carried out in this area, and various possibilities for intensifying and supplementing existing cooperation instruments. 

Martina Hirayama and Anna Maria Bernini discussed Horizon Europe and bilateral cooperation in the ERI field in a personal conversation. 

In addition to the Secretary of State, the Swiss delegation consisted of: Maria Peyro Voeffray (Head of Bilateral Relations Unit, SEFRI), Michael Hengartner (President of the Council of Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology), André Kudelski (Chairman of the Board of Innosuisse), Matthias Egger (Chairman of the National Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation), Franco Gervasoni (Director General SUPSI), Luciana Vaccaro (President swissuniversities), Luisa Lambertini (Rector USI) and the Ambassador of Switzerland to Italy, Malta and San Marino Monika Schmutz Kirgöz. 

While on their trip to Rome, the Swiss delegation had the opportunity to visit various institutions and organisations. They toured La Sapienza University, the "Rome Technopole" project, the National Agency for the Evaluation of the University and Research System (ANVUR), the National Research Council (CNR), and the Istituto Svizzero, which aims to promote international cooperation between Switzerland and Italy in science and the arts.

Italy is one of Switzerland’s key partners in the ERI field. Numerous direct cooperations occur between institutions and individual researchers in the two countries, and cooperation is promoted through various instruments. 

In the EU framework programme for research and innovation Horizon 2020 (2014-2020), Swiss and Italian researchers have collaborated in more than 1,500 projects and so far in more than 500 projects in the ongoing Horizon Europe programme (2021-2027). Between 2018 and 2022, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) has promoted more than 1300 projects in which Swiss and Italian researchers have collaborated. 

Italy ranks fifth among the partner countries within the framework of the SNSF instruments.