Research landscape

Working in Europe | Research Landscape | Switzerland

Switzerland is among the world’s most competitive countries. It regularly appears near or at the top of the list in prominent international comparisons, such as the Global Competitiveness Report, the Global Innovation Index and the Innovation Union Scoreboard.

In terms of the volume of published scientific articles per inhabitant, Switzerland tops rankings in international comparison. In addition, Swiss research publications receive above-average recognition within the international research community. Participation to date in the EU’s competitive framework research programmes has also been successful. Swiss researchers excel both in terms of the success rate of submitted bids and the amount of secured funding.

The "Research and Innovation in Switzerland 2020" report provides a comprehensive insight into the Swiss research and innovation system, informative comparisons between countries and regions, and an in-depth examination of selected issues.

Structure

The Swiss higher education and research system strongly adheres to the principles of autonomy, academic freedom and scientific excellence. It comprised of a diverse and comprehensive range of high-quality cantonal universities, federal institutes of technology, universities of applied sciences and arts and universities of teacher education. It follows the tiered study model of Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. In addition, the cantonal universities and federal institutes of technology also award PhDs. PhD courses combine both teaching and research and prepare students for research-oriented activities in a university or non-university field. All higher education institutions are active in teaching, research, continuing education and training and the provision of services to third parties.

 

 

Information on the status of Switzerland in Horizon Europe:
As of 22 June 2021, Switzerland is treated as a non-associated third country in Horizon Europe, the Euratom programme and the Digital Europe Programme. Consequently, researchers based in Switzerland are currently only able to participate in a Horizon Europe, the Euratom programme and the Digital Europe Programme proposal as associated partner from a third country.
Funding for researchers and innovators based in Switzerland (including companies and SMEs) for their participation in collaborative projects as associated partners from a non-associated third state was provided by the Swiss Government for all 2021 calls of Horizon Europe and the Euratom programme.
Repeating transitional measures taken in 2021, the Federal Council decided on 4 May 2022, that participants will continue to receive funding from the Swiss Government for accessible 2022 calls for proposals. This means that financial resources that were intended for Switzerland's mandatory contribution to the EU for participation in the 2021–2027 Horizon package will now be used to fund Swiss project participants. Moreover, Swiss researchers are barred from applying for individual grants from the European Research Council (ERC), the European Innovation Council (EIC) and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). In lieu of these grants, analogous funding opportunities will be offered by the Swiss National Science Foundation and by Innosuisse.
Complementary to the transitional measures, the Federal Council intends to diversify and strengthen the international reach of Swiss research and innovation in its areas of excellence. This will be achieved by launching bilateral and multilateral research collaborations within and outside Europe in research areas that are strategically important to Switzerland.
Most recent information on the current status of Switzerland within Horizon Europe can be found on the SERI website.