Federal ERI priorities 2021-2024

Promoting education, research and innovation

ERI policy for the 2021-2024 funding period is aligned to the Federal Council’s objectives in the 2019-2023 legislative period. The overriding objective is for Switzerland to remain a leader in education, research and innovation and to exploit the opportunities afforded by digitalisation.


VPET continues to equip people for attractive working careers.
The Confederation works with the cantons and the private sector to train the skilled workers that the labour market requires. It promotes innovative projects that equip VPET to deal with digital change and life-long learning. It embraces and funds measures targeted at exploiting the potential of the domestic workforce, including older workers.

ERI policy supports facing and shaping digital change in all fields.
Following the launch of the Digitalisation Action Plan, the Confederation continues to promote digital skills in the ERI sector. It is intensifying coordination between the Confederation and the cantons and supports the development of digital skills and research capacities in strategic areas (artificial intelligence, industry 4.0, cyber security).


The Confederation encourages people to gain key skills through continuing education and training.
Together with the cantons, it funds basic skills courses for adults, for example in languages, information and communication technology, and numeracy. It also directly funds continuing education and training courses which help workers to meet the basic requirements of the labour market and to keep pace with technological change.

Swiss higher education institutions provide excellence in the interests of science, the economy and society.
The Confederation commissions the ETH Domain institutions – centres of excellence in teaching, research and knowledge transfer – to play a leading role as innovation drivers. Under the auspices of the Swiss Conference of Higher Education Institutions it supports the cantonal universities in training young academics and helping them to gain recognition in their field, and in coordinating particularly cost-intensive areas.


The federal funding agencies promote research and innovation at the highest level.
The Confederation finances two efficiently operated funding agencies, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and Innosuisse, both of which award funds on a competitive basis. The SNSF focuses on freely selected basic research and promoting the careers of young academics; Innosuisse funds application-oriented research conducted by higher education institutions and the private sector.

ERI policy promotes sustainable development and equal opportunities in all areas. It contributes to the implementation of Agenda 2030 and so supports the development of the 2030 Sustainable Development Strategy.