Digitalisation in the ERI sector

Bildung, Forschung und Innovation spielen eine zentrale Rolle bei der Entwicklung und Anwendung von neuen Technologien. © Oliver Oettli
Education, research and innovation are essential to the development and application of new technologies. © Oliver Oettli

The Federal Council aims to ensure that Switzerland exploits the opportunities of digitalisation to the full. The Digital Switzerland Strategy sets out guidelines for government action to shape the necessary transformation processes for the benefit of society. The education, research and innovation (ERI) sector has a major role to play in this and digitalisation thus features prominently in the 2025–2028 ERI Dispatch (in german).

Education, research and innovation are essential to the development, application and utilisation of new technologies. At the same time, skills in education and research provide an advantage in overcoming the challenges associated with these changes. Such skills are required in order to exploit the opportunities of digitalisation, to examine the risks critically and take appropriate action.

Switzerland is in a good starting position with regard to digital transformation. The permeable education system in particular is ideal for preparing people to successfully cope with structural change, which in turn contributes to the high productivity and innovative strength of the economy. In view of the speed of technological development, it has also been important that ERI players enjoy a high degree of autonomy and flexible funding and steering instruments, which are not anchored to specific research topics. Nevertheless, given how pervasive and rapid development has become, digital transformation remains a key challenge for Switzerland's ERI system.

The actors supported by the federal government have placed the following among their priorities for the 2025–2028 ERI funding period:

  • In vocational and professional education and training, digitalisation is taken into account in the periodic review of training content and in the development of new courses. During the four years covered in the ERI Dispatch, the Swiss Federal University for Vocational Education and Training (SFUVET) will focus on strategic topics such as change and innovation in vocational education and training as well as digital transformation.
  • There will be continued promotion of basic skills in information and communication technologies (ICT) via the cantonal programmes for adults to acquire and maintain basic skills and via the funding priority to increase fitness for new skills in the workplace.
  • Teaching at higher education institutions (HEIs) aims to use new technologies, including new forms of learning and teaching, to help overcome the social challenges of technological change. The Swiss Conference of Higher Education Institutions (SHK) continues to provide targeted project contributions to support digitalisation-related projects at all types of HEI.
  • The Swiss National Open Research Data Strategy and its associated action plan are central to research. Free access to research data (open research data) is playing an increasingly important role in many areas of research and is a fundamental element of good scientific practice. The FAIR principles for scientific data management provide for high-quality data that is findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable, and whose potential can thus be utilised effectively.
  • Innosuisse promotes digital innovations through project funding and thematic programmes such as flagship initiatives, which promote systemic, interdisciplinary projects in areas including digitalisation.
  • In the space sector, Switzerland is involved in the development of space infrastructures in areas such as telecommunications and quantum communication as part of its membership of the European Space Agency (ESA). These activities will contribute to greater security in future global data infrastructures.


SERI, Barbara Montereale
Head of Unit
Cooperation and Research in Education
+41 58 466 79 34

SERI, Christian Busch
Deputy Head of Unit
+41 58 466 79 33

SERI, Suzanne Monnier
Higher Education Policy Unit
+41 58 464 90 20