Sustainable development in the ERI sector

The federal government's ERI funding policy is based on the principles of sustainable development. © Adobe Stock
© Adobe Stock

Switzerland attaches great importance to promoting sustainable development. As set out in the Federal Council's 2030 Sustainable Development Strategy, education, research and innovation (ERI) play a crucial role in a sustainable society and economy. This is why sustainable development features prominently in the 2025–2028 ERI Dispatch (in german).

The 2030 Agenda forms the frame of reference for the 2030 Sustainable Development strategy (2030 SDS) adopted by the Federal Council in June 2021. The SDS 2030 formulates guidelines for federal policy, sets priorities for implementation of the 2030 Agenda at federal level and establishes sustainable development as a key component in all federal policy areas. Education, research and innovation are key to implementing the 2030 Agenda and to working towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The federal government's ERI funding policy is based on the principles of sustainable development and pursues a dual objective: to promote sustainable development and contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and to use sustainable development as an opportunity and competitive advantage for the ERI sector in Switzerland. All players in the ERI sector are called upon to make their contribution. The Confederation and cantons coordinate their activities in the field of education for sustainable development, manifest in their 2023 declaration on joint education policy goals of the Confederation and the cantons.

The following measures for the 2025-2028 ERI funding period are among those planned by players in the ERI sector:

  • In vocational education and training, sustainable development is taken into account in periodic reviews of training content and in the development of new training programmes. The programme to promote sustainable development in VPET and CET supports relevant projects and also encourages communication and knowledge transfer.
  • In the promotion of research and innovation, sustainable development is taken into account, for example, in the National Research Programmes and National Centres of Competence in Research launched by the Federal Council. Switzerland is also involved in several international research infrastructures that deal with sustainable development issues.
  • In the space sector, as a member of the European Space Agency (ESA) Switzerland supports earth observation programmes which contribute to a better understanding of e.g. climate change.
  • The ERI players swissuniversities, the Swiss Federal University for Vocational Education and Training, the ETH Board, the Swiss National Science Foundation, Innosuisse and the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences have incorporated sustainable development into their strategic multi-year plans and strategic objectives in the form of a range of goals and measures.


SERI, Annette Kull
Project manager
ERI Strategic Management
+41 58 462 21 49