Federal Council intends to maintain Switzerland’s leading position in the area of education, research and innovation
Bern, 04.07.2018 - At its meeting on 4 July 2018, the Federal Council approved the revised draft of Switzerland's International Strategy for Education, Research and Innovation. This strategy paper is an update of the first draft produced back in 2010. The new strategy paper devotes more attention to specific topics (e.g. vocational education and training, innovation support policy and digitalisation) that have received considerably more attention in international exchanges on education, research and innovation (ERI).
In the revised draft, the Federal Council formulates its strategic vision as follows: ‘Switzerland will maintain its leading position in the area of education, research and innovation. This vision will come about as a result of key factors such as the commitment of ERI stakeholders at international level, the presence of regulatory and economic incentives and the availability of funding. Swiss ERI stakeholders will address global challenges through a combination of cooperation and competitive dynamics. In doing so, they will reinforce their skills, their willingness to learn, their research capacity. At the same time, they will bolster their innovative strengths and creativity. They will encourage the exchange of ideas and help to find solutions to global problems.’
While the overall strategic orientation remains unchanged – and in particular, the largely subsidiary role that the Confederation plays with regard to initiatives taken by autonomous ERI stakeholders – the updated strategy paper now takes into account the recent emergence or isolated resurgence of global challenges (e.g. digitalisation, migration, climate change, security and demographic change).
The strategy paper was also completely revised in response to major institutional changes in Switzerland that occurred after the first draft was adopted. These include, in particular, the creation of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER); the creation of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), which resulted from the merger of two former federal offices; the establishment of a new innovation promotion agency Innosuisse; and the construction of the Swiss Innovation Park. Significant legislative amendments were also made after 2010. Two specific examples of revised legislation are the Federal Act on the Promotion of Research and Innovation (RIPA) and the Higher Education Act (HEdA), which came into force in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Switzerland's international ERI strategy is not based on a specified time horizon. As was the case previously, implementation of this strategy will be based on Federal Council dispatches submitted to the Swiss Parliament, in particular the four-year Federal Council Dispatch on the Promotion of Education, Research and innovation.
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