State Secretary Dell’Ambrogio pays official visit to Belgium

Bern, 18.09.2018 - The State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation, Mauro Dell’Ambrogio, paid an official visit to Brussels today, where he met Secretary of State Zuhal Demir, who is responsible for the federal government’s science policy. State Secretary Dell’Ambrogio also attended an event on vocational education and training together with the Flemish vice-minister-president and education minister, Hilde Crevits.

The visit provided an opportunity to emphasise the excellent level of cooperation between the two countries in the field of research and innovation. Belgium is a long-standing scientific partner; bilateral cooperation is mainly supported through the European Union’s framework programmes on research and innovation. During the meeting with his Belgian counterpart, Secretary of State Zuhal Demir, Mr Dell’Ambrogio discussed the fruitful collaboration within the European framework programmes, but also in the field of space affairs and polar research.

Discussions between State Secretary Dell’Ambrogio and Vice-Minister-President Crevits focused on vocational education and training. In recent years Belgian actors have shown increasing interest in the Swiss model of vocational education and training, reinforced by numerous visits on the part of Belgian delegations, including one by the King of the Belgians in June 2017. The Flemish government has undertaken various reforms to reintroduce dual-track education and is particularly interested in Switzerland’s positive experience and technical expertise in this area. Mauro Dell’Ambrogio and Hilde Crevits debated best practices during a panel discussion at a conference on vocational education, jointly organised by the Swiss embassy in Belgium, the Flemish government, the Flemish business network Voka, and the Swiss Chamber of Commerce for Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Belgium and Switzerland have a strong partnership in the field of education, research and innovation. The European Union’s framework programmes serve as a key instrument for bilateral cooperation: there are currently some 450 ongoing projects involving Belgian and Swiss researchers funded by Horizon 2020. ‘Lead agency’ agreements have recently been concluded between Belgian and Swiss research funding agencies to facilitate direct cooperation between researchers from the two countries. Cooperation in the field of innovation has increased significantly in recent years, thanks in particular to the launch of three bilateral calls for proposals in the framework of the EUREKA/Eurostars initiative.

Address for enquiries

Anouk De Bast
State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI
International Relations Division
T +41 58 463 31 76


State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation


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