EUREKA is an independent intergovernmental initiative to support cross-border cooperation projects involving market-oriented research and development (R&D). The aim of this initiative is to improve the competitiveness of countries participating in EUREKA.
The pan European network EUREKA was founded in 1985 as an intergovernmental initiative. Switzerland is a founding member of this non-profit making association, which is subject to Belgian legislation. Today, EUREKA there are forty European countries holding full membership status, four non-European countries holding associated membership status (South Korea, Chile, Canada and South Africa) and the European Commission.
All countries are represented in EUREKA by the ministries responsible for innovation as well as by innovation promotion agencies. The aim of EUREKA is the cross-border coordination of national innovation policies and project funding in order to counteract the fragmentation of funding opportunities in Europe on the one hand and to keep pace with the increasing internationalisation of innovation cooperation on the other.
The head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER) and Innosuisse represent Switzerland in EUREKA. SERI is responsible for administrative procedures relating to EUREKA (e.g. proposals to the Federal Council) and coordinates the preparatory work for EUREKA ministerial conferences and EUREKA inter-parliamentary conferences and handles requests to EAER.