As Switzerland is currently considered a non-associated third country in the 2021-2027 Horizon Package, the Federal Council decided on 4 May 2022 to adopt measures to support Swiss research and innovation activities as a complement to the transitional measures already in place since 2021.
The new complementary measures will help to reinforce Switzerland's position in the area of research and innovation in key scientific fields. At the same time, they are intended to facillitate international networking and help to diversify international partnerships. They will also include targeted support for international research and innovation cooperation in areas where Switzerland already holds a leading position and where there is potential for further expansion. In principle, the complementary measures will be implemented regardless of whether Switzerland's association to the Horizon package is possible. They can be scaled for both the medium and longer term.
Priority has been given to the following two complementary measures, which will be prepared in 2022 and implemented from 2023 onwards:
Support for international research cooperation initiatives
By taking part in new international research cooperation initiatives with countries in and outside of Europe, Switzerland aims to reinforce its international cooperation activities and partnerships in strategically important thematic areas. This complementary measure will also enable further consolidation of national areas of excellence. The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) will implement these measure. The first research cooperation initiatives are expected to start in 2023.
National Quantum Funding Initiative
The National Quantum Funding Initiative is intended to consolidate Switzerland's leading position in the field of quantum technology and to enhance its competitiveness and ability to work with partners at international level. This includes targeted support for research through competitive calls for proposals and the nationally coordinated development and expansion of infrastructures and technology platforms for knowledge and technology transfer. A national steering committee will be established to pool national expertise, coordinate activities and implement the National Quantum Funding Initiative. On an administrative level, the initiative will be managed by the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT). The first activities are planned for 2023.