Overview of National and International Research Infrastructures
As research projects become more multidisciplinary and technology advances, there is a growing need in all scientific fields for efficient and accessible national and international research infrastructures.
In Switzerland, the construction and maintenance of research infrastructures is primarily the responsibility of the higher education institutions and research institutions within the ETH domain. At international and European level, the federal government builds and operates large-scale research infrastructures in cooperation with other countries and takes part in internationally coordinated research infrastructure networks.
National research infrastructures
The national research infrastructures contribute to scientific progress in their respective fields and complement the research activities of the universities and the ETH Domain. At national level, numerous players support these research infrastructures. In addition to the universities and research institutions within the ETH Domain, the two federal funding bodies (the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences) and the Confederation itself contribute towards the development of the research infrastructure landscape, playing a subsidiary role in accordance with the Federal Act on the Promotion of Research and Innovation (RIPA). For more information see Research Institutions of National Importance (in german).
Swiss participation in international research infrastructures
International research infrastructures create scientific and technological momentum that resonates worldwide. Targeted Swiss participation in international infrastructures is therefore an excellent way for Switzerland to reinforce its position in the area of research and innovation. The RIPA distinguishes between two types of international research infrastructures:
- International research facilities are centralised facilities that are accessible to external users who wish to conduct scientific experiments. A typical example is CERN, which is based in Switzerland. For more information see Swiss Participation in International Research Infrastructures.
- Internationally coordinated research infrastructure networks are composed of national nodes that bundle and coordinate infrastructures and services at international or European level. Most of the internationally coordinated research infrastructure networks in which Switzerland is involved are organised under the legal form of ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium). For more information see Switzerland's Participation in European Research Infrastructure Networks.
Swiss roadmap for research infrastructures
The Swiss Roadmap for Research Infrastructures is a planning tool for research infrastructures. SERI updates this report every four years in preparation for the ERI Dispatch (Education, Research and Innovation). The Swiss Roadmap provides an overview of the status and planned developments of national and international research infrastructures in the various research areas, that Switzerland takes part in. For more information see Swiss Roadmap for Research Infrastructures.
European roadmap for research infrastructures (ESFRI Roadmap)
The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) is developing a roadmap for international research infrastructures that contribute specifically to the development European Research Area ERA. SERI is working to ensure Swiss representation in ESFRI and contributing proactively to networking efforts in this regard. SERI has the authority at policy level to endorse ESFRI Roadmap proposals submitted by the Swiss research community. Swiss applicants wishing to submit an international research infrastructure proposal for inclusion in the next ESFRI Roadmap are encouraged to consult the ESFRI Roadmap Guideline as well as Switzerland's guideline for applicants (PDF, 268 kB, 17.01.2022). The next ESFRI Roadmap will not be published before 2025. For more information see European Research Area.