Overview of national and international research infrastructures
As research projects become progressively more multidisciplinary and technology advances, the need for efficient and accessible research infrastructures is growing for all scientific disciplines. The federal government is responsible for preparing the Swiss Roadmap for 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 level, the federal government builds and operates large-scale research infrastructures in cooperation with other countries (international infrastructures).
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 Federal Council Dispatch on the Promotion of Education, Research and Innovation (ERI Dispatch). The roadmap provides an overview of future needs and planned developments in the various research fields and thus serves as a basis for preparation of the ERI Dispatch.
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 Federal Act of 14 December 2012 on the Promotion of Research and Innovation (RIPA) draws a distinction between two types of international research infrastructures:
- 'International research facilities' build and maintain centralised facilities that are accessible to external users who wish to conduct scientific experiments. A typical example is CERN, which is based in Switzerland. More information can be found here: Swiss Participation in International Research Infrastructures.
- 'Internationally coordinated research infrastructures' are networks of national 'nodes' that pool together and coordinate services or infrastructures. Examples include the European Plate Observing System (EPOS) and the European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN).
The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) has established a roadmap for international research infrastructures that contribute specifically to the development of the European Research Area (ERA). SERI represents Switzerland at ESFRI and has the policy-level authority 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’s Roadmap Guideline as well as Switzerland's short guideline for applicants.