Switzerland is closely involved in space activities. This involvement focuses on three pillars:
- Development and use of space applications to improve the quality of life for citizens.
- Long-term commitment to space exploration for the progress of innovation and of the knowledge society.
- Significant scientific, technological and industrial contributions to make Switzerland a competitive, reliable and vital partner.
Switzerland furthers its national interests through selected international cooperation: mainly through participation in selected programmes of the European Space Agency (ESA), the main instrument to implement the Swiss space policy, as well as through additional European and international space cooperation. Complementary national activities help to support institutions established in Switzerland that are involved in ESA-related activities; to create conditions that enable the ecosystem to take part in calls for tender for European institutional programmes; and to support the operational phase of Swiss scientific instruments used in space missions.
Swiss space policy is established by the Federal Council on the basis of proposals made by SERI, which promotes and coordinates Switzerland’s activities in space exploration and utilisation. The Federal Council is supported by recommendations made by the Federal Commission for Space Affairs (CFAS). The Swiss Space Office of SERI is the center of competence of the Swiss Government for national and international space matters. Efficient coordination is required to ensure cooperation between the various federal agencies involved in the design and implementation of the country’s space policy. This is the role of the Interdepartmental Coordination Committee for Space Affairs (IKAR), which acts under a mandate from the Federal Council. Its secretariat is based at SERI.