Swiss Research and Innovation on an International Comparison (Part B)

The second part of the report assesses Switzerland’s international position in research and innovation. It compares Switzerland with other industrialised nations and emerging economies. It also examines evolution over time. In order to describe research and innovation activities, various indicators relating to investment, interactions and performance are presented.

The Swiss research and innovation system is very productive. A comparison of Switzerland with its main competitors and business partners places it among the highest-ranking countries in research and innovation. On the whole, though, the differences between the various countries are diminishing. For this reason, particular attention needs to be paid to those areas where Switzerland’s performance shows room for improvement and could fall behind.

Part B is subdivided into the following key themes:

  • Framework conditions of research and innovation
  • Education and qualifications
  • Personnel research and innovation
  • Expenditure on research and innovation
  • Funding of research and innovation
  • Participation in the European Union’s Research Framework Programmes
  • Scientific publications
  • Patents
  • Knowledge and technology transfer
  • Innovation activities of firms
  • Economic performance
  • Switzerland in comparison with leading innovation regions

Where the relevant data is available, comparisons are drawn between Switzerland and the following countries: Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom (UK), the United States of America (USA) and China.
As far as possible, all the sections have been structured the same way, stating the context and validity of each indicator, comparing Switzerland with the other countries and illustrating trends over time. A few indicators relate only to a national context and are not compared internationally.

Comparison with innovation regions
Apart from comparisons with other countries, comparisons with particularly innovative regions can make it easier to assess Switzerland’s international position because their standards are higher. Moreover, comparing Switzerland with innovative regions reflects more accurately its special structures – its small, open and highly specialised economy – than comparing it with large countries. The following regions were included in the analysis: Baden-Württemberg (D), Bavaria (D), Lombardy/Piedmont (I), the Paris metropolitan area (F), the London metropolitan area (UK) and the New England states (USA).



SERI, Sylvie Rochat

Project leader

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