Swiss scientific advisers abroad are either employees of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) or career diplomats from the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). The Confederation sent its first science attaché to Washington D.C. in 1958. Switzerland now has a network of 28 scientific advisers working in 20 different countries (see map).
The main activities of the entire network include the following:
- monitoring and anticipating developments in science policy in the host region and reporting on such developments in Switzerland
- establishing and maintaining contacts with representatives of the administration, universities, research institutes, and the private sector in the host country
- organising events and multidisciplinary activities in the fields of education, research, technology and culture in order to increase the level of awareness of Switzerland as a science location (using project funding from the SERI)
- stimulating and supporting cooperation projects in the area of university or industry research and development with a special focus on the transfer of technology and the mobility of the researchers.
In 2014, the Education, Research and Innovation Network (ERI-Net) launched the Global Statement Blog. Based on the expertise of the Swiss network of scientific counselors and swissnex, it aims at identifying, analyzing and reporting on global trends in higher education, research and innovation. 2015 topic is "Big Data". Discover the blog:
Science Switzerland, Science Europe, Science America and Science Asia – News briefs covering such topics as science, technology, education and innovation in the corresponding regions