A new opportunity for UK-Switzerland research partnerships

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The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) issue a joint statement of intent for bilateral cooperation.

The agreement is designed to enable partnerships and foster alliance between researchers in the UK and Switzerland.

The agreement, formalised with a memorandum of understanding (MoU), was celebrated on Tuesday 8 February. The UK’s Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, George Freeman met Switzerland’s State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation, Martina Hirayama.

Reducing barriers

The UKRI and the SNSF partnership will reduce many of the barriers researchers encounter and enable more cooperation on the two countries shared research priorities. This follows on from recently announced parallel calls from the two organisations focused across four themes:

  • synthetic biology
  • languages
  • materials
  • the life and physical sciences interface.

UKRI Chief Executive Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, and Professor Matthias Egger President of the National Research Council of the SNSF signed the MoU.

Growing partnerships

Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, UKRI Chief Executive, said:

The UK and Switzerland have thriving research communities with successful collaborations over many years.

UK Research and Innovation is committed to maintaining and growing its partnerships with outstanding research and innovation funders across the globe.

This agreement with the Swiss National Science Foundation represents the next step in our successful alliance.

Helping research communities

Matthias Egger, President of the National Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation, said:

Among all international collaborations reported in SNSF grants, the UK is among the three most frequently cited countries. We are committed to help the research communities in Switzerland and the UK join their efforts.

International collaboration

Professor Christopher Smith, UKRI’s International Champion, said:

International collaboration is essential to fostering a healthy research environment. It enables scientists, innovators, and academics to share their diverse experiences, expertise, and knowledge.

I am thrilled this partnership between UKRI and the SNSF further develops our two organisations’ longstanding collaboration, and demonstrates our commitment to nurturing relationships between the thriving research communities in the UK and Switzerland.

Further information

UKRI issued a UK-Switzerland partnering awards call on 14 January 2022 to support UK-based researchers to cooperate with researchers in Switzerland.

SNSF issued a parallel call for Swiss-based researchers to connect with researchers based in the UK under its scientific exchanges scheme on 1 February 2022.

Top image:  Credit: Oleksii Liskonih, Getty Images

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