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21 May 2015

Swiss National Foundation: Flexibility needed for Swiss H2020 participation issue

The Swiss National Foundation (SNF), the country's national fund for the promotion of basic research, has recently published its multi-annual programme 2017-2020. In this context, the SNF also addresses the issue of Swiss participation in Horizon 2020, saying that flexibility on the part of the SNF would be required.

Switzerland has signed an agreement with the EU according to which it is partially associated to Horizon 2020 and able to fully participate in the first pillar of Horizon 2020 and EURATOM. In other parts of the Framework Programme, however, Switzerland can only participate as a third country. The agreement expires in December 2016, with Swiss participation still uncertain beyond that date. The SNF therefore requires flexible planning for the 2017-2020 period. According to the SNF, its multi-annual programme could have to be changed "substantially" if Switzerland was no longer associated to Horizon 2020 as of 2017. The SNF will draw up scenarios in case this should happen. The SNF emphasises that "temporary backup schemes" could only provide an emergency solution, and that international cooperation and Switzerland's integration into the European Research Area are indispensable.

For more information:

SNF - press release (in German)

SNF Multi-annual Programme 2017-2020 (in German)

Swiss government approves partial association to Horizon 2020

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