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Research and innovation

Policy background

Switzerland is an important partner of the European Union (EU) in research and innovation. Researchers from Swiss universities and the private sector have participated in the research and innovation framework programmes (FP) since 1987. In the same year, the EU-Switzerland S&T Agreement entered into force. The country has been associated to the EU framework programmes for research since FP 6 in 2004. After a period of partial association, Switzerland became associated to all parts of Horizon 2020 in January 2017.

The country is strongly involved in most European programmes, including CERN, the European Space Agency, COST and EUREKA. Switzerland is also associated to the entire Euratom Research and Training Programme and participates in the activities carried out by the European Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion for Energy for 2014-2020.

Horizon 2020 key figures

Funding opportunities

Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever with more than €90 billion of funding available over 7 years (2021 to 2027). It is open to the world, which means that participants from all over the world can participate in most calls.

International cooperation in Horizon Europe

Country page

Projects and results

Research project database (CORDIS)

The Commission's primary portal for results of EU-funded research projects. Here you can find International cooperation projects related to Switzerland.

EU funded projects

Project success stories

Stories of particularly successful EU-funded research projects involving Switzerland.

Examples of international cooperation projects

  • HBP is one of four Future and Emerging Technology (FET) Flagships, the largest scientific projects ever funded by the EU. The core project has been supported by successive EU grant agreements: HBP (2013-2017), HBP SGA1 (2016-2018), HBP SGA2 (2018-2020) and ICEI (2018-2023). The project is conducted by a large consortium of 123 partners, among which seven are from Switzerland, in 19 countries, and coordinated by the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. The HBP proposes a unique strategy that uses ICT to integrate neuroscience data from around the world, to develop a unified multi-level understanding of the brain and diseases, and ultimately to emulate its computational capabilities.
  • NISCI (2016-2020), coordinated by the University of Zürich, deals with spinal cord injury repair. There are about 10.000 patients with new injuries at the spinal cord per year in the EU. Due to an almost normal life expectancy, more than 200.000 people live with a spinal cord injury in the EU. A positive outcome of the trial of the research project will represent a breakthrough for the future therapy of spinal cord injuries and beyond (traumatic brain injury, stroke, and multiple sclerosis).
  • WELFAREPRIORITIES (2017-2022) uses recent methodological advances to investigate how countries determine where scare resources should be allocated and what needs should be prioritized in times of austerity. In the first phase, the most salient distributive conflicts and welfare trade-offs in eight European countries are identified. In the second phase, the factors that foster support for social policies among those social groups who are unlikely to benefit from these policies are analysed. The insights of the project contribute to the question of how the welfare state can uphold social solidarity in times of declining resources, rising inequality, and structural change.


National Contact Points

The National Contact Points (NCPs) provide guidance, practical information and assistance on all aspects of participation in Horizon Europe.

European Commission

Joel Le Deroff
Policy Officer
DG Research and Innovation, Unit R&I 05 Horizon Europe Association

Telephone: +32 229 52489 | email:


30 DECEMBER 2014
Agreement on scientific and technical cooperation between the EC and Switzerland
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