Science foundation targets careers, innovation

Goals of the new initiative include support for young researchers and for women in academia. Keystone

The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) has presented a plan to promote academic careers and young researchers in Switzerland from 2017-2020.

This content was published on May 19, 2015 minutes

In addition to supporting technology transfer and tenure-track academic careers, one of the goals of the initiative is to make Swiss research and innovation more flexible and sustainable.

After voting to curb European immigration in February 2014, Switzerland’s future access to European research funding programmes such as Horizon 2020 has been up-in-the-air. In December, Switzerland was granted partial participation in Horizon 2020 until 2016, but its status from 2017 remains uncertain.

The SNSF said on Tuesday that if Switzerland does become ineligible for Horizon 2020 participation, government funding programmes such as the Temporary Backup Schemes would not be sufficient replacements for European competition.

The SNSF’s initiative, which will require about CHF4.5 billion ($4.8 million) in funding, tackles the immediate problem of research funding while simultaneously addressing the long-term goals of driving innovation and nurturing burgeoning science careers.

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