Horizon Europe: Swiss government pledges funds to plug shortfalls

The thermonuclear reactor in southern France is part of the ITER research infrastructure. Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

The Swiss government has decided to allocate up to CHF400 million ($434 million) this year for scientists wishing to participate in Europe’s flagship research project.

This content was published on October 20, 2021 - 15:09

The direct funding covers a programme to boost digital technology and participation in a major fusion energy research infrastructure.

The government also pledged to examine other possible steps to ensure Switzerland’s standing as a location for research and innovation, it said in a statement on Wednesday. It added that the aim remains a re-association with the Horizon package “at the earliest opportunity”.

The move became necessary after the European Union relegated Switzerland to non-associated country status in the Horizon EuropeExternal link programme, notably cutting off Swiss researchers from funding by the European Commission.

In July, Brussels effectively locked Switzerland out of Horizon until further notice after the Swiss government walked away from seven years of negotiations concerning an overarching agreement to simplify bilateral relations with Brussels in May.

Horizon Europe runs from 2021 to 2027 is the has an overall budget of €95 billion.

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