Research funding 2017-2020: the Federal Council‘s Dispatch raises questions


The Dispatch on the Promotion of Education, Research and Innovation 2017-2020 is worrying higher education and research institutions.

On 24 February, the Federal Council submitted the ERI Dispatch (Education, Research and Innovation) 2017-2020 to parliament. While the Dispatch confirms sorely needed core projects, particularly those promoting young scientists in new research fields, it also sets out the Federal Council's intention to allocate a significantly lower amount to the ERI sector than it had initially planned.

In a joint statement, Swiss higher education and research institutions - including the Swiss National Science Foundation - have expressed their fear that the budget cuts will jeopardise Switzerland's leading position in education, research and innovation - at a time when the country's future participation in the European research framework programme is in severe doubt.

Slightly more than 10% of federal spending flows into the institutions of the ERI sector. Under the planned stabilisation programme, however, they would be obliged to contribute 20 per cent worth of savings, a development which in their view would be detrimental to the Swiss economy and Swiss research. They have decided to study the ERI Dispatch in detail and prepare proposals for corrections they regard as absolutely necessary.


Communication division