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Rubrik: News

7th EU Research Framework Program
Federal government must act fast

Published: 21.09.2006 06:00
Modified: 20.09.2006 15:38

(per) Switzerland intends to take a financial stake of 2.36 billion Swiss francs in the seventh EU Research Framework Program (RP) from 2007 to 2013. This means the Swiss share will cover 2.8 percent of the total costs of the planned expenditure of 55 billion Euro. The size of the contribution is governed by the gross domestic product (GDP), among other things.

In addition to the contribution to the EU’s research funds, the guarantee credit of a total of 2.54 billion Swiss francs requested by the Federal Council from the cantonal parliaments on Wednesday 13 September 2006 also includes funding for national accompanying activities and for participation in the ITER/Broader Approach project, a collaboration between Europe and Japan in fusion research. The credit includes an additional reserve for GDP and currency exchange rate fluctuations over the next seven years.

The matter is urgent

For Swiss research to be able to take part in the initial project invitations to tender, the financial decisions must come into force on 1 January 2007. Therefore the Federal Council has requested an emergency procedure so that the business can be decided in the coming winter session.

The European Union created the Framework Programs for Research and Technological Development as the main instrument to implement a Community-wide science and technology policy.

ETH successful in the 6th Framework Program

Swiss research has shared in the work on this Framework Program since the eighties. Only since 2004 has it been a full participant with all the rights in the sense of the Research Treaty to the 6th RP between Switzerland and the EU. The 6th Framework Program is costing 17.5 billion Euro, began in 2003 and will expire at the end of this year. The next Framework Program is intended to last a further seven years and will cost significantly more: 7.85 billion Euro per year instead of the previous 4.37 billion.

“Switzerland made a very good start in the Sixth Framework Program,” says Sofia Karakostas, manager of Euresearch for ETH and the University of Zurich. She says the Confederation was able to recover 100 percent of its expenditure. With regard to the Federal government’s previous investments, she stresses that it in some circumstances it may even be possible to recoup up to 130 percent of the funds that go to Brussels. ETH has also started successfully in the 6th Framework program. There are 218 projects running with its participation, 19 of them under overall control by ETH.

Promoting young talent and fundamental research

The new 7th Framework Program will introduce two innovations. In the past, European applied research projects that are not practicable nationally were funded by the Framework Program in collaboration with industry. As an innovation, the 7th Framework Program will also support fundamental research for which such co-operations are no longer compulsory. In addition, young academic talent will be supported by a special program. (1)

(1 Brief information about the 7th FRP: (

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