Switzerland depends on a strong ERI system to secure its international competitiveness and prosperity. Innosuisse therefore calls for a clear political commitment to ensuring that Switzerland is a strong centre of education, research and innovation for the 2025–2028 funding contribution period.
Dispatch on the Promotion of Education, Research and Innovation (ERI) 2025–2028: Innosuisse is committed to strengthening education, research and innovation for the Switzerland of tomorrow
In its statement on the Dispatch on the Promotion of Education, Research and Innovation (ERI) 2025–2028, Innosuisse makes it clear that Switzerland, as a high-wage and high-cost country, can only maintain its leading position in the international marketplace if it continues to give priority to education, research and innovation and ensures adequate funding. The continued non-affiliation with the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme and the huge investments some other countries have been devoting to these areas have made the international context much more demanding. This represents a challenge for Switzerland. The Swiss ERI system is therefore dependent on significant real growth in 2025 to 2028 so that it can maintain its current strong international position and continue to make a significant contribution to securing economic value creation and high-quality jobs.
The promotion of innovation in Switzerland has gained significantly in stature in recent years. However, the funds allocated to it are still at a low level compared with those for education and research. The transfer of scientific findings into practice is at the heart of innovation promotion. This serves the economy and society and is crucial for Switzerland’s economic value creation. The instruments that are available in Swiss innovation promotion and, in particular, at Innosuisse for the promotion of this transfer justifiably meet with great international recognition. Further strengthening them will enable Swiss companies to develop new and internationally competitive solutions. In doing so, they actively contribute to solving the major economic, environmental and social challenges the world faces. However, these instruments will also help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to master upcoming challenges, particularly in connection with the digital transformation, and to maintain their innovative strength and competitiveness. Innosuisse acknowledges that the Federal Council assigns it above-average growth in the ERI Dispatch 2025–2028. However, this is not sufficient to take adequate account of the expanded funding opportunities created with the revision of the legal basis. Innosuisse therefore advocates a further increase in funding.
The ERI Dispatch has elements that point to greater political control of the ERI system in the future. This includes the explicit prohibition on Innosuisse issuing calls for flagship projects in the energy sector during the 2025–2028 funding contribution period, aimed at ensuring a “clear distinction” from the SWEET and SWEETER programmes being pursued by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE). This also includes the funds reserved for what are called supplementary measures, which further restricts the room for manoeuvre and flexibility of the Swiss National Science Foundation in particular. The Swiss ERI system has hitherto been characterised by restrained political control. Innosuisse is firmly of the view that this restraint is an important success factor in its performance and effectiveness. It should therefore not be abandoned.
Last modification 25.08.2023