Traineeship from 01 September 2012 to 28 Februar 2013.
At the time of entry, Ueli Staeger just completed a Bachelor in political Sciences at the University of Geneva. He dedicated half of his time to the research portfolio and the other half to carry out a comparative study on European and Swiss International Cooperation in Science and Technology. The executive summary can be found hereunder.
European and Swiss International Cooperation in Science and Technology
Facing increased global competition, Europe underlines the need to engage in multilateral science and technology cooperation. Following on the communication on International Cooperation in Science and Technology (INCO S&T) by the European Commission (EC) from September 2012, SwissCore explored the opportunities that this new strategy presents to the Swiss INCO S&T. Our Student Trainee Ueli Staeger in his report provided a comparison between the European and Swiss INCO S&T, identified different policy options for Switzerland and offered recommendations to the key actors shaping the Swiss INCO S&T.
The report analyses the European and Swiss approaches to INCO S&T with regard to policy contexts, strategies, S&T agreements and funding instruments. The underlying Swiss challenge is to realise the highest ambitions of its science scene. Switzerland attracts scientists from all over the world and seeks to collaborate with the best, but despite generous public funding and a private sector that invests intensely in Research and Technological Development (RTD), there are only limited resources at the hands of the Swiss research community to engage in INCO S&T.
The EU seeks to cooperate with emerging science nations around the world and does so through S&T agreements with 24 countries. A major contribution to international collaboration with European researchers is the general opening of participation in Horizon 2020 to all countries. At the same time, the EU restricted automatic funding to third countries above a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) threshold of $1 trillion – thereby excluding China, India, Russia, Brazil and Mexico. The Strategic Forum for International S&T Cooperation (SFIC) plays a vital role in trying to coordinate activities between member states and the EC.SFIC published its new Work Programme for 2013 to 2014 this month. In addition, the EU has stepped up its science diplomacy and therefore uses research strategically to enhance its foreign policy goals while nonetheless striving for excellent science.
Switzerland, on the other side, builds on its strong role in the European research landscape. As an associated country to the European Framework Programmes (FP), it actively contributes to the shaping of an European knowledge society and has the most international science workforce worldwide. The participation in the FP and other European schemes is at the forefront of Swiss INCO S&T, as Switzerland’s principal international partners are its European neighbours.
The Swiss and European INCO S&T strategies share an ‘excellent science core’ that encourages bottom-up collaborations by researchers with the best partners around the world.
Instead of aligning with European INCO S&T or seeking autonomy from it, the report reveals a preferred third option:
- to seize opportunities at European level for cooperation with third countries;
- to shape conditions for Swiss involvement by communicating Swiss best practice;
- to contribute making Europe an attractive place for science.
This also involves the use of resources and the creation of synergies to drive the collaboration with priority countries to new levels of intensity – to reach out to tomorrow’s science stars!
see complete report