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UK-Switzerland: new bilateral agreement for research cooperation

Earlier this month, a new research cooperation agreement was signed by the UK Minister of State for Science, Research and Innovation—George Freeman—along with his Swiss counterpart Guy Parmelin— Head of Switzerland’s Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. The agreement sets forth to deepen the relationship between the two countries’ world-class research and innovation communities, with three areas being given top priority: deep science, industrial commercialisation and international standards and regulation.

In their respective press releases, both parties emphasised the UK and Switzerland’s leading positions in Europe for research and science, being home to a total of 10 of Europe’s top 20 research universities. Additionally, the two leaders highlighted that in order to tackle urgent global challenges like climate change, biosecurity and space sustainability, the two countries will join forces in research and innovation projects and aim to achieve tangible outcomes in new technology sectors.

To this aim, the agreement outlines specific forms of cooperation such as

  1. Coordinated or joint initiatives, programmes or projects
  2. Meetings, workshops, conferences or symposia
  3. Exchange of information and documentation
  4. Mobility, visits and delegations
  5. Strategy and coordination meetings along with an annual Research Collaboration Council to oversee activities.

With the two countries’ association to the Horizon Europe still to materialise, this bilateral agreement aims to offer an additional avenue for cooperation.

For more information, see the press releases from both parties— the UK and Switzerland.