This week, Switzerland’s federal council released CHF 400 million to fund Swiss research projects once part of Horizon Europe, an EU research programme that is the world’s most heavily funded. Switzerland was cut out of the programme when it unilaterally ended talks with the EU aimed at agreeing a deal with the bloc.
Since being cut out of Horizon Europe in July 2021, the Swiss government has earmarked CHF 6.15 billion to fund research over the next 7 years. This week it released CHF 400 million of these funds, reported RTS.
Switzerland is currently deemed an unassociated third party country. This allows Swiss researchers to collaborate in roughly two thirds of Horizon Europe projects without EU financing. The Swiss government has pledged to directly fund Switzerland’s participation.
The federal government would like to regain full membership to the programme by becoming an associate member. However, the EU continues to view Switzerland’s membership within the context of the nation’s overall relationship with the bloc, excluding negotiations specific to the Horizon programme.
If full membership remains elusive the remainder of CHF 6.15 billion earmarked could be used to finance Switzerland’s participation in Horizon projects on a case by case basis until the end of the programme.
The Horizon Europe programme runs from 2021 to 2027 and has a budget of 95.5 billion euros.