Data published this week show that Switzerland invested CHF 24.6 billion into research and development (R&D) in 2021, a sum 4% higher than in 2019 before the pandemic struck.
With an R&D investment equivalent to 3.4% of GDP, Switzerland was fourth internationally behind only the United States (3.5%), South Korea (4.9%) and Israel (5.6%).
R&D investment in 2021 in Switzerland was 4% higher compared with 2019, the year of the last survey. R&D activities were mainly carried out within higher education institutions (28%) and private enterprises (68%) by close to 140,000 people. The federal government and non-profit organisations undertook the remaining 4% research.
The Swiss government, at both federal and cantonal levels, was a major source of R&D funding contributing 27% of the total spent in 2021, 3% more than in 2019.
The biggest change between 2019 and 2021 was a steep fall (-41%) in the amount of R&D funding from abroad. This was due to Switzerland being cut out of Horizon Europe programme. The Swiss government stepped in and filled this hole.