Science and Research

Switzerland's above-average expenditure on science and research demonstrates the high priority it accords to this field. However, this is not the only reason that Switzerland is home to cutting-edge international research: excellent international networking, high standards in education, a stable political and legal situation, exceptional infrastructure, and social recognition all have a part to play.

Clear skies over the ETH Zurich main building.
ETH Zurich is ranked among the top 20 universities in the world by various higher education league tables. © ETH Zürich

Switzerland attaches great importance to science and research. Accordingly, it invests more resources as a percentage of its gross domestic product (GDP) than the majority of member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In addition, the high standard of education, excellent infrastructure, and the reliable legal and political context create the conditions for science and research to flourish.

Switzerland boasts an attractive and successful science and research landscape, which draws researchers from all over the world: around half of all PhD students and professors hail from abroad. Many of the universities found in Switzerland are very well placed in international higher education rankings. However, a large part of research and development takes place in private companies rather than public institutions.

There is no world-class research without networking, and Switzerland is extremely well connected within the international community. Switzerland is home to groundbreaking international research projects, including CERN ⁠– the European Organization for Nuclear Research – and the Human Brain Project. It is also a pioneer of applied research in the field of technological development.

Science and Research – Facts and Figures

No other country files more patent applications per capita than Switzerland.

Science and Research – Organisation and Funding

Marketable innovations as well as fundamental research – the private and public sectors divide science and research among themselves.

International Research Collaboration and Networking

Research at the highest level: CERN, with its Large Hadron Collider, and the ambitious Human Brain Project are two outstanding examples.