Switzerland takes over EUREKA chairmanship from Norway

Bern, Press releases, 20.06.2014

The Delegate of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research EAER, Bruno H. Moor, assumed Switzerland's year-long chairmanship of EUREKA, the European research initiative, at an event in Bergen (Norway) today. He set out the four priorities of the Swiss chairmanship. The focus is on strengthening institutional networking and on tailoring instruments to the needs of businesses involved in research and innovation.

In a speech delivered on assuming the EUREKA chairmanship, Bruno H. Moor explained that implementation of the the new Strategic Roadmap for 2014-2020, finalised last year, would begin under Switzerland's chairmanship. Switzerland sets great store by continuity and will seek the active involvement of EUREKA's member countries.

Switzerland has set four goals for its chairmanship: First, EUREKA should work more closely with national promotion agencies, such as the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) in Switzerland, and improve interaction between national funding agencies and EUREKA. Second, the EUREKA network should be strengthened by expanding cooperation with associated countries (Canada, South Korea and South Africa), for example. Third, EUREKA should be positioned in the European Research Area. Here the emphasis is on identifying and harnessing synergies between EUREKA and other initiatives within the European Research Area. Fourth, EUREKA should be more oriented towards the needs of its target groups, particularly businesses.

EUREKA's approach closely corresponds with Swiss values in research and innovation promotion; these include not imposing requirements to pursue projects in specified fields, flexibility for project sponsors and the greatest possible scope in making use of individual funding instruments. EUREKA offers an ideal framework for international cooperation, particularly for SMEs. This has been shown by the strong interest on the part of innovative Swiss SMEs in EUREKA's Eurostars programmes over the last six years. This was one of the reasons why the Federal Council decided in May 2011 to assume the EUREKA chairmanship.

This is the second time that Switzerland has chaired EUREKA, after previously assuming the role in 1994/1995. During this time it is responsible for guiding the work of the initiative and ensuring its continued development. Four high-level meetings are planned to take place in Switzerland. One of the highlights of the year for Switzerland will be hosting the EUREKA Innovation Event in Basel on 19 November, organised in cooperation with the Swiss Innovation Forum. The aim of the event is to offer a platform for industry partners to network, exchange project ideas and develop new products and services.

EUREKA was founded in 1985 as a multilateral organisation association of 17 countries based in Brussels. Switzerland was among its founding members. Today the initiative boasts 41 members and three associate members. Following a bottom-up approach, EUREKA acts as a framework for the development and implementation of products, processes and services with global market potential. As a market-oriented, decentrally-organised initiative working across all fields of technology, EUREKA is an important complement to the European Union's research programmes.

Further information:

Switzerland's Work Programme and additional information on EUREKA

Address for enquiries:

Sonja Merwar, State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI
Project manager, Swiss Chairmanship of EUREKA
Tel. +32 2 777 09 52, sonja.merwar@sbfi.admin.ch


Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research