Third meeting of the Italian-Swiss joint committee for cooperation in the area of science

On June 28, 2021, the third meeting of the Italian-Swiss joint committee for cooperation in the area of science met took place in a virtual format. The meeting included both a bilateral discussion between Martina Hirayama, State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation, and Maria Cristina Messa, Italian Minister for University and Research, and an in-depth exchange between the respective high-level delegations of both countries on existing and future scientific cooperation.

The bilateral talk between State Secretary Hirayama and Minister Messa focused on the cooperation between the two countries in the framework of international research infrastructure, the EU research framework programmes and in the field of space. Among other things, State Secretary Hirayama emphasized the importance of Switzerland’s association with the EU’s research framework program «Horizon Europe».

In the subsequent plenary session, the two heads of delegation presented the respective ERI policies of both countries and emphasized the intensity and excellent quality of bilateral relations in the scientific field. Numerous projects in all academic disciplines already enable Italian and Swiss researchers to cooperate. The delegations, composed of high-level representatives of the academic and scientific world, then exchanged views on existing cooperation in higher education, research and innovation and discussed proposals on how to further promote the dissemination of knowledge and further intensify exchanges by identifying fields and sectors of common interest.

Italy is an important partner for Switzerland when it comes to ERI. Cooperation takes place at many different levels and is particularly intensive in the areas of ICT, health sciences and energy. The outstanding level of networking and cooperation between researchers and institutions from both countries has very often been the result of joint projects pursued within the framework of the EU research framework programmes. As part of the 8th EU research framework programme «Horizon 2020», Italy is Switzerland’s fourth most important partner country, with 1266 project collaborations. Since 2011, the Swiss National Science Foundation has also supported 1527 projects with an Italian cooperation component. With around 6260 Italian students (2020/21; foreign students only), Italian students from the third largest group of foreign students in Switzerland; the other way round, around 950 Swiss students studied in Italy in the academic year 2019/20.

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