Switzerland and the UK strengthen their cooperation in research and innovation

Switzerland and the UK strengthen their cooperation in research and innovation

November 2022

On 10 November, Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin and UK Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, George Freeman, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in London on cooperation in research and innovation.

The MoU is intended to create stronger cooperation between the research and innovation communities of both countries. Fields in deep science and deep tech, such as quantum technology and artificial intelligence, are among the focus areas. Other key points include the commercialisation of innovative concepts and science and innovation policy and diplomacy. A joint innovation forum is planned for next year, and there will be regular exchanges to review cooperation priorities and expand them if necessary.

This builds upon the already strong scientific partnership between Switzerland and the UK - the UK is Switzerland's third most important partner in terms of the number of joint projects being carried out as part of Horizon 2020. In addition, the Swiss National Science Foundation approved around 1,100 grants between October 2017 and September 2022 that includes a collaborative component with researchers in the UK or research that will be carried out there. Researchers from both countries also work together at international research institutes such as CERN, the European Organisation for Astronomy and the Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO).

During his visit, Federal Councillor Parmelin also met the UK’s Secretary of State for International Trade Kemi Badenoch for bilateral talks, which focused on further developing the bilateral trade agreement between Switzerland and the UK.