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Bilateral science agreement reached

Switzerland and Russia have agreed to cooperate more closely in science and technology.

Details of an accord on bio- and nanotechnology as well as on energy research were worked out in Moscow between the Swiss State Secretary for Education and Research, Charles Kleiber, and his Russian ministerial counterpart, Andrey Fursenko.

A total of SFr30 million ($25.6 million) is to be invested in joint projects. Bern and Moscow will each contribute SFr8 million, with the remainder coming from universities and research institutes.

Geneva University and the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne will play leading roles, coordinating the cooperation with Russian partners.

Kleiber told the Swiss news agency that Russia was fast developing its research potential.

A bilateral research agreement is expected to be signed by the two countries in the first half of next year.

Russia is one of a number of countries the Swiss government has selected in its strategy to strengthen cooperation with emerging countries in science and technology.

Other priority nations are China, India, Japan, South Africa, and South Korea, as well as Brazil and Chile.

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