Swiss funding for research jumps by 12%

Science doesn't come cheap. © Keystone / Alexandra Wey

Federal funding for research projects last year came to CHF2.6 billion ($2.76 billion), a rise of 12% compared with 2017.

This content was published on July 7, 2020 - 11:06

Almost 90% of the funding went to external research projects, the Federal Statistical OfficeExternal link reported. The remaining 10% of the money went on internal research by federal authorities themselves – notably the Agroscope institute, which conducts research into agriculture.

A good half of the total went to universities and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), which supports and coordinates national research projects running over several years, and in various academic disciplines, from the natural to the social sciences.

A total of CHF850 million was earmarked for projects outside Switzerland, including key European Union research programmes and the European Space Agency. The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), based near Geneva, received CHF47 million from the Swiss.

All told, the funding marked a 12% increase compared with 2017, the last time such figures were available.

By international comparisonExternal link, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), “Switzerland has above-average spending on research and development, a factor which (along with others) means that it has the second highest rate of doctoral qualifications in the OECD.

In 2018, the OECD writes, 3.2% of Swiss adults held a doctorate.

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