Horizon Europe for Swiss Researchers
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Swiss entities can participate in most Horizon Europe calls. Funding is provided by the Swiss government as long as Switzerland is not associated to the programme.
The European programme for research and innovation, ‘Horizon Europe’, has a total of €95.5 billion with which to fund ground-breaking research that will impact society at all levels. However, Horizon Europe closed to researchers in Switzerland when negotiation talks for our association to the programme failed to even start in 2021. Since that time, confusion and disappointment have reigned in the research and innovation sectors about Swiss participation in the programme. Nevertheless, there is a light at the end of the tunnel: Swiss-based researchers and innovators can now participate in the vast majority of Horizon Europe grants.
Given that Switzerland has been what is known as a ‘non-associated country’ in terms of Horizon Europe since its onset, there has been much uncertainty about whether and how Swiss researchers and innovators may take part in the programme and benefit from its funds for research. On the downside, researchers here may no longer take part in the international competition for the most prestigious grants in Europe, the European Research Council (ERC) and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions MSCA (excepting the ERC Synergy Grants and MSCA Global Fellowships).
The good news, though, is that the Swiss government has provided funding both for transitional measures (implemented by Innosuisse and the Swiss National Science Foundation) to substitute the above-mentioned grants, as well as for Swiss-based companies and researchers to take part in collaborative Horizon Europe projects. These collaborative projects are designed to address some of the most pressing issues of our time, from civil security to healthtech, democracy and digitalisation. Swiss-based entities can now join these projects as what is known as an ‘associated partner’, with their participation funded by the Secretary for Education, Research, and Innovation (SERI), who guarantee funding for any researcher or innovator taking part in a Horizon Europe collaborative project. There is even a silver lining to the situation: Swiss partners bring their budget on top of the project budget that is funded by Horizon Europe. As such, Swiss based companies and researchers can continue to expand their networks and keep up with international challenges, spanning from strategic technologies to decarbonization of the economy and more, via an almost privileged position as associated partner.
How to apply Horizon Europe?
You can participate in most of the Horizon Europe calls under the following conditions:
- You apply in the role of Associated Partner
- All your eligible costs will be reimbursed by SERI as long as Switzerland is not associated to Horizon Europe.
- The Financial Guarantee for Swiss Participants in Collaborative Projects can be included in your proposal.
- For all those calls that are not open to Swiss entities, SERI has implemented transitional measures for you to apply.
ℹ️ More information on how to apply to collaborative projects here
⚖️ Legal basis for SERI’s funding here
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