On a percentage basis, the amount Switzerland spends on research and development in relation to gross domestic product (GDP) places this country high in international rankings. Swiss federal legislation puts the onus for the promotion of scientific research on the Confederation, which in turn has created various instruments, including in particular the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).
The Swiss National Science Foundation has attributed five national research projects to teams led by key players in Western Switzerland. These projects, run as centres of excellence, are all related in some way to the life sciences.
The teams leading these research projects are located in:
A number of other active networks exist:
Spanning Western Switzerland and including institutions in the Ticino, the Swiss Vaccine Research Institute (SVRI) carries out exploration, scientific discovery and translation of the discoveries into effective preventive vaccine strategies and therapeutic vaccine interventions for infectious diseases and for cancer.
The Swiss Stem Cell Network (SSCN) was designed to foster interactions among scientists, and between scientists and society, to advance the discovery of basic mechanisms of embryonic and adult stem cell functions in human and all model systems, to encourage and support young scientists, minorities and women in science, to inform the public at large of current stem cell research, and to discuss important scientific and ethical issues arising from stem cell research.
VSNet is an association of the scientific institutions in the Valais to facilitate research exchange and information.
Among the other networks that exist in the cluster, Biotechnet Switzerland provides access to a wide variety of high-caliber competencies in biotechnology of Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences.
Swiss Food Research - an association for the promotion of research and innovation in the food and food related sectors - is a network of Swiss academic institutions which was established in order to enhance the competitiveness of the Swiss food industry and its suppliers.
SM Bio Power, a European network empowers small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in biomedical engineering to participate in EU research.
These networks are easy to access for academia and industry alike and provide a wealth of knowledge and expertise to those looking for strong research capabilities.
Should you know of any networks that are not listed here, please let us know, by writing to: