Switzerland: driving innovation

Switzerland driving innovation
Switzerland is supporting a project that was launched on Tuesday (15 May) with the aim of driving innovation in Croatia and limiting the emigration of talented young scientists.

Switzerland is supporting a project that was launched on Tuesday (15 May) with the aim of driving innovation in Croatia and limiting the emigration of talented young scientists.

With the aim of driving innovation, the new programme which was developed by various academic institutions and organisations has a budget of around €3.9m. After a selection process that began in March, four Croatian researchers will receive €847,000 to set up a laboratory, hire a team, and put a research programme into place.

The programme was developed by various academic institutions including:

  • The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL);
  • The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC);
  • The Croatian Ministry of Science and Education; and
  • The Croatian Science Foundation (CSF).

Olivier Küttel, head of International Affairs at EPFL, said: “Not only do we want to encourage the talented pool of Croatian scientists living abroad to return home, but we also want to give young researchers a real chance, responsibilities and future prospects in their own country, so they will no longer need to go abroad in order to have a successful career.”

Where did the idea stem from?

After Croatia joined the European Union around four years ago, the project was submitted to the European Commission for funding through the Research and innovation scheme, Horizon 2020.

Now, the project of driving innovation will be funded through money that Switzerland has contributed to the European Union for Eastern European countries. As reported in Swissinfo.ch, the Croatian government will also cover around 15% of the costs towards the project to provide appropriate research facilities.

What is the Horizon 2020 programme?

Horizon 2020 is a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global innovation competitiveness. By linking research and innovation, the research programme helps to achieve a sustainable Europe with its emphasis on excellent science.

  • The current framework – Horizon 2020 – is the biggest EU research and innovation programme yet, with nearly €80bn of funding available over seven years;
  • The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science and removes barriers to innovation; and
  • The framework promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.
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