Brussels, 19 Jan 2004
Switzerland has confirmed that it will contribute 400 million euro to the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) budget, after the country renewed its scientific and technological cooperation agreement with the European Commission on 16 January.
Swiss researchers participated in the first FP6 calls for proposals on equal terms with their EU counterparts, and consortia that included a Swiss partner enjoyed a higher success rate than the EU average.
The agreement was signed for the European Union by Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin; head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs, Pascal Couchepin, for the Swiss government; and Ambassador Ann Anderson, representing the Irish Presidency.
'The European Research Area will benefit from the excellence of Swiss scientific and technological resources. In return, Switzerland will take full advantage of the [ERA] and contribute to its development,' said Mr Busquin.
In addition to the accession and candidate countries, Switzerland becomes the fifth country to be fully associated to the EU Framework Programme, alongside Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Israel. Around 500 Swiss researchers are involved in over 300 FP6 projects for which funding is currently being negotiated.
Switzerland is one of the world's leading countries in terms of investment in research, currently spending around 2.6 per cent of GDP. More than two thirds of this sum is accounted for by the private sector, particularly in the pharmaceuticals, chemicals, electrical and metalworking industries.
For further information on Swiss participation in FP6 (in German and French), please visit: