The Swiss Science Council (SSC) has started the 2024–2027 term of office with five new members. At its meeting of 26 and 27 February 2024, it outlined the first key challenges for science, higher education, research and innovation policy in the coming years. The SSC also emphasised that education, research and innovation will require more federal funding and new impetus in the coming years than the Federal Council has foreseen.

"The relevance of education, research and innovation is increasing," stated SSC President Sabine Süsstrunk after the first meeting of the newly constituted Council. "We are convinced that the authorities and the administration will give more importance to scientific policy advice – and thus to the SSC – after the Covid-19 crisis. We perceive a willingness on the part of all those involved to improve cooperation."

"Research and innovation 4.0", "Improved coordination of education, research and innovation" and "Science with and for society" are the first keywords for which the SSC will specify the priorities of its 2024–2027 Working Programme in the upcoming weeks. It is already apparent that there will be an SSC work package on Artificial Intelligence, among other things, as this technology is massively changing education, research and innovation (ERI). The Council will also continue its efforts to implement its latest recommendations for the adequate digitalisation of the healthcare system and for mission-oriented research and innovation in Switzerland.


More funding for the ERI sector

It is with concern that the SSC has taken note of the Federal Council’s plans for the ERI sector (consultation on the ERI Dispatch 25–28) and of the latest decisions to cut loosely earmarked expenditure. On the one hand, the Federal Council wants Switzerland to maintain a leading position in the ERI sector, which is fundamental to the country's welfare. On the other hand, the financial decisions are primarily characterised by the difficult financial situation.

The ongoing non-association with the European Union's education, research and innovation programmes is a major challenge in itself. The SSC therefore fears that without an average annual real growth in funding of at least 2.5 %, Switzerland's leading position in the ERI sector cannot be maintained. The peril lies in the gradual erosion, with its repercussions only becoming evident once it is too late.


Advising the federal government since 1965

The Swiss Science Council SSC is the advisory body to the Federal Council for all issues related to science, higher education, research and innovation policy. The Council has for 59 years been working to optimise the Swiss education, research and innovation landscape. It is independent and does not award any funding. The SSC always takes a long-term perspective and is consistently committed to the good of the entire system.


Mission-oriented Research and Innovation in Switzerland

Recommendations by the SSC for a national patient data infrastructure for health care and research 

SSC position statement on the ERI Dispatch 2025-2028


The Council