Switzerland and Japan agree framework for expanded research cooperations

31 January 2023 11:48

Bern/Tokyo - At a meeting of the delegations from Japan and Switzerland in Bern, the focus was on looking at ways in which bilateral cooperations in research and innovation could be supplemented and intensified. Among other aspects, the two countries have agreed to carry out joint polar research.

At the fifth meeting of the Joint Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation in Bern, Switzerland and Japan discussed the countries’ latest developments in these fields. According to a press release, the talks focused on bilateral cooperation and various options for intensifying and supplementing existing cooperation between scientists, research bodies and funding institutions.

As the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) emphasizes in the press release, both countries are pursuing research areas of mutual interest, for example in connection with topics such as society and an ageing population, the energy transition and digitalization. As the Leading House for collaborations between economic stakeholders in Switzerland and Asia since 2008, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) has developed various cooperation instruments. Since 2016, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) has supported in excess of 150 research projects involving Japanese researchers.

During the meeting, the Swiss Polar Institute and the National Institute of Polar Research in Japan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to deepen their cooperation in the Arctic, Antarctic and remote high mountain regions. The Vaud School of Health Sciences (HESAV), which is affiliated with the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO), also intends to cooperate more closely with its Japanese counterpart, the Tokyo-based Teikyo University.

Switzerland has a Science & Technology Office based at the Swiss Embassy in Tokyo. The opening of a new consulate in Osaka marks an important expansion for Swissnex, the Swiss network for education, research and innovation. The new consulate has been in operation since mid-2022 and will be officially inaugurated in the fall of 2023. mm

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