Switzerland re-enters HORIZON 2020 “Excellent Science” pillar

The European Commission and the Swiss government announced on 12 September that they have reached a technical agreement on Swiss participation in HORIZON 2020. From today until December 2016, Switzerland will again participate with an associated country status in actions under the “Excellent Science” pillar containing the ERC grants, Future Emerging Technologies, Research Infrastructures and Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions.

Switzerland can also participate as an associated country in HORIZON 2020 actions under the specific objective “Spreading excellence and widening participation”, as well the Euratom programme and activities carried out by the European Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion for Energy. In all other aspects of HORIZON 2020, Switzerland will have the status as a “third country”.

Switzerland had lost its associated country status following the result of the referendum “Against mass immigration” in February 2014. Patrick Aebischer, President of École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and current Chair of the EuroTech Universities Alliance, welcomed this development as “better than no agreement”.