882 million francs invested in research by the SNSF in 2021

882 million francs invested in research by the SNSF in 2021

In 2021, the Swiss National Science Foundation selected around 1.800 study projects, involving a total of more than 20.000 researchers

The Swiss National Science Foundation invested 882 million francs in 2021 in research
The Swiss National Science Foundation invested 882 million francs in 2021 in research

Last year, the Swiss National Science Foundation selected around 1.800 research projects for funding.
It has also launched new livelihood measures, as Swiss researchers cannot participate in important areas of the programme Horizon Europe of the European Union.
Expanding knowledge and solving problems: this is what thousands of SNSF-funded research groups do at federal universities and other universities.
Their curiosity and systematic study of nature, technology and society are key drivers of progress.

The SNSF and Innosuisse will strengthen the strategic partnership

400 scholarships abroad and 1000 scientific publications

In 2021, the SNSF financed around 1800 new research projects with 876 million francs, including 400 scholarships abroad.
It also awarded 6 million francs for over 1000 scientific publications, guaranteeing free access.
A total funding of 882 million francs was approved, 55 million less than in 2020. The reasons are various. For example, the government's annual contribution to the SNSF was slightly lower.
Furthermore, the allocations in some funding schemes, seen over several years, are not linear but subject to cycles. For example, many infrastructure grants were extended in 2020, which was not the case in 2021.

58 million francs for 24 “innovative” Swiss start-ups

The Swiss 1000 franc banknote has the highest face value in the world
The Swiss 1000 franc banknote has the highest face value in the world

218 million in careers, 147 in programs, 44 in infrastructure

And here's how the 882 million francs are distributed between funding categories, research sectors and institutions:
Funding categories: The SNSF invested more than half of the money, 459 million, in project funding, 218 million in career funding, 147 million in programs, 44 million in infrastructure and 13 million in science communication.
Research Areas: Their respective shares fluctuate from year to year. In 2021, 339 million went to mathematics, natural sciences and engineering, 318 million to life sciences and 224 million to social sciences and humanities.
Institutions: The SNSF approved 551 million for applications from cantonal universities, 220 million for the ETH sector, 41 million for universities of applied sciences and pedagogical schools, and 69 million for other institutions.
In addition, higher education institutions receive CHF 117 million to cover indirect research costs incurred as a result of the new projects.

Switzerland & Ivory Coast: science, technology and innovation

Swiss women of all ages and social backgrounds took part in the "HerHack" hackathon on 6 and 7 November as part of the "Swiss Digital Day", the aim of which was to inspire them to pursue a career in the technology sector (Photo: Moritz Schmid)
Swiss women of all ages and social backgrounds took part in the "HerHack" hackathon on 6 and 7 November as part of the "Swiss Digital Day", the aim of which was to inspire them to pursue a career in the technology sector
(Photo: Moritz Schmid)

30,7 per cent of women in charge of a business: that's 1,6 more

At the end of 2021, 5700 projects funded by the Swiss National Fund were ongoing, involving more than 20.000 researchers, 39 percent of whom were women.
The percentage of women leading a research project was 30,7 percent. This corresponds to an increase of 1,6 percentage points compared to 2020.

Switzerland and Brazil compared on research and innovation

The logo of the European Union's Horizon Europe key funding program for research and innovation
The logo of the EU's Horizon Europe key funding program for research and innovation

Horizon Europe: transitional measures, 1500 requests for support

Switzerland is currently unable to participate in important areas of the research framework program Horizon Europe, which started in 2021.
Thus, the SNSF has launched three new funding measures for Swiss researchers on behalf of the government since October 2021 and a fourth one at the beginning of 2022.
Around 1500 applications for project funding have been received so far.
“In agreement with the government, we offer alternative solutions for the best Swiss researchers in the short and medium term. But we know that this will not fully compensate for being sidelined by Europe”, says Matthias Egger, president of the National Research Council.

Washington-Bern axis to promote scientific research

The president of the Swiss National Science Foundation, Matthias Egger, and the president of the US National Science Foundation, Sethuraman Panchanathan, have signed a declaration of intent that lays the foundations for a long collaboration to promote research
The president of the Swiss National Science Foundation, Matthias Egger, and the president of the US National Science Foundation, Sethuraman Panchanathan, have signed a declaration of intent that lays the foundations for a long collaboration to promote research

Greater international cooperation with the English-speaking world

Independently of Horizon Europe, the SNSF further expanded cross-border funding options for researchers in late 2021 and early 2022.
For example, the SNSF has agreed to work closely with funding organizations in the US and UK.
And together with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the SDC launched a new program (SOR2022D) at the beginning of 4 to promote transdisciplinary research in and with developing countries.
In general, the research funded by the SNSF has an extremely international character: in three out of four projects, Swiss researchers collaborate with foreign colleagues.

This is why the human placenta is a… target of COVID-19

The (positive) result of a test for COVID19
The (positive) result of a test for COVID19

COVID Research Supplemental Program with 107 activities

Last year, the SNSF continued to support research related to COVID-19. To date, it has approved a total of 107 projects in the amount of 45 million francs.
Furthermore, at the end of 2021, it also launched a national research program (PNR 80) on “COVID-19 in society”, targeting the social sciences and humanities.
For more information, it is worth taking a look at the 2021 annual report. Detailed key figures and all funded projects can be found on the SNSF data portal.

Excluded from “Horizon Europe”, Switzerland thus counterattacks

The logo of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF-SNF)
The logo of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF-SNF)

New projects financed by the SNSF: six examples of financing

It is worth mentioning six examples of funding supported in Switzerland by the SNSF in three fields of study: mathematics, natural sciences and engineering, life sciences and social sciences and humanities

Mathematics, natural sciences and engineering
Nina Hartrampf (University of Zurich) is exploring new automated methods for the chemical synthesis of proteins and protein building blocks.
How fast is the universe expanding? Frédéric Courbin (EPF Lausanne) makes measurements using the so-called gravitational lensing effect.

Life sciences
Mirjam Heldner (University Hospital Bern) combines the latest MRI with conventional diagnostics and clinical examination to optimize the treatment of patients with calcified cerebral vessels.
Based on the images, Achim Walter (ETH Zurich) wants to systematically record the reaction of the grain to environmental influences – and thus predict its growth in a warmer climate.

Social sciences and humanities
The COVID-19 pandemic is a threat to public health. Markus Freitag (University of Bern) is studying the emotional impact of this threat and the resulting political attitudes.
Among the victims of Nazi despotism were also Swiss citizens. How did the Swiss authorities behave towards them between 1933 and 1965? Christina Späti (University of Freiburg) investigates this issue.

"Monstrel" support for research on quantum materials

 

The Federal Polytechnic Sector in Switzerland in its territorial articulations
The Federal Polytechnic Sector in Switzerland in its territorial articulations