Already seventy years of Swiss National Science Foundation

Founded on 1952 August XNUMX, the SNSF finances excellent research at Swiss universities with around one billion francs a year...

The poster celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Swiss National Science Foundation
The poster celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Swiss National Science Foundation (in English)

Founded on August 1952, XNUMX, the Swiss National Science Foundation finances excellent research at Swiss universities on behalf of the federal government.

Tens of thousands of SNSF-funded projects have generated new knowledge and solved critical problems.

The XNUMXth birthday is the celebration of success far from retirement: rather, it embodies an example for the future.

The SNSF in 1952 and 2022. At first glance, these eras have little in common. Initially the budget was a few million Swiss francs, enough to finance 150-200 research projects.

Today, the Bern-based institution at Wildhainweg 3 invests around one billion francs a year in several thousand projects.

882 million francs invested in research by the SNSF in 2021

The Swiss National Science Foundation has funded eight National Centers of Competence for Research since 2010
The Swiss National Science Foundation has funded eight National Centers of Competence for Research since 2010

The best of each research discipline

However, a closer look reveals that, at a fundamental level, little has changed.

In the 2022, the FNS continues to finance the best projects of scientific research across all disciplines and to support the careers of young researchers.

"But it is no longer a question of making Swiss research recover the delay accumulated compared to other countries, as in the post-war period, but of maintaining and expanding the leadership position we have achieved since then", says Jürg Stahl, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

La Research funded by the SNSF strengthens Switzerland's innovative power and increases the well-being of society.

It also contributes to progress and allotment Sustainable Development world-wide.

“This is another characteristic that unites the Swiss National Science Foundation of today to that of the early years”Stahl explains.

“Its activities are not only aimed at Switzerland. Our country was spared all the consequences of the war and the founders of the SNSF felt the duty to promote it scientific research in the world, and in particular in Europe, and to contribute to the reconstruction”.

Twelve years of National Competence Centers for Research

The poster celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Swiss National Science Foundation
The poster celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Swiss National Science Foundation (in German)

A national and independent reality

Matthias Egger, chairman of the 100-member Research Council, points out further parallels between then and now.

"With the Swiss National Science Foundation something completely new was born: a national research funding with public money, managed and implemented by science itself”.

Its founding enabled a nationwide competition among the best research ideas, independent of politics and business, and driven solely by excellence.

“It is precisely this freedom that is the key to the functioning of the SNSF and its success”, emphasizes Egger again.

“At the beginning of an innovation there is always basic research”

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

A selection guided by excellence

Honorary bodies of outstanding researchers, supported by an efficient administration, select the projects to be funded.

The SNSF does not just want to invest in excellent research, but also provide peer financing services.

For this reason, it continuously refines its evaluation processes to make them even more fair and efficient.

Il Swiss National Science Foundation continues to mainly support projects whose themes are chosen by the researchers themselves, just as it did seventy years ago.

This translates into one relevant, creative and diverse research.

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

The poster celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Swiss National Science Foundation
The poster celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Swiss National Science Foundation (in French)

Several incentives for future development

Thanks to its independence and broad expertise, the SNSF can also help shape the future research and, in fact, it has been doing so since 1952.

“With our funding policies, we have often initiated future-oriented practices and standards”, says director Angelika Kalt.

Examples include equal opportunities between men and women and open access to research results and data.

The director also underlines the flexibility of the SNSF: “When needed, we respond quickly to challenges, including on behalf of the federal government”.

For example, the Swiss National Science Foundation launched a special call for proposals and two research programs country on COVID-19.

In 2021, as in 2014, it organized and implemented transitional measures to compensate for the exclusion of Swiss researchers from some parts of the program Horizon europe of European Union.

In 2022, it provided rapid support to war-affected researchers in Ukraine.

Switzerland & Ivory Coast: science, technology and innovation

Jürg Stahl is Chairman of the Foundation Board of the SNSF
Jürg Stahl is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Swiss National Science Foundation

The appeal: "Continue to work well!"

The SNSF was founded on August XNUMX, the day of the Swiss National Day.

Seventy years later, Jürg Stahl, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, takes stock:

“The creation of FNS it was an innovative act. Today, Swiss research is among the best in the world and contributes significantly to the well-being of people in our country and around the world. The Swiss National Science Foundation has played a key role in this respect. Keep up the good work!”.

The SNSF and Innosuisse will strengthen the strategic partnership

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