MSCAdvocacy: Mission to Switzerland successfully accomplished

4. Jul. 2023

ZSI had productive discussions with Swiss stakeholders regarding the current state of MSCA in the country.

In a recent visit to Switzerland between June 14 and 16, Richard Anar engaged in productive discussions with Swiss stakeholders regarding the current state of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) programme in the country. The aim of the trip was to gain insights from key figures on the challenges and opportunities surrounding MSCA fellowships and the future outlook for research and innovation in Switzerland.

The first interview took place with Stefan Widmer, Grants Officer at the University of Bern, on June 14. Mr. Widmer provided valuable insights into the current situation of MSCA fellowships at the university, highlighting areas for improvement. His expertise shed light on potential measures to enhance the MSCA program's effectiveness and support for researchers at the University of Bern.

The next day, Richard had the privilege of speaking with Véronique Sordet, the National Contact Point (NCP) for MSCA at MSCA-NET, Euresearch Coordination Team, and Brita Bamert, Scientific Advisor at the State Secretariat for Education, Research, and Innovation (SERI). Both interviews centered on policy-related topics concerning MSCA and the European Union's Horizon Europe framework programme. Their invaluable insights into the challenges and opportunities associated with MSCA in Switzerland will contribute to shaping future policies and strengthening collaborations.

Continuing the series of interviews, Sofia Karakostas, Grants Officer at ETH Zurich, offered her expertise on June 15, shedding light on the current state of MSCA fellowships at the university. Her insights into potential areas of improvement and recommendations for streamlining administrative processes will play a crucial role in ensuring an optimal environment for MSCA fellows at ETH Zurich.

The final leg of the interviews included online conversations with Thomas Kindlimann from ALPIQ AG and Karolien Bryon from F. Hoffmann-La Roche on June 16. The focus of these discussions centered on the engagement of the private sector with the MSCA programme. Both interviewees emphasized the importance of fostering closer ties between academia and industry, suggesting areas for improvement and outlining ways to enhance private sector involvement in MSCA projects.

The outcome of each interview was highly fruitful, as stakeholders provided valuable perspectives on the current status and future prospects of MSCA in Switzerland. Stefan Widmer's interview at the University of Bern highlighted specific improvements needed to enhance the MSCA programme's impact on researchers and their projects. Véronique Sordet’s and Brita Bamert's contributions highlighted policy-related challenges and opportunities, which will help shape effective strategies to align MSCA with Switzerland's research goals. Sofia Karakostas' insights from ETH Zurich will inform initiatives to improve the university's support systems for MSCA fellows. Finally, the discussions with Thomas Kindlimann and Karolien Bryon emphasized the significance of private sector engagement and provided valuable suggestions to foster stronger collaboration between academia and industry.

These interviews have provided a comprehensive overview of the current state of MSCA in Switzerland and have highlighted key areas for improvement and collaboration. The country remains committed to fostering a vibrant research and innovation ecosystem, and the insights gained during this visit will play a crucial role in shaping the future of MSCA in the Swiss research landscape.

As Switzerland continues to navigate the evolving European research landscape, it stands poised to leverage the potential of MSCA to nurture world-class talent, drive innovation, and contribute to breakthrough scientific advancements.

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