The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) provides regular updates on Switzerland’s participation in the EU Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation, Horizon Europe and Horizon 2020:
The European Commission (EC) has informed the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) that Switzerland will be treated as a non-associated third country for the submission of project proposals in Horizon Europe and other related programmes and initiatives. This status can be changed at any time, but will now apply for all calls in 2021.
Switzerland will be treated as a non-associated third country in Horizon Europe, the Euratom programme and the Digital Europe Programme. Furthermore, the EU does not consider Switzerland a state contributing to the construction of ITER for the time being. The Federal Council remains committed to its goal of a full association to Horizon Europe and other related programmes and initiatives as soon as possible.
Applicants based in Switzerland must submit their project proposals for the corresponding calls in the year 2021 as participants from a non-associated third country as of now.
With this status, project participants in Switzerland can still participate in approximately 2/3 of Horizon Europe and notably in most collaborative projects. The Swiss project partner will not be funded by the EC but by SERI during the whole lifetime of the project. (However, units of the central federal administration cannot be funded directly by SERI.)
The participation in mono-beneficiary instruments (individual ERC grants, MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships, MSCA COFUND and EIC Accelerator) is by principle excluded as a non-associated third country. However, exceptional rules apply to the 2021 calls of the ERC Starting Grants (StG) and the ERC Consolidator Grants (CoG), which have already been closed. As the host institution for these projects can be changed during the preparation phase of the Grant Agreement, proposals submitted by Principal Investigators based at a Swiss host institution will be evaluated. SERI will provide national funding for researchers whose proposals for an ERC StG or CoG were positively evaluated. In addition, positively evaluated project proposals of the EIC Accelerator call 2021 (after two evaluation stages) will
receive direct funding from SERI.
SERI is currently drafting a mandate for the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) to implement a suitable transition solution for the 2021 calls for ERC Advanced Grants (AdG) and MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships. These instruments will be aligned as closely as possible with the ERC AdG and MSCA calls, but with independent deadlines for submission. The measure developed will be submitted to the Federal Council and Parliament as part of the credit and budget process. SERI will provide further information in due course.
If researchers and innovators have obtained Horizon Europe project funding from an institution in an EU member state or an associated third country and transfer to an institution in Switzerland, as long as Switzerland is a non-associated third country, SERI will directly fund these researchers and innovators (so-called transfer grants). This applies to researchers and innovators in individual projects (namely ERC StG, CoG, AdG) as well as to collaborative projects.
In addition, SERI prepares proposals for suitable measures for those programme parts that are no longer accessible in view of the Confederation’s credit and budget process (notably for the field of quantum and space technologies).
Switzerland’s association to Horizon Europe and related programs and initiatives as soon as possible remains the declared goal of the Federal Council. SERI will provide information on the 2022 calls for proposals in due course.