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The fourth meeting of the Switzerland-Italy Joint Committee was held on January 31, 2024 in the halls of the National Research Council in Rome. Discussions between the two delegations focused on cooperation in the areas of university education, research and innovation.
Secretary of State Martina Hirayama and Italian Minister of Universities and Research Anna Maria Bernini opened the meeting by presenting current policy developments and priorities in the fields of education, research and innovation in their respective countries, emphasizing the intensity and excellent quality of bilateral cooperation between Switzerland and Italy.
During the exchange between the delegations, SUPSI Director General Franco Gervasoni was able to illustrate the peculiarities of the Swiss academic system, with particular reference to the Universities of Applied Sciences and the concrete example of the activities that are carried out at SUPSI.
Senior representatives of academia, research, and innovation discussed developments in the ERI field, bilateral and multilateral cooperation carried out in this area, and various possibilities for intensifying and integrating existing cooperation instruments.
In addition to the Secretary of State, the Swiss delegation consisted of: Maria Peyro Voeffray (Head of Bilateral Relations Unit, SEFRI), Michael Hengartner (President of the Council of Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology), André Kudelski (Chairman of the Board of Innosuisse), Matthias Egger (Chairman of the National Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation), Franco Gervasoni (Director General SUPSI), Luciana Vaccaro (President swissuniversities), Luisa Lambertini (Rector USI) and by the Ambassador of Switzerland to Italy, Malta and San Marino Monika Schmutz Kirgöz.
During the trip to Rome, the Swiss delegation visited La Sapienza University, the Rome Technopole project, the National Agency for the Evaluation of the University and Research System (ANVUR), the National Research Council (CNR) and the Swiss Institute, which promotes international cooperation between Switzerland and Italy in science and the arts.
An important partner in the ERI field
Italy is one of Switzerland's most important partners in the ERI field. Numerous direct cooperations are taking place between institutions and between individual researchers from the two countries.
In the European Union's framework program for research and innovation Horizon 2020 (2014-2020) Swiss and Italian researchers have collaborated in more than 1,500 projects and so far in more than 500 projects in the ongoing Horizon Europe (2021-2027) program. Between 2018 and 2022, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) has promoted more than 1,300 projects in which Swiss and Italian researchers have collaborated. Italy ranks fifth among partner countries under the SNSF instruments.