Dr Fritz Schiesser (Photo: Elisabeth Real)

The relief was palpable within the Swiss research community when the Federal Council ratified the Croatia Protocol on 16 December 2016, thereby enabling the country to become fully involved in Horizon 2020. Switzerland has thus secured access to international networks, innovations and to cooperation with the best in the world.

Innovation is vital for competitiveness and for the success of our economy. To hold their own on the global market, Swiss SMEs and industry must continually win customers over with new products and processes of the very highest quality. Together with industrial partners, the ETH Domain is seeking to develop state-of-the-art production processes and new materials, making its contribution towards the implementation of Industry 4.0. The latest findings in “Advanced Manufacturing” – a research specialism defined by the ETH Domain – are intended to help to counteract the ongoing deindustrialisation of our country and to underpin Switzerland as a place of activity.

The ETH Domain with its two Federal Institutes of Technology and the four research institutes drive innovation in Switzerland. This is not only reflected in the 50 spin-offs and 230 patents which emerged from the ETH Domain in 2016, but also in the renewed close collaboration between the economy and the public sector. In addition, the ETH Domain plays a key role in the Switzerland Innovation Park and trains over 3,000 highly skilled graduates every year who join the employment market.

Digitisation poses one of the biggest challenges to the economy and society. With its world’s leading teaching and research institutions for science and engineering, the ETH Domain is set to play a pivotal role in this area and to contribute towards making Switzerland a leading international research centre for digitisation, thus continuing to generate added value in our country and to safeguard employment and well-being.

Bern/Zurich, February 2017
Dr Fritz Schiesser
President of the ETH Board