ETH Board, 31 March 2020

Switzerland, as many countries worldwide, is facing a huge healthcare crisis. The country, but also our institutions, are challenged to find the best approach to address the current pandemic.

The Swiss scientific community, one of the strongest worldwide, has a huge potential to positively influence the outcome of this crisis, be it through research, education or innovation.

The ETH Domain has the ambition to be a role model on how we handle the current crisis. It therefore called into life an ad-hoc task force in March and gave it the mandate of identifying research, innovation and advisory opportunities for members of the ETH Domain to help combat SARS-CoV-2.

At the end of March, the Federal Council appointed a scientific advisory body to assist the authorities in overcoming the coronavirus crisis. Matthias Egger, president of the National Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), heads the «Swiss National Covid-19 Science Task Force». The members of the body are all experts in relevant fields. They will advise the federal government and the cantons based on the latest scientific knowledge. In addition, they are expected to define research topics and special measures.

The Science Task Force uses and integrates the initiative set up in the ETH Domain, and also combines initiatives and expertise from the SNSF, swissuniversities and the Academies of arts and sciences.