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Horizon Europe: Federal Council submits transitional measures to Parliament for non-accessible programme components

In July 2021 it was announced that Switzerland will be treated as non-associated third country in Horizon Europe.

On 17 September 2021, the Federal Council therefore decided to initiate transitional measures until Switzerland achieves its stated aim of full association.

Under non-associated third country status, researchers and innovators in Switzerland are able to participate in most Horizon Europe collaboration projects. The accessible programmes will not be funded by European Commission but will be funded by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI). However, the participation in individual projects will not be possible – including grants from the European Research Council (ERC), the European Innovation council (EIC) and certain Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). Submissions from Switzerland under the first calls of 2021 for ERC (Starting Grants and Consolidator Grants) and EIC (Accelerator) projects are still being evaluated by the European Commission. If the evaluations are favourable, SERI can fund these researchers and businesses directly.

The Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER) is charging the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) with the task of implementing transitional solutions. The transitional solutions will be based as far as possible on the European calls but will have their own deadlines for project submissions.

The transitional solutions should compensate the lack of participation in ERC Advanced Grant and MSCA 2021 Postdoctoral Fellowship calls as well as for ERC Starting Grants and Consolidator Grants for 2022 in the event that Swiss researchers are not entitled to submit project proposals for these calls.

The EAER will launch further transitional measures through Innosuisse, the European Space Agency ESA and other actors.

The planned transitional measures will be submitted to Parliament in the winter session in the form of an addendum to the 2022 budget.