Swiss external network for education, research and innovation (Swissnex)

State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation

Key facts

The establishment of the Swissnex network is based on the initiative of the Swiss Science and Innovation Council of the Swiss Embassy in Washington to combat brain drain. Supported by a donation from a Swiss bank, the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) set up the first Swiss centre for science (now Swissnex) in Boston in 2000. This arose from the consulate general which previously existed in Boston. SERI gradually rolled out this concept at the interface between Swiss education, research and innovation (ERI) players and the locations for international scientific excellence in five cities. Over the 15 years the Swissnex network has existed, the focus has changed from combating brain drain to promoting international exchanges of researchers and experts, brain circulation. Swissnex’s activities are geared to the needs of ERI stakeholders. SERI management is shaped by the large degree of autonomy of the individual locations and the initiatives of the local Swissnex managers. Aside from the Swissnex network, SERI manages and finances about nine science councils. The Swissnex network and these science councils, which are integrated in Swiss embassies and consulates abroad, form the education, research and innovation external network of the Swiss Confederation. It is part of the official external network of the Confederation and is coordinated by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA).