Switzerland once again a full member of partnership-funded EU innovation programmes

Bern, 23.08.2017 - On 23 August, the Federal Council approved the agreements on Switzerland’s participation in the Eurostars-2 and the Active and Assisted Living research and development programmes. This means that Switzerland is once again a full member of both programmes and is co-financed by the EU. The programmes are particularly interesting for research-intensive SMEs looking to enter new European or global markets through cross-border cooperation. Switzerland’s participation in the AAL programme is one of the many measures that form part of the federal government’s Skilled Workers Initiative.

With the approval of the agreements, and following its renewed association to Horizon 2020, Switzerland is entitled to participate as a full member in the Eurostars-2 and the Active and Assisted Living (AAL) research and development programmes, with retroactive effect from 1 January. This allows Switzerland to play an active part in determining the orientation of both programmes. It will also replenish Switzerland’s funding budget with funds from Horizon 2020 so that funding can be provided for additional projects with Swiss partners.

Along with Sweden and Germany, Switzerland is one of the leading countries in both programmes in terms of innovation. Between 2008 and 2016, Swiss projects were funded under Eurostars-2, 231 and AAL 82.

Small and medium-sized enterprises account for approximately 60% of all project partners. The SMEs pool their research competencies with international research institutions or industrial partners and benefit from access to new markets. In the case of AAL, end-users such as care organisations are involved in order to ensure development activities focus on specific target groups. The increasing participation of countries outside Europe opens up new prospects for innovative Swiss firms.

Active and Assisted Living

The European Active and Assisted Living (AAL) Programme brings together research institutions, companies and end-user organisations who work together to develop technical solutions to enable older people to live and work independently. AAL can help achieve cost savings in healthcare, and at the same time open up an interesting new market for innovative companies. Switzerland's participation in the AAL Programme is one of the many measures that form part of the federal government’s Skilled Workers Initiative.


The Eurostars-2 research and development programme was developed under the EUREKA research initiative, in which Switzerland has been involved for over 30 years. Eurostars-2 is tailored towards SMEs, which invest over ten per cent of their turnover in research and development. Eurostars-2 provides SMEs with the opportunity to work on projects with the best European research teams, and to strengthen their competitiveness. While the programme is essentially open to all market fields, most projects are in the area of production technology, medical technology and digitalisation.

Address for enquiries

Merwar, Sonja, Scientific advisor for the Research and Innovation Programmes, State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation
tel no: +41 58 463 52 78, sonja.merwar@sbfi.admin.ch


The Federal Council

Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research