State Secretary Martina Hirayama on working visit to Riga

Bern, 24.04.2023 - On 24 April 2023, State Secretary Martina Hirayama met with Latvian State Secretary for Education and Science, Ms Santa Šmīdlere, in Riga to discuss bilateral cooperation between Switzerland and Latvia in the area of education and research. She also gave an opening speech at the Swiss Innovation Healthcare Day.

Martina Hirayama, State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation, was welcomed by State Secretary Santa Šmīdlere on 24 April 2023. Discussions focused on support for the research partnership and the latest developments in research.
Research cooperation between Switzerland and Latvia largely takes place in the multilateral context of European framework programmes for research and innovation. Stakeholders from both countries have worked together on over 120 projects under Horizon 2020 (2014-2020), primarily in the fields of nutrition, health and information and communication technologies. While Latvia is currently seeking associate member status in CERN, like Switzerland it is also involved in the construction of the ITER fusion research reactor at Cadarache in France.
Switzerland's funding contribution to EU enlargement will further strengthen relations between the two countries in the area of education, research and innovation.

The Swiss Innovation Healthcare Day in Riga was organised by the Swiss Embassy in collaboration with Swiss companies Novartis and Roche. In her opening speech, State Secretary Hirayama described the key traits of Switzerland as a location for research and innovation, drawing particular attention to the importance of the real-world training provided within the Swiss VPET system at both upper-secondary and tertiary levels, which is highly relevant to the needs of employers. She stated that this training makes skilled workers in Switzerland both willing and able to contribute to innovations and drive them forward. Ms Hirayama went on to state that Swiss national centres of competence in research (NCCRs) are an important funding mechanism ensuring the competitiveness of the Swiss research and innovation landscape. Of the 40 or so NCCRs launched so far, around one-third relate to the broad field of 'health/medicine'. In her speech, State Secretary Hirayama also explained that, given its openness to the world, Switzerland depends on international comparisons and exchanges. It is thus committed to the giving and taking dynamics of international cooperation in a spirit of mutual benefit and partnership.

Address for enquiries

State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation
+41 58 462 96 90


State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation