Belgrade, 6 February 2017 – Swiss State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation Mauro Dell’Ambrogio stated that the reason Switzerland has such a high innovation capacity is because it does not have an innovation policy.
Instead, it fosters a good business environment, especially for SMEs, has low level of labour market regulations, and a moderate and predictable level of taxation.
At his presentation at the Rectorate of the University of Belgrade, organised by PERFORM, Embassy of Switzerland in Serbia, Swiss Cooperation Office for Serbia and the University of Belgrade, Mr Dell’Ambrogio spoke about the importance of modern economies to build and operate from a strong knowledge base. Talking about the characteristics of the Swiss academia, he said that fundamental research is made mostly in universities, while applied research is mostly conducted in companies. Federal funding for Research and Development is made through a competitive proceeding where 80% goes to fundamental research and 20% goes to applied research. Commission of Technology and Innovation (CTI) in charge of funding applied research publishes public calls for R&D research for which both universities and private companies can apply. However, CTI can only fund universities, and only up to 50% of the project, which forces companies and universities to forge partnerships where universities provide research and companies provide the other 50% of the funding.
PERFORM’s Manager Dr Martin Dietz stressed the central role of social sciences in innovation. Unless social sciences provide a better understanding of human behaviour and attitudes, it will be difficult to improve services, solve major challenges of society and facilitate the adoption of new technologies.
"PERFORM is ready to facilitate discussions and explorations here in Serbia for social sciences to contribute to impacting and effective innovations, and also support pilot initiatives for developing the right frameworks and conditions”, said Dr Dietz.
*Photos by Ana Danilovic & Tanjug