IRIS Group has evaluated the Swiss bilateral cooperation programmes in science and technology. For more than ten years, the programmes have supported research cooperation bestween Switzerland and scientific hotspots outside the EU, North America and Australia. The key instruments of the bilateral programmes are: 1) Small grants supporting pilot activities in research and innovation; and 2) Larger bilateral research projects carried out in cooperation with partner funding agencies in eight countries with whom Switzerland has signed bilateral agreements.
The evaluation is based on a number of complementary data sources. They include a survey of applicants and grant recipients, interviews with grant beneficiaries, interviews with programme managers, and interviews with high-level representative at Swiss universities, as well as bibliometric data. Additionally, programmes in three other countries have been mapped and compared with the Swiss programmes through desk research and interviews with programme managers in these countries.
Key findings include: