On April 1, 2009, Ambassador Reno L. Harnish, Acting Assistant Secretary of Oceans Environmental and Scientific Affairs welcomed Mauro Dell’Ambrogio, Swiss State Secretary for Education and Research, and Arden Bement, Director of the U.S. National Science Foundation, to sign a first-ever bilateral agreement on scientific and technological cooperation in Washington, D.C.
The bilateral framework agreement being signed today commits the parties to strengthen and promote scientific and technological cooperation on the basis of equality, reciprocity and mutual benefit. The cooperation comprises basic research as well as applied research. The agreement provides for joint programs and research-relevant projects, studies and investigations, scientific programs, workshops, conferences, and symposia, as well as the exchange of scientific and technological information. The agreement also provides that each side will facilitate visa entry requirements for researchers engaged in bilateral scientific cooperation under the Agreement.
For decades, Switzerland and the United States have had a collaborative relationship in the areas of education, scientific research and innovation. Personal contacts underlay our collaborative scientific relationship, with many dating back to Swiss post doctorates’ research stays in the United States. These collaborative partnerships continue today. Numerous institutional agreements on research cooperation and student exchanges have been established between several Swiss and American universities.