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Technology, innovation and research in Switzerland


The international development, the liberalization of the markets and the expansion of world trade are also presenting Switzerland with new challenges. We can not afford to rest on the laurels of the previous generation if we want to maintain our prosperity and innovation.Globalization not only means opening up new markets, but also facing new competitors. The universities can and must make a significant contribution to this, especially in the area of ​​research. 
The Confederation links its support for higher education research with the mission of making a significant contribution to international competitiveness. The universities have to fulfill this mandate if they want to hope for federal contributions in the future.
But that also means saying goodbye to cherished traditions. The emphasis on freedom of research and the reference to the number of citations are no longer sufficient to prove the contribution of research to value creation in Switzerland. For this we need reliable grids and a regular, independent evaluation of the research, its successes as well as its failures. The results of this review must be based on federal contributions and investment funds.
Of course, the research also needs staff. But here, too, greater flexibility must be sought on the one hand and concentration on the other hand. When assigning assistance centers and doctorates, more attention must be paid to the professional aptitude and later professional goals of the candidates. Employment relationships should take place according to OR in order to achieve the necessary flexibility. Research that wants to strengthen the business location - and that also affects the personnel - must be able to react quickly to international developments. Therefore, administrative and structural handicaps have to be reduced.
The scarce financial resources for research must be concentrated on growth areas. It is true that nobody denies that there are problems today - and many more in the future - that need to be analyzed and resolved across borders. But for a small state, it is not possible to engage in all areas of research. The contributions we pay to foreign and international research programs are lacking in domestic research.
In order for them to fulfill their mission and to meet Switzerland's challenges through international competition, research funding must be concentrated on those projects and programs that contribute to value creation in Switzerland and strengthen the business location and the workplace.
However, research alone does not contribute to competitiveness. Innovation does not automatically mean success. The transfer of knowledge still needs to be substantially improved. The universities are in demand here, but especially the CTI. It is an important link between business and academia. However, it still places pure innovation at the center of its efforts. In order to contribute to the competitiveness of Switzerland, the agency must increasingly take care of the entire development chain - from product development to market positioning. At the forefront of this important institution, this requires an industrious, entrepreneurial spirit. However, the recent castling at the top of the CTI is not exactly confident. It almost seems that the CTI would be abused as a sinecure for deserving party members instead of being transformed into a powerful, forward-looking institution. Since the signs of the time are not recognized correctly!
Certainly, entrepreneurial thinking and acting can also be taught by universities and other state institutions, as the Federal Council foresees in its BFT message. But it can not be up to the universities to set up start-ups and provide jobs. First and foremost, they must ensure the transfer of knowledge - the economy will then create jobs. Much more important than courses of study in business management for the business location and workplace Switzerland is that the high standard density is reduced.
I have the impression that too much political vision is being worked on. Reference is made to role models who can not stand a closer look. This refers to growth in Ireland. But Ireland benefits greatly from EU subsidies. This, in turn, attracts other private investors. But as soon as the benefits from Brussels no longer flow, the other investments are deducted again. The example of Finland, which is also gladly referred to, is not very suitable for Switzerland. Success really depends only on a single industry, telecommunications. This ultimately means a risk. In addition, youth unemployment in Finland is 21,
I think we do not have to go far. But we should revert to our established traditions, focus on a few fields and get involved. Already Thomas Alva Edison explained his success:
One percent is inspiration - the rest is sweat.
I think that's a vision that leads to the future.