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Switzerland renews association with European Union research programmes

Article
The European Commission renewed its scientific and technological cooperation agreement with Switzerland. The new agreement covers Swiss participation in the Sixth Research Framework Programme 2002-2006 of the European Union from 1 January 2004. Switzerland will contribute €400 million to the overall budget (which is around €20 billion), which also covers its participation in the Euratom programme. In the first calls for proposals under the Sixth Framework Programme, projects with Swiss participation had a success rate higher than the average for the 15 EU Member States. Swiss organisations were already able to participate in the Fifth Framework Programme 1998-2002, but on a "project by project" basis and thus without the possibility of Community funding. Nevertheless, Swiss partners have been involved in more than 1 500 research projects supported by the EU. Swiss participation involved both universities (14%), companies (18%) and public research centres and bodies (20%). Swiss scientists have taken part in research projects in the fields of "Information technologies", "Quality of life" and "Environmental sciences" and "Sustainable development" with, among others, German, French, British and Italian partners.
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