Science at the heart of Swiss development aid
Swiss scientists are collaborating with counterparts in Africa, Asia and Latin America as part of the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South programme, which promotes research partnerships and capacity building.The programme, established in 2001 with an initial four-year budget of US$25 million, is set to run for twelve years as a central component of Switzerland's overseas development strategy.
In this article, Jean-Michel Berthoud reports that around 400 scientists from Switzerland and developing nations are currently using these funds to take part in research partnerships in areas such as natural resources and ecology, environmental sanitation and health.
Young researchers and institutions in developing countries work with Swiss partners including the Graduate Institute of Development Studies in Geneva and the Swiss Tropical Institute in Basel. An additional benefit is the formation of a network of researchers in developing countries who have taken part in the programme.