For the first time, the winners of the two prestigious Swiss science prizes, the Marcel Benoist Swiss Science Prize and the Latsis Prize, are being announced at the same time. In this anniversary year, the Marcel Benoist Swiss Science Prize, often referred to as the Swiss Nobel Prize, goes to Rudolf Aebersold (ETH Zurich/University of Zurich) for his pioneering work in the field of systems biology. The National Latsis Prize, awarded to young researchers under the age of 40, goes to Maryna Viazovska (EPF Lausanne) for her ground-breaking mathematical problem solving. The Swiss science prizes will be presented by Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin at an awards ceremony in Bern on 4 November.
Consumer sentiment in Switzerland has largely recovered from its slump in April. Expectations regarding general economic development have improved, but those regarding the labour market remain very negative. Accordingly, respondents believe that now is not a good time to make major purchases.
The Expert Group for economic forecasting is largely confirming its previous assessment and expecting the sharpest fall in GDP in decades for 2020. The low point is set to be reached in the second quarter. Provided that further waves of the pandemic with severe containment measures do not materialise, the economy should begin to recover from the second half of the year.
Switzerland is to contribute CHF 879 million to the coffers of the International Development Association and of the African Development Fund to help fight poverty, promote sustainable development and deal with the health, social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the world’s poorest countries. Switzerland is also contributing CHF 115 million to the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative.
What stresses wild bees? Is it certain plant-protection products, the absence of nutrient-rich foods – or a combination of both factors? Together with research partners throughout Europe, Agroscope, the Swiss center of excellence for agricultural research, is investigating these issues.
Horizon Europe, the EU’s next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, is due to start in 2021. Along with three other initiatives, Horizon Europe forms the ‘2021–2027 Horizon package’. The Federal Council requests the Parliament to approve CHF 6,154 billion in funding. If the funds are granted, the Federal Council and the EU will be able to renew their bilateral research agreement and secure Switzerland’s continued and uninterrupted participation in the Horizon package as an associated state.
Decision support for car buyers: Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute have developed a web tool called the Carculator that can be used to compare the environmental performance of passenger cars in detail. The program determines the environmental balance of vehicles with different size classes and powertrains, and presents the results in comparative graphics. The entire life cycle of the passenger cars is taken into account.
The Federal Council agreed a guarantee scheme to support promising startups encountering liquidity problems caused by the coronavirus. The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO has thus set out the practical criteria for this in consultation with interested cantons and the loan guarantee organizations. Loan guarantee applications can be submitted from 7 May up to 31 Au-gust 2020.
Switzerland intends to contribute CHF 297 million to capital increases at the World Bank Group WBG and the African Development Bank AfDB, They support developing countries by granting loans and providing technical assistance. The Federal Council adopted the relevant dispatch on 19 February 2020.
At the invitation of Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin, a group of ministers responsible for World Trade Organization matters and WTO General Director Roberto Azevêdo met in Davos on 24 January to discuss and define their priorities for the 12th WTO ministerial conference to be held from 8 to 11 June 2020 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.
Councillors Guy Parmelin and Ueli Maurer – who are, respectively, the head the
Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER) and the
head of the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) – met with China’s First Vice
Premier Han Zheng. The meeting took place in Rüschlikon at the launch of a
capacity-building platform that has been set up as part of China’s Belt and
Road Initiative (BRI).
The consumer price index (CPI) remained stable in December 2019 compared with the previous month, remaining at 101.7 points (December 2015 = 100). Inflation was +0.2% compared with the same month of the previous year. The average annual inflation reached +0.4% in 2019.These are the results of the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).
La Suisse a été invitée par, l’Arabie saoudite, qui assume la présidence du G20, à participer à tous les travaux du groupe des vingt principaux pays industrialisés et pays émergents. Elle prendra part pour la première fois au sommet des chefs d’État du G20 et à toutes les réunions ministérielles et groupes de travail du « volet sherpa » (Sherpa Track). Vous trouverez un dossier sur le site du SECO en cliquant sur le titre ou en suivant le lien dans la rubrique Point de mire de notre portail.