The SDC and the SNSF continue their collaboration

Press releases, 25.04.2024

The r4d programme of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) came to a close today at a public event in Bern. The two institutions also took the opportunity to launch a new programme called Solution-oriented Research for Development (SOR4D). The two programmes involve the implementation of projects in the fields of health, food security, social conflicts, ecosystems, employment and income in developing countries.

Between 2012 and 2023, the Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development (r4d programme) of the SDC and the SNSF funded research partnerships between Switzerland and countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Under the r4d programme, innovative initiatives were launched and solutions were presented and put on the political agenda. Many of these projects generated new knowledge and solutions that have had a significant impact in partner countries. With a total budget of CHF 97 million, the r4d programme supported 57 research projects across more than 50 countries.

The SDC and the SNSF have been partners for more than 30 years. The r4d programme was launched at a time when the Millennium Development Goals were being replaced by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was being negotiated. The world was already facing major global challenges, such as the climate and biodiversity crises, which were compounded by major political upheavals. With its research programme, the SDC aimed to make a direct contribution to achieving these global objectives. The r4d programme was also ahead of its time. A few years later, the European Union launched Horizon Europe, a programme similar to r4d.

SOR4D replaces the r4d programme

Building on the success of the r4d programme and in order to continue implementing the SDGs, the SDC and the SNSF have launched the new SOR4D programme. The SOR4D places even greater emphasis on achieving real impact in partner countries and encourages transdisciplinary research to promote sustainable development and reduce poverty in developing countries. In practical terms, this means that research under the SOR4D programme will be carried out in close collaboration with political actors, local populations, NGOs and the private sector. The aim is to enable learning processes between science and society, thereby developing knowledge and solutions that can help to better control, resolve or prevent social and environmental challenges. As a result, the SOR4D programme is one of the most competitive research programmes in Switzerland.

The closure of the r4d research programme and the launch of the new SOR4D programme were announced today at a public event in Bern. A panel discussion was held with representatives from the SDC, the SNSF, the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, the University of Bern and other representatives from the research community. Discussions focused on the importance of international research partnerships in achieving the SDGs and combating poverty.

‘Ahead of its time’ A Swiss research partnership powers global development solutions(pdf, 4640kb)

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