ERI Message & strategic objectives

The ETH Board is responsible for the ETH Domain’s strategic planning. It compiles this four-year strategy for submission to the Confederation, from which the Federal Council’s strategic objectives for the ETH Domain are derived. The basis for this is provided by the Dispatch on the Promotion of Education, Research and Innovation.

In the ERI Dispatch, the Federal Council formulates the guidelines, objectives and measures of its policy on education and science for a four-year period. In order to fulfil the set objectives, the corresponding funding is also addressed.

The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) oversees the preparation of the ERI Dispatch; the domains which it affects are closely involved in its preparation. Here, the ETH Board incorporates the strategic planning for the ETH Domain.

ERI Dispatch

The Federal Council’s Dispatch on the Promotion of Education, Research and Innovation is the Confederation’s main instrument for steering the ERI actors it (co)funds. In addition to the ETH Domain, it includes the SNSF, Innosuisse, the cantonal universities and universities of applied sciences, as well as vocational and continuing education and training. With a budget of over CHF 10 billion out of a total of around CHF 28 billion, the ETH Domain is an important part of the ERI Dispatch.

More informations on the SERI website (in French or German)

The Federal Council’s strategic objectives for the ETH Domain

In the ERI Dispatch, the Federal Council defines strategic objectives (which were referred to until 2016 as the “performance mandate“) for the ETH Domain for four years at a time. In addition, the Federal Parliament approves a budgetary framework for the ETH Domain’s operations and investments. On this basis, the ETH Board directs ETH Zurich, EPFL and the four research institutes PSI, WSL, Empa and Eawag. It enters into a target agreement with each institution.

Strategic objectives for 2021–24

The Federal Council’s use of strategic objectives to manage the ETH Domain proved successful in the 2017–20 period. For this reason, the strategic goals for 2021–24 have not fundamentally changed. In certain places, however, updates and clarifications have been made and particular emphases have been set.

The Federal Council’s main objectives for the ETH Domain remain maintaining its leading international position in research and offering first-class, attractive educational opportunities.

There are also other objectives derived from the central role that the ETH Domain plays within the Swiss education, research and innovation system: operating and expanding research infrastructure and making it available to the entire research community; strengthening cooperation with cantonal universities and universities of applied sciences as well as private research partners; and supporting the entrepreneurial efforts of its members.

On an international level, the ETH Domain is to further expand cooperation and networking with globally leading institutions and maintain its appeal for the most talented students and the best scientists. Digitalisation as well as energy, environment and sustainability are emphasised even more strongly than in the previous period.

In addition to these objectives, which fall within the ETH Domain’s core remit, the Federal Council has also established objectives relating to finance and real estate as well as to human resource and pension policy. In the area of HR, concrete measures are to be taken in order to: increase the proportion of women in teaching and research, especially in leadership roles and decision-making bodies; ensure equal opportunities; encourage diversity; and prevent any type of discrimination or harassment.

In the 2021–2024 performance period, the budgetary framework approved by the Federal Assembly for the ETH Domain amounts to CHF 10 810,7 m.

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