On a mandate of the Confederation, SCNAT develops roadmaps for scientific research infrastructures. These will form the basis for the Swiss Roadmap for Research Infrastructures (RIs). This roadmap of national and international RIs of interest for Switzerland is used to decide which large research facilities deserve federal support.
The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) prepares every four years the . This provides a basis for decision-making on the investment of federal funds in research facilities of national interest. The Roadmap is integrated into the ERI Dispatch, which the Federal Council then submits to Parliament for approval.
On request by the SERI, SCNAT develops discipline-specific roadmaps for the natural sciences. These point out which research infrastructures will be necessary in the future and prioritise them from a scientific point of view. The SERI will evaluate the roadmaps for the various fields together with other actors and will decide which research infrastructures are to be included in the 2023 Roadmap and then, possibly, in the ERI Dispatch 2025–2028.
From round table to roadmap
The SCNAT has successfully initiated in 2011 in the field of mathematics, astronomy and physics (MAP) a roadmap process: discussions take place at regular round-table meetings involving research representatives, the SERI, the Swiss National Science Foundation and research infrastructure funding organisations. From this dialogue it becomes apparent which fields require specific roadmaps. Each specialist community is then responsible for ensuring that a field-specific roadmap is prepared.
This procedure is to be transferred to biology, geosciences and chemistry for the funding period 2025 to 2028. A working group of the SCNAT with the participation of the platforms MAP, biology, chemistry and geosciences coordinates the process. The chair is Hans Rudolf Ott from ETH Zurich.
Schedule for the period 2025–2028
|Winter 2018 to Summer 2019||Exploratory talks in the scientific disciplines|
|Until early 2020||Installation of round tables|
|Until end 2020||Elaboration of discipline-specific roadmaps|
|Early 2021||Submission to SERI|
|Until end 2022|
Evaluation and discussion together with other actors (Swiss National Science Foundation, swissuniversities, ETH-Board)
|Spring 2023||Swiss Roadmap RI 2023|