State Secretary Hirayama takes part in informal EU ministerial meeting on research and innovation competition and international ministerial dialogue on international cooperation

Press releases, 16.02.2024

On 14-15 February, State Secretary for Education Research and Innovation, Martina Hirayama, attended an informal meeting of research and innovation ministers from EU Member States in La Hulpe (Belgium). Discussions at this biannual meeting were centred on three main topics: the future of EU framework programmes for research and innovation; collaboration between research and industry; and the potential of technological developments in accelerating industrial decarbonisation. This informal ministerial meeting was followed by a second event: the international ministerial dialogue on principles and values in international research and innovation cooperation, which took place on 16 February.

EU framework programmes for research and innovation (FPs) are the European Union's main instrument used to implement its common science and technology policy. Introduced for the first time in 1984, FPs are now geared towards innovation as a means of addressing societal challenges and strengthening the European economy. With this in mind, research and innovation ministers gathered for an informal discussion of the FP remit and objectives and explored possible avenues of collaboration between research and industry. They also discussed the potential of green technologies in achieving greater decarbonisation.

On this occasion, State Secretary Martina Hirayama stressed the importance of adopting a balanced approach between basic and applied research. She stated that projects along the entire value chain should give rise both to fundamentally new findings and cutting-edge innovations, thereby contributing to scientific progress and addressing societal challenges. In this endeavour, the State Secretary highlighted the key role of the European Research Council, which encourages excellence. Finally, the State Secretary underscored the value of cooperation in strategic areas of research and innovation, such as the space sector and quantum technology, with a view to strengthening European competitiveness.

After this informal ministerial meeting, State Secretary Hirayama attended a second event organised by the Belgian presidency of the Council of the European Union on 16 February: the international ministerial dialogue on principles and values in international research and innovation cooperation.

Participants at both events presented their national approaches to international cooperation. This, in turn, then gave rise to a joint ministerial statement on the common principles and values relevant to international cooperation in research and innovation Over the course of these two events, State Secretary Hirayama met with the delegation heads from Belgium, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria, France, Germany, Portugal, Albania, Greece and the United Kingdom, among others.

Horizon Europe

The European Union's 9th Framework Programme, Horizon Europe, runs from 2021 to 2027. Endowed with a budget of EUR 95.5 billion, including contributions from the NextGenerationEU recovery plan, Horizon Europe is the most ambitious research and innovation funding programme in the history of the European Union.

EU framework programmes (FPs) for research and innovation (R&I) are the most important means of achieving the objectives of the European Research Area.

Address for enquiries:

State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI
+41 58 485 67 74


Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research