2010 Swiss Delegation

High-ranking scientific delegation led by Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter

From 25-30 August 2010, a high-ranking scientific delegation comprised of representatives from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the Innovation Promotion Agency (CTI), the ETH domain, Swiss higher education institutions (HEIs) and other Swiss research institutes, and led by Federal Council Didier Burkhalter traveled to Brazil for the purpose of consolidating relations between the two countries. In the various interviews and visits scheduled in Brasilia, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the delegation focused on deepening research cooperation and holding discussions in the field of health. Switzerland considers Brazil to be one of the non-EU priority countries for research cooperation as well as a major player in international negotiations on health.

This official visit to Brazil was chiefly intended to consolidate the bilateral cooperation programme, decide what subsequent steps need to be taken and to stimulate future cooperation initiatives by establishing direct contacts with key participants in the science and technology field.

In the area of health, discussions also covered consolidation of bilateral relations, particularly cooperation between the two countries within the Executive Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO). Finally, discussions focused on closer relations between key health institutions in both countries.

In Brasilia, Federal Councillor Burkhalter met with the Brazil’s Minister of Science and Technology Sergio Rezende, Brazil’s Minister of Health José Gomes Temporão and Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Relations Celso Amorim. Discussions were centred on bilateral relations, particularly current bilateral research cooperation mechanisms and the possible content of these mechanisms in the future.

In Rio de Janeiro, a visit was scheduled to the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), which is Brazil’s largest health institution. The highlights of this visit were discussions with Brazil’s Minister of Health Temporão as well as the opening of a Brazilian-Swiss symposium devoted to the theme, “Challenges for Metropolitan Cities in the 21st Century”. This symposium was chaired by Switzerland’s Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ). In São Paulo, an official ceremony took place during which representatives of Switzerland’s Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) donated their Blue Gene supercomputer to Brazil’s Minister of Education Haddad. This supercomputer was installed at the Edmond and Lily Safra International Institute of Neuroscience, which is one of Brazil’s most innovative research institutes.