The MOU, to encourage research cooperation through the exchange of researchers, was signed between the peak university bodies of Australia and Switzerland – Universities Australia and swissuniversities – in Canberra today.
Signing on behalf of Universities Australia, Deputy Chief Executive Anne-Marie Lansdown said that Australia was honoured to sign the landmark agreement, which was the first international agreement for the recently formed peak body, swissuniversities.
“We are delighted to sign this new and exciting agreement with swissuniversities, an agreement that marks the next step in what is already a fruitful relationship between our two countries,” Ms Lansdown said.
“Australia and Switzerland already have 74 formal agreements between individual universities in both countries, an increase of over 300 per cent in the past decade.
“While most of these of these agreements are for student exchanges, today’s MOU will pave the way for a substantial increase in individual agreements focusing on research cooperation.”
The signing today comes just months after Australia agreed to work with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) on progressing another MOU on joint research partnerships – expected to be completed by the end of the year.
“The more research partnerships Australia has around the world, the greater our exposure to cutting-edge ideas and the greater Australia’s ability to innovate and prosper,” Ms Lansdown said.
“These partnerships not only lead to increased research output for Australia, but they allow our researchers to collaborate on frontier research and to translate this into domestic applications.”
The scheme will be open to all Universities Australia member universities with Guidelines released in early 2015.
A copy of the MOU can be accessed here.