With its Dispatch on the Promotion of Education, Research and Innovation (ERI) for 2013-2016, the Swiss Federal Council has formulated its policy guidelines and measures for the various areas of the ERI system that fall under the constitutional and legislative authority of the Swiss Confederation. It is the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) mission to implement this policy in accordance with Switzerland’s international ERI strategy (in German only). In this way, the swissnex network and science and technology counsellors play an important role in developing bilateral cooperation ties with selected partner countries in the areas of ERI.
The SERI currently handles five swissnexes: (since 2000), (2003), (2004), (2007) and (2011). swissnex works on a performance agreement basis by mutual agreement with the SERI and their activities are mainly financed by partners’ contribution or by public and private sponsors. swissnex thrives on collaborating with its partners, who range from Switzerland’s top universities and multinationals to high-tech start-ups and groundbreaking researchers.
The SERI also develops a worldwide network of science sections at embassies where science and technology counsellors strengthen cooperation in science, technology, higher education and innovation between Switzerland and the host country in which the embassy is located. The Confederation sent its first so called "science attaché" to Wasington D.C. in 1958 (see details).
The ERI network is run by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), in close cooperation with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA).