Research Networks

National Research Networks

Healthy Nutrition and Sustainable Food Production - NRP 69

This initiative aims to generate strategies, tools, methods, processes, and products in order to promote healthy eating habits with sustainable food production.

Swiss Research Initiative in Systems Biology is the largest ever public research initiative in Switzerland and focuses on the dynamics of biological systems.

University Research Priority Programs

The University of Zurich established its own University Research Priority Programs (URPP) that build on in-house research expertise. The programs are interdisciplinary and cross-faculty and promote collaboration within the university, while supporting the career development of young researchers. Current (and former) URPPs:

Swiss Biodiversity Forum

The Swiss Biodiversity Forum is the national competence center for biodiversity research. It is part of the platform 'Science & Policy' of the Swiss Academy of Sciences.

World Food System Center

The WFS Center was established at ETH Zurich in order to address challenges at the nexus of global food security, food production for environmental, economic and societal well-being.

International Research Networks

Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI)

Joint programming is a concept introduced by the European Commission. This project aims to bring together European countries who are committed to building an integrated European Research Area addressing the interconnected challenges of sustainable agriculture, food security and impacts of climate change.


This program is a cross-thematic ERA-NET spanning three FP7 themes: Agriculture and food supply; Environment and climate; and Information and Communication Technology. The overall goal of ICT-AGRI is to strengthen the European research within the area of precision farming and to develop a common European research agenda concerning ICT and robotics in agriculture


BiodivERsA is a network of 35 agencies and ministries from 23 European countries programming and funding pan-European research on biodiversity and ecosystem services on a competitive basis.

ERA-CAPS Coordinating Action in Plant Sciences

ERA-CAPS is the European Research Area Network for Coordinating Action in Plant Sciences. It promotes sustainable collaboration in plant sciences through coordinating and funding excellent transnational research.

The European Innovation Partnership "Agriculture & Innovation" (EIP-AGRI)

The agricultural European Innovation Partnership (EIP-AGRI) works to foster competitive and sustainable farming and forestry that 'achieves more and better from less'. It contributes to ensuring a steady supply of food, feed and biomaterials, developing its work in harmony with the essential natural resources on which farming depends.

COST - European Cooperation in Science and Technology

COST is a funding organisation for research and innovation networks. It provides networking opportunities for researchers and innovators in order to strengthen Europe’s capacity to address scientific, technological and societal challenges.

  • Food and Agriculture
  • Forests, their Products and Services
  • Earth System Science and Environmental Management

International Project on GMO Environmental Risk Assessment Methodologies

The GMO ERA Project is an initiative driven by public sector scientists, most of whom have expertise in environmental science, as well as biotechnology and socioeconomics. The project has identified and developed scientific methodologies and teaching tools for environmental risk assessment (ERA) and management of transgenic plants.

MIREN – Mountain Invasion Research Network

This network monitors and evaluates plant invasions into high mountain systems at a global scale, using broad surveys, standardized protocols and experiments in different mountain systems.

The Jena Experiment - supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Exploring mechanisms underlying the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

Completed Research Collaborations

Soil as a Resource - NRP 68

This program was completed in May 2018. It aimed at establishing the principles for integrative, sustainable and resource-efficient soil management in Switzerland.

Benefits and Risks of the Deliberate Release of Genetically Modified Plants - NRP 59

With respect to the application potential of plant biotechnology in Switzerland, this program studied the benefits and risks of biotechnology. This NRP also examined risk management at the legal, political and administrative levels. Program completed in 2013.