Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences are a key cornerstone to Switzerland’s high innovation performance and accelerator of science to market activities. The international outlook of Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences has intensified over the past decade much to the likes of South Africa. Advancing science to market and applied research has been set as a key priority by the South African Department of Science and Innovation.
The Science and Technology Office has put considerable effort into delegation visits to Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences in Switzerland and vice versa. The visits have particular focus on the rural areas of South Africa including not only the commonly known higher institutions of South Africa but also previously disadvantaged universities. As a result, the University of Applied Sciences Lucerne and the University of Venda signed an institutional agreement.
The 2017 Innovation Challenge by the University of Basel and the Technology Innovation Agency aimed at introducing innovations into the informal housing sector that could make a sound contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals. The opportunity was used to showcase the Swiss-South African innovations at the South African Innovation Summit in 2017 while hosting a World Café for the Swiss and South African innovators.
More recently and as a response to the covid pandemic, the Swiss Tropic and Public Health Institute of the University of Basel launched an Applied Research call for projects in the Limpopo province aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. The call is supporting a total of nine projects across various research domains.