The National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCR) are a research instrument of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). They were launched in 2001 with the aim of promoting innovative approaches to scientific research in areas of particular importance to Switzerland.

The NCCR programme was instituted with three main objectives in mind:

  • the maintenance and enhancement of Switzerland's position as a leader in advanced research in emerging fields of study
  • the restructuring of higher education in Switzerland though improved coordination and cooperation
  • the coordination of measures for the promotion of basic research and the transfer of knowledge technologies, including the development of effective strategies for ensuring the continuation of scientific research in coming generations.

The National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCR) promote long term research projects in areas of importance for the evolution of science in Switzerland, for the country's economy, and for Swiss society.

Each NCCR is based in and managed from a university or other recognized research institution. A network links the research groups from this home institution with other teams throughout Switzerland. The following requirements are decisive for the approval of a Centre of Competence: it must conduct research of outstanding, internationally recognised quality, and actively foster knowledge and technology transfer, training, and the promotion of women researchers. A further aim of NCCR is to globally restructure and improve the organisation of Swiss research. Federal funding for NCCR is voted by Parliament, and completed by funding from the institutions themselves, and from third parties. Launched in 2001, the programme presently comprises 20 NCCR.

List of current NCCRs

National Centres of Competence in Research: Guide 2010 (PDF, 524 KB)

National Centres of Competence in Research: Cutting Edge Research Made in Switzerland (PDF, 2.77 MB)