The Swiss Plant Science Web (SPSW) project was initiated by Professor Thomas Boller (University of Basel) and the Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center. In collaboration with the universities of Neuchâtel, Lausanne and Geneva they submitted a funding proposal to the Rectors’ Conference of the Swiss Universities (CRUS). On behalf of the Swiss University Conference (SUC), CRUS was in charge of presenting innovation- and cooperation projects aiming to maintain academic quality at Swiss Universities.
In June 2009 the SPSW project was selected among seventeen submitted proposals as one of six innovation projects. Until 2012 the SUC supported the SPSW project with a total of 4.8 Mio CHF in order to set up a network in plant sciences in Switzerland.
The Swiss Plant Science Web (SPSW) is the umbrella organization for research and education in academic plant science in Switzerland.
The SPSW umbrella comprises seven universities and the ETH Zurich, each of them associated to a respective regional network:
- ALPS - Arc Lémanique Plant Science - Universities of Geneva and Lausanne
- BeNeFri Network - Universities of Bern, Neuchâtel, and Fribourg
- Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center - Universities of Zurich and Basel, and ETH Zurich
The objectives of the SPSW are to:
- coordinate the technology transfer within academic plant science in Switzerland (technology platforms)
- coordinate the interuniversity education in plant sciences on the master and the PhD level
- establish an interface universities and secondary schools to strengthen the perception of plant sciences at secondary school level
- provide information about funding and career planning
- support the coordination of the professorship planning in plant sciences
- establish an information portal for plant science research in Switzerland
- enhance the positive perception of plant sciences in the society
It is the aim of the SPSW to create an academic environment allowing for research collaborations and technology transfer. A special focus is on the support and the promotion of education in plant sciences. Furthermore the SPSW serves as an information and communications portal for academic plant sciences in Switzerland. By joining forces, the SPSW advances research and education efforts in Switzerland. The SPSW network enhances the visibility of plant sciences and the achievements of plant research for society.