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In Washington, State Secretary Dell'Ambrogio will meet representatives of the US research funding organisation, NSF, which is the sister organisation of the Swiss National Science Foundation. Further important meetings for Swiss institutions will include a meeting with the management of a start-up company, which works in the field of malaria research together with the federally-funded Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel; and a meeting with the executives of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, a university that sends 150 students to Switzerland every year and maintains a campus in Riva San Vitale in Ticino.
In Ottawa and Montreal, a meeting is scheduled with officials from the Ministry of Education of the Province of Quebec. A visit to the École Polytechnique de Montréal is also on the agenda. This leading engineering institution works together with the EPF Lausanne and 12 other francophone technological universities within RESCIF, which is a network for innovation and development.
The visit will be concluded by an event in honour of the 2010 partnership established between McGill University and the Neuroscience Centre of the University of Zurich and the ETH Zurich, which enables the collaboration of 700 neuroscientists.
In 2009, the Swiss and American governments recognised and further consolidated their intensive scientific and technological cooperation by signing a bilateral agreement. In addition to its EU partners, the USA is Switzerland's most important research partner by far. This is seen in joint research publications where Swiss researchers collaborate most frequently with their American colleagues. The Swiss National Science Foundation provides substantial funding for research cooperation between Swiss and American scientists. Between 2007 and 2012, it supported at least 1,800 projects to the tune of around CHF 640 million.
There is also a high volume of research cooperation with Canada. During the abovementioned period, the SNSF sponsored 315 bilateral projects valued at over CHF 122 million.