The Federal Council has acknowledged the decision of the European Commission to suspend Switzerland’s association to the EU’s Erasmus+, Horizon 2020 and MEDIA programmes and instead give Switzerland third-country status from 2014. The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) and the Federal Office of Culture (FOC) have been asked to draw up interim solutions for the three programmes.
[ State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation ]
The State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation, Mauro Dell’Ambrogio, was today attending an event in Zagreb to launch a joint project between Croatia and the Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne EPFL, accompanied by EPFL president Patrick Aebischer and Martin Vetterli, president of the Research Council at the Swiss National Science Foundation. The Croatian government was represented by the deputy minister for Science, Education and Sport, Saša Zelenika, and the deputy minister for Regional Development, Jakša Puljiz.
(FSO) - The Swiss Consumer Price Index calculated by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) rose by 0.1% in February 2014 compared with the previous month, reaching 98.7 points (December 2010=100). Compared to the same month in the previous year, the inflation rate was -0.1%, compared with annualised rates of +0.1% in January 2014 and of -0.3% in February 2013.
(FSO) - According to provisional results from the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), the Swiss hotel industry registered 2.8 million overnight stays in January 2014, which corresponds to a growth of 1.5% (+41,000 overnight stays) compared with January 2013. Domestic visitors recorded 1.3 million overnight stays, representing an increase of 1.5% (+19,000 overnight stays). Foreign demand registered 1.5 million overnight stays, i.e. a rise of 1.5% (+22,000 overnight stays).
Registrierte Arbeitslosigkeit im Februar 2014 - Gemäss den Erhebungen des Staatssekretariats für Wirtschaft (SECO) waren Ende Februar 2014 149’259 Arbeitslose bei den Regionalen Arbeitsvermittlungszentren (RAV) eingeschrieben, 4’001 weniger als im Vormonat. Die Arbeitslosenquote verharrte bei 3,5% im Berichtsmonat. Gegenüber dem Vorjahresmonat erhöhte sich die Arbeitslosigkeit um 3’258 Personen (+2,2%).
Today in Bern, Federal Councillor Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf met with the French Finance Minister, Pierre Moscovici, for talks on current bilateral financial and tax issues. In a joint statement, both ministers welcomed the continuation of the dialogue between the two countries. Prior to the meeting, there was a joint working lunch which was also attended by the Federal Councillors Johann Schneider-Ammann and Alain Berset.
Researchers from ETH Zurich and the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI demonstrate how the magnetic structure can be altered quickly in novel materials. The effect could be used in efficient hard drives of the future.
Data on a hard drive is stored by flipping small magnetic domains. Researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and ETH Zurich have now changed the magnetic arrangement in a material much faster than is possible with today’s hard drives. The researchers used a new technique where an electric field triggers these changes, in contrast to the magnetic fields commonly used in consumer devices. This method uses a new kind of material where the magnetic and electric properties are coupled. Applied in future devices, this kind of strong interaction between magnetic and electric properties can have numerous advantages. For instance, an electrical field can be generated more easily in a device than a magnetic one. In the experiment, the changes in magnetic arrangement took place within a picosecond (a trillionth of a second) and could be observed with x-ray flashes at the American x-ray laser LCLS. The flashes are so short that you can virtually see how the magnetisation changes from one image to the next – similar to how we are able to capture the movement of an athlete with a normal camera in a series of images with a short exposure time. In future, such experiments should also be possible at PSI’s new research facility, the x-ray laser SwissFEL. The results will be published in the journal Science. They appear online in advance of print in Science Express on 6 March.
Inadequate school education costs poor countries dearly. Billions of dollars invested in education are wasted every year because all too many children who go to school fail to learn basic literacy and numeracy skills. Investing in good teacher training programmes must be a priority to improve this situation. These are the findings of the latest UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring Report, which was drawn up with Swiss support. The report was launched in Switzerland on 6 March 2014 at the Fribourg University of Education in the presence of SDC Director-General Martin Dahinden and the Fribourg Director of Education, Jean-Pierre Siggen.
[ Federal Laboratory for Materials Testing and Research ]
Researchers from Empa and ETH Zurich have succeeded in producing a prototype of a vibration-damping material that could change the world of mechanics forever. The material of the future is not only able to damp vibrations completely; it can also specifically conduct certain frequencies further.
On Wednesday evening 5 March 2014, the FDFA state secretary, Yves Rossier, received Mr Djibril Bassolé, minister of foreign affairs and regional cooperation of Burkina Faso, who is in Switzerland on an official working visit. Switzerland’s long-standing commitment to Burkina Faso, in particular in the field of development and economic cooperation, was one of the topics of the talks. Mali was also an item on the agenda.