New projects announced foster UK-Swiss partnerships

Group of multiracial people around a table, smiling and writing notes.

30 projects have secured funding from UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) bilateral collaboration with the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

This funding was made available to develop new and existing partnerships between researchers in the UK and Switzerland. This includes areas of mutual importance between the 2 countries, with UKRI investing almost £500,000 in the partnership.

Reducing barriers

The UKRI and SNSF partnership reduces barriers to collaboration that researchers encounter and facilitates cooperation on the 2 countries’ shared research priorities.

Successful projects of the coordinated opportunities from the 2 organisations focused on 4 themes:

  • synthetic biology
  • languages
  • materials
  • the life and physical sciences interface

Artificial intelligence and big data are cross-cutting themes of the programme.

The funding will support:

  • travel for researchers to the UK and Switzerland
  • access to facilities
  • workshops and networking
  • exchange of knowledge, ideas and best practice

Successful projects

The opportunities have supported 30 projects with some projects already starting, and the remainder to begin in the coming months. In total, 21 projects are funded by UKRI and 9 projects are funded by SNSF.

The projects include:

  • investigating virus-like particle vaccines
  • the language used to describe and discuss sustainability in Latin America
  • developing a new tool for eye imaging
  • finding sustainable alternatives for plastics

Increasing collaboration

This funding opportunity follows on from the Memorandum of Understanding signed by UKRI and SNSF in February 2022 to support increased bilateral cooperation between researchers in the UK and Switzerland.

Beyond these opportunities, both partners intend to further foster collaborations between researchers in the UK and Switzerland.

Further information

UK-Switzerland partnering award competition winners

Languages: the impact of multilingualism on the vocabulary and stylistics of medieval English

Principal investigator: Dr Sara Pons-Sanz, University of Cardiff

Project partners: University of Zurich, University of Geneva

Between individuality and accent identity in speech

Principal investigator: Dr Patrycja Strycharczuk, The University of Manchester

Project partners: University of Bern

Languages: languages of sustainability in Latin America

Principal investigator: Dr Paul Merchant, University of Bristol

Project partners: University of Leeds, University of St Gallen, University of Zurich

Languages: contact- induced structural change

Principal investigator: Dr Hannah Gibson, University of Essex

Project partners: SOAS University of London, University of Lausanne

Aerial additive manufacturing: robotic construction of cantilever structures with aerial vehicles

Principal investigator: Professor Mirko Kovac, Imperial College London

Project partners: Empa (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science Technology), ETH Zurich, EPFL School of Architecture Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering

Materials: investigating ion transport in oxide thin films for energy applications

Principal investigator: Professor Stephen Skinner, Imperial College London

Project partners: Paul Scherrer Institute

Electron dynamics in biological relevant media

Principal investigator: Professor Jonathan Marangos, Imperial College London

Project partners: Paul Scherrer Institute, ETH Zurich

Energy materials: flexible photovoltaics for ambient IoT applications

Principal investigator: Dr Marina Freitag, Newcastle University

Project partners: Swiss Federal Inst of Technology (EPFL)

UKRI Switzerland partnering awards for a UK-Swiss engineering biology meeting

Principal investigator: Professor Yizhi Cai, The University of Manchester

Project partners: University of Lausanne

Fusing medical images and CFD for precision vascular interventions (medicare)

Principal investigator: Professor Vanessa Diaz, University College London

Project partners: University Hospital Bern

Bridging optoelectronics and nonlinear fibre physics to develop a new frequency comb tool for eye imaging

Principal investigator: Dr Zhixin Liu, University College London

Project partners: BICI London

Thin film lithium niobate photonic sensors for biochemical detection

Principal investigator: Professor Cyril Renaud, University College London

Project partners: CSEM Neuchatel

Materials: soft functional materials for bio-robotics

Principal investigator: Professor Fumiya Iida, University of Cambridge

Project partners: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL)

Materials: magnetic skyrmions

Principal investigator: Professor Christopher Marrows, University of Leeds

Project partners: University of Glasgow, EPFL, University of Basel, Paul Scherrer Institute

Life and physical sciences interface: topological underpinnings of data with application to biological sciences

Principal investigator: Professor Heather Harrington, University of Oxford

Project partners: EPFL

Alloy development and advanced mechanical evaluation and experimentation: (ADAM&EVE partnership)

Principal investigator: Professor Russell Goodall, The University of Sheffield

Project partners: EPFL

Life and physical sciences interface: whole animal mathematical and computational modelling of motion

Principal investigator: Professor Roman Borisyuk, University of Exeter

Project partners: University of St Andrews, EPFL

Cryo-electron tomography of CO2-fixing pyrenoids to guide synthetic assembly

Principal investigator: Dr Luke Mackinder, University of York

Project partners: University of Basel

Magnetic susceptibility interference MRI: developing new imaging methods to quantify axonal magnetic properties and myelin integrity

Principal investigator: Dr Marco Palombo, Cardiff University

Project partners: University of Lausanne, Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM)

Synthetic biology: organoids and engineered tissues as in vitro research platforms in infection and immunity

Principal investigator: Professor Matthias Marti, University of Glasgow

Project partners: University of Zurich

Optical projection tomography for plant imaging

Principal investigator: Dr Adrien Chauvet, The University of Sheffield

Project partners: Haute école du paysage, d’ingéni et d’architecture de Genève (HEPIA)

Switzerland-UK partnering award competition winners

Connecting urban physics and data-driven design for wellbeing

Principal investigator: Yongling Zhao, Chair of Building Physics D-MAVT ETH Zurich

Project partner: University of Cambridge

Evolution of phonology: testing the perceptual discrimination hypothesis in chestnut-crowned babblers

Principal investigator: Simon William Townsend, Department of Comparative Linguistics Interdisciplinary Study of Language Evolution University of Zurich

Project partner: University of Exeter

Unravelling the mechanism of uranium reduction by a decaheme c-type cytochrome, MtrC

Principal investigator: Margaux Molinas, Laboratoire de microbiologie environnementale EPFL, ENAC,IIE, EML

Project partner: University of Essex

EUV emission following intense laser-particle interactions

Principal investigator: Loren Ban, Laboratorium für Physikalische Chemie D-CHAB ETH Zürich

Project partner: Imperial College London

Sustainable solution for circular plastics: new materials and markets

Principal investigator: Catharina Rebecca Bening, Group for Sustainability and Technology ETH Zurich

Project partner: University of Cambridge

Testing the use of analogy in morphological productivity

Principal investigator: Tamar Johnson, Computational Learning and Linguistics Linguistics University of Geneva

Project partner: University of Edinburgh

Novel polarisation components and phase transitions in the domain walls of ferroelectrics

Principal investigator: Marios Hadjimichael, Département de Physique de la Matière Quantique (DQMP) Université de Genève

Project partner: University College London

Monitoring wire-arc additive manufacturing process with acoustic emission and advanced data analytics

Principal investigator: Gowtham Soundarapandiyan, Applied Materials Group Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and Imagin Paul Scherrer Institut

Project partner: Cranfield University

Systems-level understanding of mucosal immunity using virus-like particle vaccines

Principal investigator: Milad Radiom, LFO ETH Zürich

Project partner: University of Cambridge

Top image:  Credit: Jacob Ammentorp Lund, iStock, Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

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