The Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research increases its core contribution to the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) from CHF 6.25 million to CHF 8 million per year. Together with the additional funding from the two Basel cantons, the contribution over the next strategy period of 2021-2024 will support the work of Swiss TPH in improving public and global health through excellence in research, education and services.
In total, Swiss TPH will receive CHF 32 million over the next 4-year period from 2021 to 2024 from the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI). Compared to the previous period 2017-2020, this means an increase of CHF 7 million, as requested by Swiss TPH and demanded by politicians in Basel. The federal government will support a total of 31 research institutions of national importance with a total amount of CHF 460 million in the years 2021-2024.
"We are deeply grateful to the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, to SERI and to our parliamentary cantonal representatives in Bern for their confidence in our work," said Jürg Utzinger, Director of Swiss TPH. "The additional funds, including those from the two Basel cantons, will enable Swiss TPH to invest in groundbreaking new research fields and hence to work even better towards our mission: improving the health of people in Switzerland and around the world."
Back in October 2020, the cantons of Basel-Landschaft and Basel-Stadt announced that they would increase their annual core funding for Swiss TPH from CHF 7.26 million to CHF 8 million as of January 2021. The total amount of CHF 32 million over the next 4 years - the same amount as the new government contribution - will be divided equally between the two cantons.
Low core funding presents a challenge
In addition to contributions from the federal government and the two Basel cantons, Swiss TPH also receives core funding from the University of Basel through a performance agreement. Overall, core funding currently makes up 21% of the total turnover at Swiss TPH; the remaining 79% are competitively acquired funds from research grants, courses and service mandates. Such a high level of third party funding is unusual for an institute in the field of research, education and services.
"Having to competitively acquire such a large proportion of total funding poses a considerable challenge to the institute. Increasing core funding overall and sustainably is therefore a very important milestone for Swiss TPH," says Andreas Burckhardt, Chairman of the Board of Governors at Swiss TPH and Chairman of the Board of Directors at Bâloise. "I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to both the federal government, the members of parliament from the region who submitted the increase requests, and the cantons of Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft."
From research to implementation
Swiss TPH is a world-leading institute in global health, placing particular focus on lowand middle-income countries. Associated with the University of Basel, Swiss TPH combines research, education and services at local, national and international levels. Over 800 people from 80 nations work at Swiss TPH focusing on infectious and non-communicable diseases, environment, society and health as well as health systems and interventions.
Swiss TPH is currently involved in the fight against COVID-19 through research and services, as well as advising political decision-makers in Switzerland and abroad.