Strengthening the bond between Australia and Switzerland

14 July 2009

Proving that there is more to Swiss - Australian relations than a love of quality chocolate and precision watch making, a newly formed academic network highlights our shared commitment to excellence in scientific research.

The Swiss Australian Academic Network (SAAN) seeks to facilitate the development of partnerships between Switzerland and Australia in the areas of research, education and technology.

"Switzerland and Australia boast numerous academic achievements in science and technology, alongside innovative industries," said Sandra Margon, International Development Manager, Europe at the University of Sydney.

"SAAN is essentially a network and resource hub for academics who are looking for exchange and collaboration opportunities to enable them to capitilise on Swiss-Australian synergies," she said.

The concept of Swiss Academic Network began in Melbourne in 2005 as a joint initiative of the Swiss Consulate and a group of Swiss academics. However in 2008, as interest grew in the Network across Australia, the organisation became a national body.

A NSW SAAN Branch was established in May 2009 and the Vice President of the SAAN Committee, Professor Roland Stocker, from the Bosch Institute, hosted the Sydney dinner launch, featuring an address by the Swiss Consul.

SAAN provides information to its members about:

• Expanding academic networking opportunities

• Promoting and developing collaborative research grant programs, fellowships and scholarships

• Facilitating the bi-lateral exchange of academics

• Raising the profile of Australia and Switzerland as world-class locations for post-graduate training

• Assisting academics seeking exchange positions, including undergraduate and post-graduate students and post-graduate doctoral training

• Establishing, sponsoring and maintaining travel bursaries, travel fellowships and other assistance programs for academics.

"I invite Swiss and non-Swiss academics from various disciplines and at different stages of their career who have and interest in Switzerland to visit the SAAN website for more information," said Sandra.

"We hope that this website will provide information which will foster new collaborations with Switzerland and lead to successful research and teaching projects," she said.

For more information go to

Contact: Michelle Wood

Phone: 02 9351 3191

Email: 15463638513829275a02253d2a24233401121e080305462c04