Reinforcing Swiss-US government relations
Two bilateral memoranda of understanding on apprenticeships and research were signed during Swiss President Guy Parmelin's visit to Washington, D.C.
The highlight of 2021 for the Science Office at the Swiss Embassy in Washington was certainly the visit of President of the Swiss Confederation, Guy Parmelin, to the United States in November to sign a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Vocational Education and Training (VET) with the U.S. government. On November 18, 2021, the Secretary of Labor, Marty Walsh, the Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, and the Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Don Graves met with President Parmelin and his delegation to sign the updated MoU. The signing ceremony was followed by a business roundtable hosted by President Parmelin and Deputy Secretary Graves to discuss best practices and experiences in the field of VET. Invited participants included Swiss and American company representatives interested in, or already sponsoring, an VET program, as well as other representatives of the US government. A particular concern of the companies was the interest in expanding apprentices’ mobility between the U.S. and Switzerland.
In addition to the MoU on VET, President Parmelin accompanied the signature of a MoU between the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). The document was signed by the President of the National Research Council of SNSF, Prof. Matthias Egger, and the Director of the NSF, Dr. Sethuranman Panchanathan. The MoU aims at strengthening the agencies’ bilateral cooperation in the field of science and at facilitating the development of new science cooperation, by securing greater participation in workshops and conferences, fostering mobility of young scientists and easing bureaucratic restrictions in view of establishing a Lead Agency procedure for the funding of joint research projects.
You also have the opportunity to watch the signing ceremony of the MoU on apprenticeship: