A new bridge between research and International Geneva

UNIGE, supported by the FDFA, launches the Science Policy Interface to better address the complexity of today’s global challenges. The SPI will make collaboration and innovation easier between scientific communities and international organisations.



UNIGE pursues a long-term strategy that aims to make its scientific know-how easily accessible to International Geneva actors. (UNIGE/Marco Cattaneo)


The University of Geneva (UNIGE) undertakes to promote interactions between the world of academia and IOs and to make the skills of the research community more accessible to actors at the policy level and on the ground. The creation of the Geneva Science Policy Interface (SPI), which was announced in January during the World Economic Forum in Davos, is supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). This structure, hosted by UNIGE – will identify and accelerate opportunities for collaboration.


The SPI, at the nexus between academia and the IO and NGO ecosystem, will address the challenges both  researchers and practitioners encounter when working together to solve specific and complex issues. It will support the efforts of those involved in the formulation and implementation of international policies who will benefit from the scientific community’s targeted inputs in a timely and cost effective manner.


Facilitating access to scientific expertise

UNIGE is fully integrated into the ecosystem of International Geneva, the main capital of multilateral diplomacy with 99 IOs, programmes, institutes and funds, 250 NGOs, representatives from 177 countries and 246 permanent missions and delegations. The SPI stems from UNIGE’s long-term strategic and proactive policy  that aims to make the scientific know-how of its wide network of academics and partner institutions easily accessible to International Geneva actors, thereby asserting and strengthening its special links with IOs and NGOs.

The SPI aims to facilitate exchange, act as a single entry point for IOs, and provide tailored support facilitateinnovative collaborative processes. These organisations will benefit from an independent and apolitical incubator where scientific expertise and innovation can be harnessed in support of public policy, and of the concrete needs of practitioners. The SPI has been designed as a global network that will host other partner universities and centres of expertise, focusing on multidisciplinary approaches and opened to public-private collaborations.

The SPI’s skillset will make it possible to quickly overcome the bottlenecks that still hamper the development of collaborative projects between the academic world and the IO ecosystem: mismatch between research outcomes and challenges in the field;  disjuncture between academic research cycles and the IO’s policymaking cycles; the complex fabric of International Geneva; and the need to adopt a common language for defining IO requirements. The SPI will foster agile, long-term relationships that will have a lasting impact.

Enhancing collaboration between the academia and IOs will make it possible to deliver rapid and original solutions to the global challenges facing our societies.


27 Mar 2018


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