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Switzerland attracts international experts with the high-quality of its research, its well-funded research institutions and the innovative environment. The relatively high salaries and a high quality of life are also contributing factors. The desirability of Switzerland as an international research centre is proven by the fact that half of PhD students at Swiss universities are international. At nearly 50% (full-time equivalent), the percentage of international professors is also noteworthy.
Switzerland is member of the European Union's Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. Swiss researchers have the same rights as their EU colleagues, including access to the European Research Council (ERC).
In the previous Framework Programme (2003-2006), Swiss researchers were highly successful at securing research grants. Now, with a budget of EUR 54.6 billion for 2007-2013, the seventh Framework Programme (FP7) is striving to create a European research area (ERA). Switzerland will participate in FP7 with a budget approximately of CHF 2.4 billion.
In 2013, the Human Brain Project, coordinated by Lausanne's Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), has been selected for one of the two European Union's Flagship grants, worth more than €1 billion (SFr1.25 billion) over the next ten years.
Switzerland is also represented in numerous other European and international research institutions and programmes.