The KFPE is the information hub for global research partnerships in Switzerland. It promotes efficient, effective, and equitable research cooperation with low- and middle-income countries. By doing so, the KFPE contributes to sustainable development and to solving local and global problems.more

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Annual Conference 2021: Transformative Research – The New Imperative in Science?

KFPE & SUDAC Conference

7 May 2021

KFPE & SUDAC Annual Conference
KFPE & SUDAC Annual ConferenceImage: SUDAC

Research shall contribute to transformations towards sustainable development. How does such research look like and what is needed to promote this kind of research? Will transformative research become the new normal or is it just a short-lived new fashion?

This conference brought together actors from academia, civil society, private sector, administration and politics to discuss the role of research for transformation. With presentations of examples of innovative transformative research partnerships and expectations from policy workers and practitioners we learned more about the potential but also challenges of transformative research. Together, we discussed how to implement, improve and promote transformative research.

7 Mai 2021


Franco Gervasoni (President SUDAC)

Setting the Stage

Transforming science for sustainability transformations in the era of COVID-19

Thomas Breu (President KFPE)

Getting Concrete

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation's (SDC) strategic orientation regarding research for development.

Nicolas Randin (Head Analysis and Policy Division, SDC)


Impact of COVID-19 on North-South Research Partnerships

Inza Koné (Director Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques en Côte d’Ivoire) and Laurent Goetschel (Director swisspeace)


Breakout Rooms to discuss examples of innovative transformative research approaches

  • “Cooperation between Private Sector and Universities: A Key Element for Innovation in Sustainable Development?” Hans-Peter Egler (South Pole)
  • “Tech4Dev – Activating EPFL Technologies for Disruptive Development Cooperation” Hilda Liswani (EPFL)
  • "CLOC Knowledge2Action in South Asia" Swetha Rao Dhananka (HETS-FR)
15.05Short break
Shaping the Future

Paneldiscussion on the role of Switzerland to fund transformative research for global sustainable developent

  • Science: Jürg Utzinger (Director SwissTPH)
  • Private Sector: Hans-Peter Egler (Director Public Affairs South Pole)
  • Administration: Maria Peyro Voeffray (Head International Relations, State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation)

  • Administration: Christian Frutiger (Head Global Cooperation, SDC)


Closing Remarks

Marcel Tanner (President A+)

16.15Informal online exchange
Interactive Worldmap

Post your research projects to our interactive map to show where you carry out research and to learn where others are active.

Markus Mugglin

Watch the different programme-points of the conference

  • Panel Discussion
  • Jürg Utzinger
  • Regie
  • Regie
  • Thomas Breu
  • Panel Discussion1/5
  • Jürg Utzinger2/5
  • Regie3/5
  • Regie4/5
  • Thomas Breu5/5

Some impressions from the production of the online conference.


Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries (KFPE)
House of Academies
PO Box
3001 Bern