History


2009: 40 years Swiss Foundation for Nutrition Research
To date, the Swiss Foundation for Nutrition Research contributed more than 5 million Swiss francs to research in human nutrition in Switzerland. In total, 299 applications were accepted and the grants allowed young researchers to realise their educational plans or to implement their research projects. It was founded in 1969 under the patronage of the Federal Government, H.P. Tschudi, and under the management of the biochemist Prof. Dr. Hugo Aebi from Bern. They worked together with representatives of the Swiss food industry as well as with members of the Federal Nutrition Committee, the Swiss Society for Nutrition Research (SSNR) and the Swiss Association for Nutrition (SAN). SSNR and SAN have meanwhile merged to the new Swiss Society for Nutrition (SSN). The niche area of research between fundamental research (supported by the national fund and universities) and applied research (mainly used in industry) is becoming more important and is an essential operational area of the Foundation. Among other things, the SFEFS finances small research projects and contributes to PhD project funding for six to twelve months of advanced training at universities outside of Switzerland. In many cases, this financial support provided the basis for a future professional carrier for the beneficiaries. Many of today's experts in the field of human nutrition benefited from a SFEFS grant earlier in their carrier.

Research supported by SFEFS (1969-2009)
The biggest part (45%) of SFEFS grants supported studies abroad. These were mainly at universities in the UK, the US and Australia, and were excellent opportunities. After returning to Switzerland, the knowledge, competence and proficiency acquired proved to be very useful for their work at universities, in hospitals, research centers or in industry.
A second part of the financial support (55%) was granted for various research projects. Among all the different topics covered, "disease" and "micronutrients" appear to be the most important ones. In each of those, around 500'000 Swiss francs were invested as research grants.
Research is by its nature a very dynamic area that is strongly influenced by the educational as well as socio-political environment. National research programmes tend to define their priorities for a few years ahead, and the SFEFS managed to exert some impact on shaping these. During the last ten years (1999-2009) for example, around one sixth of the funds were granted for projects researching the topic of "Nutrition and exercise", thereby making an important contribution to this highly relevant research topic.

Characteristics of the scholarship holders during the last ten years (1999-2009)
The scholarship holders' gender, the regional distribution and their fields of research were relatively well balanced. During the last ten years, the foundation granted 57% of the funds to male and 43% to female researchers. This is admirable given the gender distribution in the research community as a whole. The different linguistic regions were also adequately represented, with 82% of the grants going to persons from the German and 18% to persons from the French and Italian speaking part of Switzerland. Two thirds of recipients were engineers and natural scientists while the remaining third were medical doctors as well as scientists from a few other disciplines.

Foundation board and donors
Besides experts in the field of nutrition from universities and members of the federal commission for nutrition, the foundation board is made up of experts from the food industry and the large distributors in Switzerland.

40 years anniversary conference of SFEFS
In the year 2009 the Swiss Nutrition Foundation celebrated its 40 years anniversary. One of the highlights was the SFEFS conference at the ETH Zurich in October 2009, were results from several projects funded by the SFEFS were presented by young scientists


Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!