Despite vast geographical differences, both Switzerland and Australia share a commitment to excellence in scientific research. Boasting numerous academic institutions and research facilities of excellence, both countries contribute far above average to developments in science and technology alongside innovative industries. Moreover, as a glance on international university rankings shows, Australian universities rank, comparable to Swiss universities, among the top worldwide.
To capitalize on the existing interest of academics from both countries and to raise profile of Melbourne as location for postdoctoral training among Swiss academics, the Swiss Academic Network Melbourne (SANM) was established as a joint initiative of the Consulate in Melbourne and a group of expatriated Swiss academics in 2005.
From its inception, the network has always enjoyed strong backing from the Swiss Embassy, the General Consulate in Sydney and local Swiss organizations, including the Swiss Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).
With the efforts of the SANM Executive, together with the strong and enthusiastic support of the Swiss Ambassador, the network has been able to reach beyond the borders of Victoria and today has representatives in all Australian States and Territories.
In 2008, the network could secure a three-year sponsorship from Novartis Sydney to help deliver its objectives. Given these developments the SAAN Executive in 2008 decided to transform SANM into SAAN (Swiss Australian Academic Network) in order to better reflect the vision of a nationally as well as bilaterally operating network.
Since beginning of 2009, SAAN is registered as Company limited by guarantee of national status.
SAAN is open to Swiss and non-Swiss academics from various disciplines and at different stages of their career who have connections to or interest in Switzerland.