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The SCTO is an independent organisation and is based on a joint initiative of the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences.

As of 2017, the SCTO is a research infrastructure of national importance funded by the State Secretariat of Education, Research and Innovation and the Swiss National Science Foundation.



5 March 2019

Three medical research infrastructures sign a long-term collaboration agreement

The Biobanking and BioMolecular resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI), the European Research Infrastructure for Translational Medicine (EATRIS), and the European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN) signed an agreement in the last week of February in Brussels to build a long-term sustainable collaboration strategy.

The agreement lays the ground for facilitating user access to pan-European medical research infrastructures and supporting the development of tools, joint services, and common approaches on quality, standards, and advocacy. As a result, the agreement will empower the three parties to provide even better services to the biomedical community and to facilitate a more cost-effective research and development process.

The SCTO has been chosen by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) to represent Switzerland in the ECRIN consortium. The ECRIN European Correspondent (EuCo) for Switzerland is based at the SCTO and coordinates fee-based services and support for scientific partner institutions nationally and internationally.

To read the press release about the agreement, visit eatris.eu.

Patient Engagement

25 February 2019

Patient engagement: 2018's essential reading

The buzz words “patient engagement” are heard more and more often in research settings. But how is patient engagement really carried out, well and meaningfully? At the SCTO, our strategic objectives include prioritising patient empowerment and involvement, which incorporates identifying useful tools to this end.

To round off the past year, Patient Focused Medicines Development (PFMD) handpicked the five best key articles to help readers embark on patient-centred projects. The articles are published as 2018’s essential reads in patient engagement. They showcase the maturation of patient engagement and a collaborative, international move underway – from talking about it, to actually doing it.

Questions probed include:

  • What does patient-led research really look like?
  • What essential role can patients take in developing clinical recommendations that are fit for purpose?
  • Can it be demonstrated that patient engagement activities can reduce protocol amendments and improve the recruitment, adherence, and retention of participants?
  • And how can involving patients in trial design and in defining outcomes improve the quality and relevance of research to patients in tandem with their participation in trials?

To explore the answers to these questions, browse the 2018 essential reads at PFMD.

PFMD is an open, independent global coalition of health stakeholders. Founded in 2015, it aims to transform the way in which we understand, engage, and partner with patients globally in the design and development of research and medicines, by focusing on unmet patient needs.

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Making the list: International Compilation of Human Research Standards

The SCTO is included in an important listing. The newly updated International Compilation of Human Research Standards (2019 Edition), published by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), is a listing of more than 1,000 laws, regulations, and guidelines on the protection of human subjects (participants). It includes regional and international organisations from 131 countries.

The SCTO is proud to have been included for our Guidelines for Good Operational Practice (GGOP), representing a framework of common standards for professional and operational practice in clinical research. 

To access the compilation, visit the HHS.
Learn more about our GGOP under Publications.

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SCTO wishes a happy new 2019
happy new year!

7 January 2019

Striving together for excellence and efficiency in clinical research

The year 2018 was one of expansion for us at the SCTO. In just over a year, we set up new offices in Bern followed by eight centres of excellence throughout Switzerland: the SCTO Platforms. Each platform serves as a centre of excellence, consisting of a team with expertise, skills, and knowledge related to one key aspect of clinical research: in auditing, education and training, data management, monitoring, project management, regulatory affairs, safety, and statistics and methodology.

In creating the SCTO Platforms, we are striving to make the hive of clinical research in Switzerland efficient, smart, and collaborative. The whole of society depends on excellence in research bringing new and innovative treatments and diagnoses to patients.

We look forward to collaborating further with you and wish you a thriving 2019!

Find out more about the platforms, their members, goals and activities to date under Network.

For older news and press releases please see our news archives 20182017201620152014 and 2013.