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   Lay summary: NCCR FINRISK (download)

FINRISK is a Swiss academic research network tasked with understanding financial valuation and risk management. Funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation as a National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR), the FINRISK network comprises more than 40 finance professors based at the University of Zurich (FINRISK’s main academic partner), ETH Zurich, EPF Lausanne, as well as the University of Geneva, Lausanne, St. Gallen and Lugano.

Switzerland has a prominent place in the world of finance and banking. Yet at the time FINRISK was established in 2001, many academics believed that there was a pressing need to intensify Switzerland’s research efforts in the field of finance and to better coordinate these efforts across the country’s various academic centres.

FINRISK set about addressing this need by attracting world-class researchers to Switzerland. Having achieved this, it now has an established research program focusing on financial and non-financial risk factors affecting wealth creation, as well as the optimal functioning of financial institutions.

As part of this research endeavour, FINRISK has been involved in the establishment of the Swiss Doctoral Program in Finance. Its involvement in the Program focuses on the coordination of doctoral education across the FINRISK research centres in Zurich, Lugano, St. Gallen, Geneva and Lausanne.

Taking advantage of the research expertise in finance now assembled in Switzerland, FINRISK coordinates more than a dozen advanced doctoral courses for the Doctoral Program in Finance, as well as a 2 day Doctoral Workshop that is held annually at Study Center Gerzensee.

Twenty NCCRs have been launched by the Swiss National Science Foundation since 2001. Each NCCR promotes scientific excellence in research areas that have been deemed of major strategic, economic and societal importance for Switzerland. NCCRs are tasked with conducting fundamental, as well as applications-oriented, research of excellent quality.

Crucially, NCCRs should develop direct links with the potential beneficiaries of their research findings in Government and industry, and should train and promote women in research.

Under the direction of Professor Rajna Gibson Brandon, FINRISK has achieved these goals by building an impressive international research forum throughout FINRISK’s partner institutions, and by fostering knowledge transfer to finance professionals through high profile public conferences. Professor Michel Habib from University of Zurich has taken over the NCCR directorship from Rajna Gibson Brandon as of November 2009.

The initiative has been granted a more permanent place in the Swiss academic landscape with the establishment, in 2006, of the Swiss Finance Institute Foundation. FINRISK’s reputation for excellence in finance research and doctoral education, as well as its ties with Swiss industry, will eventually operate under the banner of the new Foundation.

Please follow this LINK for more information about the Swiss Finance Institute.

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  The National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCR) are a research instrument of the
Swiss National Science Foundation.