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Associate member

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.


Our services: expertise and contacts

At the SCTO, we are committed to making Switzerland a more appealing setting for research. Everyone involved in clinical research, including research groups from academia and industry, authorities, patients, and the public, can find an arena for exchanging information and ideas at the SCTO. Together with our partners, we are working to promote clinical research in Switzerland and make it more accessible. Our services are designed to optimise and harmonise processes. We focus on quality, efficiency, and transparency, and we are open to input from our stakeholders and those using our services.

Please contact us so that together, we can address the challenges that clinical research is facing.

Our support for clinical research projects: Clinical Trial Units

The SCTO itself does not offer services for the operational implementation of trials. This is the task of the Clinical Trial Units (CTUs), which provide all the services needed to run clinical study projects smoothly. Our role is to coordinate the collaboration among these centres.

More information about the CTUs’ services and members is available under CTU Network.

Our pools of expertise for better processes in clinical research: SCTO Platforms

Making Switzerland a more attractive setting for research requires optimising and harmonising processes at the national level. In line with our ultimate goal of supporting the successful development of new therapies and improving existing treatments, we established eight platforms in 2017.

These SCTO Platforms are to serve as pools of expertise, focusing on the following areas: auditing, statistics and methodology, data management, education, monitoring, project management, regulatory affairs, and safety.

In these pools, experts work together to harmonise processes and set national standards. This includes strengthening Switzerland’s international competitiveness and promoting multicentre studies. Furthermore, our platforms serve as central points of contact for authorities and for national and international stakeholders on all questions concerning clinical research.

Here too, the SCTO liaises between the different platforms. As a supervisory link, our Liaison Officers ensure the required exchange in national and international activities, encourage effective collaboration and help prevent parallel activities. The topics in our previous working groups for quality assurance, data management, and education were integrated into the platforms.

Further services: specialised research units and ad hoc working groups

Our member institutions host specialised units for clinical research projects with patients which are either in an early phase or whose research questions require special conditions or methods. The catalogue under specialised units provides an overview of the research units in Switzerland.

We also initiate and moderate ad hoc working groups to address the current challenges of clinical research and attempt to develop solutions. For example, we actively encourage practice-oriented implementation of the Human Research Act. Moreover, we look ahead in order to identify changes and trends at an early stage and respond to them appropriately.

For more information about our services, please read our latest SCTO Short Report.