National research priorities (NRP) and National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCR) aim to ensure Switzerland's ability to compete in the international knowledge society. Several of these competence centers are based at the University of Bern.
The NRP TransCure researches membrane carrier proteins. The discoveries made are to be used in the development of new drugs and therapies for widespread diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and neurological diseases.
The national research priorities were created in 2001 with the intention of giving the Swiss research environment more robust structures. Aim of the realignment: Research projects backed by long-term funding on issues of strategic significance for the future of Switzerland are to be encouraged. The NCCR function in networks, in which dozens of scientists from throughout Switzerland work together in various higher education institutions and research institutions. In each case the entity leading these networks is an individual institution, such as the University of Bern, from where the program management coordinates the different research groups.
The research priorities are largely financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation. The NCCR are also supported by the own resources of the higher education institutions involved and by external funding. In addition to excellent and internationally visible research, the NCCR have also pledged to encourage knowledge and technology transfer and the promotion of young scientific talent, especially women.