Regional Laboratory Network

1. State the objectives and funding of each programme and summarize the principal research and development activities conducted in the programme. Areas to be addressed shall include: prophylaxis, studies on pathogenicity and virulence, diagnostic techniques, aerobiology, detection, treatment, toxinology, physical protection, decontamination and other related research.

The objective is the establishment and maintenance of capability and capacity for the rapid laboratory-based identification of pathogens in case of a biological emergency, whether it be of natural or accidental origin or due to deliberate release. This forms the basis for any adequate countermeasures that need to be planned and implemented to ensure the protection of the population. The consequent integration of state of the art detection and diagnostic techniques as well as their constant refinement and improvement is therefore indispensable for a holistic biological emergency concept.

The implemented structure is a decentralized network of Regional Competence Centers and National Reference Centers, all of which have been mandated by the Federal Office of Public Health. This network benefits from already existing infrastructure. The network is embedded in the Swiss CBRN concept and is coordinated by the Regional Laboratory Coordination Committee that consists of federal, cantonal and scientific experts. There is a total of three National Reference Centers and six Regional Competence Centers called Regional Laboratories. The task for Regional Laboratories is the rapid identification of pathogens, whereas National Reference Centers are qualified for confirmatory analysis. All facilities pursue civil duties and are put on assignments of the Regional Laboratory Network in the event of biological emergencies only. All cantons are part of the network either as a host canton of a Regional Laboratory (bold) or as an affiliated canton:

Regional Laboratory West: FR, GE, NE, VD, VS
Regional Laboratory West Central: BE, JU
Regional Laboratory East Central: LU, NW, OW, SZ, UR
Regional Laboratory East: AI, AR, GL, GR, SG, SH, TG, ZG, ZH  (+ FL)
Regional Laboratory North: AG, BL, BS, SO
Regional Laboratory South: TI

Of note, the two cantons of Genève (GE) and Vaud (VD) share the authority over the Regional Laboratory West. The Principality of Liechtenstein (FL) participates in the Regional Laboratory East. For an explanation of abbreviations, please refer to the comprehensive map presented in paragraph 6.

The network consists of the following facilities that are described in Form A, part 2 (iii) in more detail:


RL West

RL West Central
RL East Central
RL East

RL North
RL South


Canton of Genève

Canton of Vaud
Canton of Bern
Canton of Luzern
Canton of Zürich

Canton of Basel-Stadt
Canton of Ticino

Labor Spiez
Centre National de Référence pour les Infections Virales Emergentes
Institut für Virologie und Immunologie
Laboratoire de Bactériologie
Centre National de Référence pour les Infections Virales Emergentes
Laboratoires de Diagnostic de l’Institut de Microbiologie

Labor Spiez
Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie
Institut für Medizinische Mikrobiologie
Institut für Medizinische Virologie

Kantonales Laboratorium Basel-Stadt
Laboratorio Microbiologia Applicata

NRC: National Reference Center
RL: Regional Laboratory
GDK: Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Public Health

Information on the Regional Laboratory Network can also be found online (website in French):

3. Are aspects of these programmes conducted under contract with industry, academic institutions, or in other non-defence facilities?
4. If yes, what proportion of the total funds for each programme is expended in these contracted or other facilities?
5. Summarize the objectives and research areas of each programme performed by contractors and in other facilities with the funds identified under paragraph 4.
6. Provide a diagram of the organizational structure of each programme and the reporting relationships (include individual facilities participating in the programme).



Diagram Upload
7. Provide a declaration in accordance with Form A, part 2 (iii) for each facility, both governmental and non-governmental, which has a substantial proportion of its resources devoted to each national biological defence research and development programme, within the territory of the reporting State, or under its jurisdiction or control anywhere.

Please refer to Form A, part 2 (iii).