SPF is constantly developing and maintaining an interdisciplinary exchange with universities and clinics in Switzerland such as the universities of Lucerne, Fribourg, Basle, Bern, Lugano and the ETH Zurich as well as Universities abroad such as Munich and Trier in Germany, Amsterdam, Groningen and Maastricht in the Netherlands, London, GB, Philadelphia, USA as well as numerous medical societies and non-university research institutes. Cooperation and projects with partners include continuing education, university teaching positions, supervision of students, interns and doctoral students in Nottwil as well as the cooperation in clinical studies and research programs.
As a next step, an internationally accredited degree course for functioning and rehabilitation is being developed which is planned to become a module for national and international Master and PhD programs. The basis therefore is the International Classification for Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) of the WHO family of classifications. Especially the collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) as an empowering framework supports the creation of a network for functioning and rehabilitation research. SPF’s ICF Research Branch, which is located in Nottwil, is a collaboration center of WHO. The definition of internationally binding standards and the uniform documentation makes it also possible to check and guarantee the high quality of the care. In addition, rehabilitation research from a comprehensive perspective with focus on paraplegia can serve as role model for research on different health conditions and aging in the future.
SPF with its focus on the above described research topics is strengthening Switzerland’s positioning as a center for science and research on an international level. Creating and maintaining the research network is of crucial importance for SPF. Only within such a network can an international center of competence for functioning and rehabilitation research be successfully developed. The currently existing network consists of 4 categories: