Swiss Paraplegic Research (SPF) has established a national and international research network for comprehensive rehabilitation research. Its goal is to put the latest research findings worldwide into practice to ensure the best possible health care provision and integration of persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). For international research projects, SPF above all works together with three collaboration networks.
The first network refers to the close collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). The SPF, through the ICF Research Branch located in Nottwil, has been an active contributor over many years within the WHO Family of International Classifications with partners in all WHO world regions.
The ICF Research Branch, «Branch» for short, was founded in 2003 to promote and further develop the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), as well as implement it in the areas of health, education and social policy. The Branch has been affiliated with SPF since 2009. Furthermore, the Branch develops user-friendly ICF-based tools and makes them available (e.g. http://www.icf-core-sets.org/; https://www.icf-casestudies.org/, http://www.myworq.com/). The Branch also offers ICF training workshops
The second network is the International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM), which works together with all important organizations in the field of professional rehabilitation and rehabilitation research.
The third network forms the International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS). SPF forms part in the advancement of data standards of ISCoS, especially in the field of functioning.
In collaboration with WHO, ISPRM and ISCoS, SPF initiated, coordinated and issued the report «International Perspectives on Spinal Cord Injury (IPSCI)» on the worldwide situation in relation to spinal cord injury.
Another network is the European Spinal Cord Injury Federation (ESCIF), which, as Federation of the European organizations for persons with SCI, forms an important partner for questions related to topics such as labor market integration.
Beside the international collaboration networks, SPF works closely together with the paraplegic centers in Switzerland, the Suva as well as universities in Switzerland and abroad. Collaboration includes training programs, university teaching assignments, tutoring students, interns and PhD students, as well as the collaboration in clinical trials and research programs.