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In Switzerland, the state provides funding for innovative projects: Innosuisse, the Swiss Innovation Agency, awards almost 300 million Swiss francs on these projects each year provided that there is a scientific basis. 

Be it the successful sports company On with its innovative carbon-fiber plate for running shoes or the startup Exnaton from the Greater Zurich Area, which creates digital solutions for local energy markets, smart innovation projects from Swiss companies have good prospects of receiving support. This is the mission of the Swiss Innovation Agency, Innosuisse. It currently has around 1,147 million Swiss francs available to directly support projects from 2021 to 2024. At the start, these are the five most important questions and answers for companies looking to receive Innosuisse support:

Which support category applies to my project?

Most of the support is provided to innovative projects from companies, startups, and public or private organizations that collaborate closely with research institutes on innovative services or products. Innosuisse offers advice and both national and international networking help to bright minds who have a compelling idea or that are looking for a partner. In addition, there is also support available for scientific startups with regard to founding and further development. 

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What are the basic requirements for innovative projects?

At the very least, there should be an implementation partner as well as a research partner. This means that companies must join forces with research institutes. Innosuisse supports and actively facilitates the matchmaking process. When submitting an application, the project must be clearly defined and promise economic success or social value.

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What support will I receive for innovation projects?

If the basic requirements are met, the financial aid is guaranteed for 50 percent of the project costs. With this, Innosuisse finances the work of the research partner and the funds are sent there directly. The implementation partner bears the other half of the costs.

However, there are exceptions to this rule: For instance, the “Swiss Innovation Power” impulse program, the costs for the implementation partner can be further reduced to 20 percent. Projects can still be submitted until the end of 2022. The average has at times been around 350,000 Swiss francs, while the term generally lasts six to 36 months.

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How can I ensure that the idea and project are successful?

Innosuisse awards innovation checks of up to 15,000 Swiss francs that are used to fund preliminary studies. This is for the idea’s potential and also to clarify whether the partners are suited to one another. It is aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises as well as organizations with under 250 full-time employees in particular.

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How can I put a transnational innovation project into action?

Innosuisse helps companies to find the right international program. For example, Eurostars supports Swiss SMEs with innovation projects involving partners from 33 countries in Europe as well as Canada, South Africa, and South Korea. Swiss parties can additionally use the services of the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) free of charge. The EEN has more than 600 member organizations in over 60 countries that provide support in finding international partners or project implementation. 

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Meet with an expert

Meet with an expert

You're planning to establish a presence in Switzerland? Rolf has 10+ years of experience in helping forward-looking technology companies to grow internationally as Director Europe at Greater Zurich Area Ltd (GZA). GZA is the official investment promotion agency of the economic region of Zurich, Switzerland. He'll be happy to schedule an initial meeting to discuss your expansion project. Our services are free of charge.

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