Innosuisse Annual Magazine 2021

The year 2021 in brief


Launch of the Impulse programme Swiss Innovation Power

Thanks to eased financial conditions in project funding, Innosuisse advances science-based innovation projects of small and medium-sized companies in times of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 and 2022, which allows them to maintain their innovative power.

First call for Flagship Initiative proposals

The initiative promotes systemic innovation and cross-disciplinary collaboration to address current economic and societal challenges in Switzerland. In 2021, Innosuisse was able to tender two topics that consider the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and society.

Launch of 12 NTN Innovation Boosters

They aim to bring together teams at the national level from universities, business and society to focus on an innovation topic and to stimulate the testing of concrete innovation ideas.


Completion of the Eurostars 2 programme

The last call of the Eurostars 2 programme was completed with a record participation of Switzerland. Swiss companies or research institutions were involved in 130 of the 500 applications submitted. A total of 31 projects with Swiss participation were approved. One of these is the Hydrocat project with the Swiss company Oxyle as project manager and a research institution from Norway as project partner. They offer advanced wastewater treatment to customers.

The best of all projects was a German-Swiss consortium, with the Swiss partner benefiting from Innosuisse mentoring.


Innosuisse and the SNSF intensify collaboration

To further strengthen the interplay between science and innovation, the Swiss National Science Foundation and Innosuisse have concluded an agreement on deeper cooperation. The agreement provides for greater coordination of funding portfolios and funding guidelines. Exchanges at the operational and strategic levels will also be expanded.


Extension of the bilateral cooperation with Korea

Innosuisse and the innovation agency KIAT from Korea have extended their bilateral cooperation for an indefinite period. There were substantially more project submissions this year (10 funding applications), especially due to the increased cooperation with the Enterprise Europe Network offices of both countries.


Last AAL tender

The interest in the last tender as part of Active & Healthy Ageing (AAL) was very high in Switzerland. At least one Swiss partner was involved in half of the 90 applications submitted – a record participation since AAL began in 2008. Of the applications submitted, 12 projects are eligible for funding.

The first-place project “Buddy4All” under Austrian management involves a Swiss SME and a Swiss end-user organization. The project aims to develop an innovative platform to promote intergenerational activities and exchanges.

Publication of the scientific integrity code

Swissuniversities, the SNSF and Innosuisse, under the leadership of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, have drawn up a Code of Scientific Integrity. It considers new developments in science, facilitates collaboration across institutional boundaries and strengthens quality assurance in research.


77 new coaches recruited

The demand for coaching activities for start-ups is increasing: Innosuisse selected 77 new coaches, including 33 women. Following accreditation, there are now 58 women in the coaching pool – up 130% compared to last year.

Innosuisse and Vinnova agree on closer collaboration

As two of the world’s leading innovation countries, Switzerland and Sweden are committed to even closer and long-term cooperation. On June 14, they signed an agreement to this effect.


Funding programme for Covid-19 medicines: Tender opened

The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), together with Innosuisse, launched the call for proposals for the federal programme to promote research, development and manufacturing of COVID-19 medicines on 19 July 2021. Four projects were approved.


Six NTN Innovation Boosters approved for years 2022–2025

The Innovation Council has selected a further six NTN Innovation Boosters. They will start their work in January 2022 and enrich the existing portfolio of topics in Circular Building Industry, Co-Designing Human Services, Digital Health Nation, Plastics for Zero Emission, Robotics and Swiss Smart Cities.

New camps in Japan and South Korea

Start-ups supported by Innosuisse can also travel to Japan or South Korea to expand their business internationally. In 2021, two new camps were opened. These countries were selected in part because of the demand and potential of the Asian market for Swiss start-ups.


Many in person contacts possible at events

After months of mainly virtual events, Innosuisse was able to meet sponsorship clients in person once again for the first time in September at events such as the Swiss Economic Forum in Interlaken, the Swiss Medtech Day in Bern and the Digital Festival in Zurich.


Innosuisse approves first fifteen Flagships

Nine Flagships were approved in the thematic priority area Managing the Digital Transformation Induced and Accelerated by COVID-19, and six were approved in the thematic area Improving Resilience and Sustainability and Reducing Vulnerability of Society, Infrastructure and Processes.


First call for the Eurostars 3 programme

For the first time in the history of Eurostars, Switzerland’s participation was the second highest after Germany. Swiss companies or research institutions were involved in around 100 of the 400 applications submitted.

The best of all projects was a German-Swiss consortium, with the Swiss partner benefiting from Innosuisse mentoring.


Parliament gives Innosuisse more leeway

Innosuisse receives more flexibility in funding. In the winter session, both councils finally adopted the revision of the Federal Act on the Promotion of Research and Innovation. The revision also includes an emergency clause for financial contributions to Swiss start-ups and SMEs if Switzerland’s association to the EU’s Horizon Europe programme is not possible.