Parliament gives Innosuisse more leeway for innovation promotion

Innosuisse is to be given more flexibility in funding. In the winter session, both councils adopted the revision of the Federal Act on the Promotion of Research and Innovation (RIPA) with various amendments.

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Parliament approved a further strengthening of public research and innovation funding. For example, the Swiss National Science Foundation and Innosuisse will now have the option to build up bigger reserves and thus take better account of the special nature of research and innovation financing. A number of other changes will enable Innosuisse to focus its funding more specifically on the needs of the innovation ecosystem. In particular, Parliament adopted important amendments concerning the core of Innosuisse’s funding activities, the support of innovation projects.

Greater flexibility regarding funding contributions for innovation projects

Innovative organisations such as SMEs, start-ups, large companies, administrative bodies and NGOs develop innovative services and products together with Swiss universities and research institutions as part of innovation projects. At present, participating companies, known as implementation partners, must pay 50 per cent of the project costs themselves. Innosuisse funds the other half. This ratio will now fall within a range of 40 and 60 per cent. Innosuisse can only fund the costs of innovation projects incurred by Swiss research institutions. In the future, Swiss implementation partners will also be able to receive direct funding as part of international innovation projects if they would otherwise be at a disadvantage compared with their partners from abroad.

Expansion of funding for start-ups

Before their market entry, start-ups will also be able to receive direct contributions for their innovation projects in the future and thus bring their innovative products and services to market more quickly. This should give the start-up industry in Switzerland an additional boost. Innosuisse will also provide direct support to organisations for activities aimed at strengthening the Swiss start-up ecosystem.

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Emergency clause for cooperating with Europe

In light of the uncertainty regarding the relations with Europe, the two councils have adopted a provision that allows more leeway if Switzerland’s association with the EU programme “Horizon Europe” is not possible. As a substitute measure, the new regulation provides for the possibility for Innosuisse to make financial contributions to Swiss start-ups and SMEs for projects with significant innovation potential if access to funds from the European Commission is denied.

Federal Council decides on the date of entry into force

The revision of the RIPA means that the Ordinance of the Swiss Innovation Promotion Agency on its Funding and Other Support Measures, otherwise known as the Innosuisse Funding Ordinance, must also be amended. Only in this way can funding be paid out in the future in accordance with the decisions taken by Parliament. Innosuisse has submitted the revised Funding Ordinance for public consultation before it can be finally adopted by the Board of Directors and approved by the Federal Council. The revision of the law and contributions are to come into force at the same time.

In 2022, Innosuisse will inform its funding customers and important partners in the Swiss innovation ecosystem about the upcoming changes in detail.


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Last modification 17.12.2021

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