“NTN - Innovation booster” call for tender: Funding period 2021 – 2024

The NTN - innovation boosters are intended to give SMEs a competitive edge through cooperation with partners along the value chain and by incorporating the knowledge, skills and technologies of the universities. In addition to incremental innovations, more radical innovation ideas are also to be promoted. Innosuisse therefore calls on interested partners to jointly apply as a consortium to implement a specific thematic innovation booster initiative. The first deadline to submit a proposal is set to February 28th, 2020.    

What are «NTN – Innovation Boosters»?

The «NTN – Innovation Boosters» bring together interested teams from universities, business and society at national level around a defined innovation theme and stimulate the emergence and testing of concrete innovation ideas. Themes of economic relevance are to be addressed in an innovative manner: new scientific findings provide important momentum and may lead to the launch of process, product or service innovations in the foreseeable future. The novel applications can impact both industry and the services sector.

What are the thematic priorities?

Each «NTN – Innovation Booster» has its own thematic focus, which is determined by the consortium. The term “innovation theme” can be interpreted broadly and in addition to technology-based innovation themes, it may also focus on “business model innovations”, “innovation culture” or “innovation methods”.

The overriding theme of each «NTN – Innovation Booster» is defined, taking account of the involvement of the relevant stakeholders to ensure that the theme is highly relevant and attracts a great deal of interest among both universities and implementation partners.

How does an «NTN – Innovation Booster» work?

Within the framework of an «NTN – Innovation Booster», relevant customer needs are addressed together, new approaches to solutions are developed and future business areas are discussed. The aim is to develop concrete, verifiable solution, product and service concepts. Innovation ideas should consider all important aspects from the outset and actively include both the customers’ needs and the framework conditions of the implementation partners to ensure a successful market launch right from the onset. Customers’ needs, feasibility and profitability should be the focus of the «NTN – Innovation Booster».

As part of this process, the «NTN – Innovation Booster» provides direct funding to selected innovation teams for the development and testing of innovation ideas. This promotes an agile process and continuously improves the quality of ideas. In addition, collaborative learning and the exchange of experiences between the teams is specifically targeted and potential forms of support for the subsequent development of the innovation idea are demonstrated.

The «NTN – Innovation Boosters» play a role as part of the innovation chain and draw on existing synergies. In so doing, they focus on the needs of the innovation stakeholders, ranging from the selection of themes to the needs for further support outside the «NTN – Innovation Boosters».   

The call for tender

Innosuisse calls on interested partners to apply for the implementation of a four-year «NTN – Innovation Booster». The annual financial support of an «NTN – Innovation Booster» can amount to as much as CHF 500,000. Eight to ten thematically different «NTN – Innovation Boosters» are expected to be supported in the 2021-2024 funding period. 

The support provided by Innosuisse is based on the possibility of making contributions to National Thematic Networks (the term for the network activities funded to date) as described in Art. 31–33 of the Innosuisse Funding Ordinance of 20 September 2017 (420.231) and the Implementing Provisions for Networks and Specialist Events of 16 November 2017.


In addition to supporting concrete innovation ideas, an «NTN – Innovation Booster» contributes to developing and applying of methods and formats for the joint development of ideas and the successful transfer of knowledge and technology.

The innovation teams are also introduced to methods of agile innovation development and shown how these can be successfully applied in the development and verification of viable innovation ideas.
Please find more information below under "Documents".

Last modification 20.01.2020

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