Get support for your innovation project

You are an SME with the following needs:

You are a small or medium-sized enterprise in Switzerland or a private or public organisation, company or institution (hereinafter collectively referred to as SME). Your Swiss SME with less than 250 full-time employees wants to commercialise an innovative idea, i.e. you are either currently working on or want to start work on a product, process or service innovation. For this research-based innovation, you want to work with a research partner (university, university of applied sciences, etc.) and someone who can help you to get your project off the ground in a target-oriented way.

Our innovation mentors are there to support you during this process!

The innovation mentors will advise you if you have the following questions:

Basic Support (mentoring for an initial assessment)

  • Our SME has a novel idea for a product, process or service innovation. What steps have to be taken to realise the idea?
  • Is our SME even eligible to apply for funding from Innosuisse?
  • What chances does our project have of receiving funding from Innosuisse?
  • For which types of projects may I receive mentor support?

Partner and Application Support (mentoring for project initiation)

  • Which research institution is the best partner for my collaborative innovation project?
  • How do I submit an application for a collaborative project to Innosuisse or another funding agency (e.g. also for international funding programmes involving Switzerland)?
  • How do I reach agreement with my partners on a contractual level?
  • How do I regulate issues involving patents with contractual partners?

Revision Support (mentoring for evaluation of a project rejection and project revision)

  • How do I revise a funding application, for a collaborative innovation project, for example, if the initial submission was not successful?

Innosuisse attaches great importance to promoting sustainable innovation through its support services. Innosuisse does not generally promote any projects and activities that, after weighing their overall impact, have a negative effect on the Sustainable Development Goals for society, the economy and the environment.

On the other hand, would you like to have one of the following questions answered? Then consider the services that our colleagues offer:

  • Can my company use the services of a business coach? Regional innovation systems (in German)
  • Can the innovation mentor help me get funding for my business? Regional innovation systems (in German)
  • Can my start-up be supported by a start-up coach for IP, finance, market analysis, etc.? Start-up Coaching
  • Can my company access the European funding programmes under Horizon Europe? Euresearch
  • Can my research institution get support from Innosuisse when applying for funding? Check here (PDF, 174 kB, 09.11.2023) and with your university’s research office.
  • Where can my company get support in preparing a project application for the Swiss Accelerator? Euresearch
  • Where can my company get support for Innosuisse applications for sole beneficiaries (“monobeneficiary projects” such as SIP)? Innosuisse’s project and programme funding

Get support for your innovation project

Our innovation mentors are very familiar with the Swiss funding scene and can explain various funding instruments to you. They facilitate access to technology and research and will help you set up an innovation project with a public research partner. Take advantage of this helpful opportunity for your SME.

What do you need to consider?

  • Innovation mentoring is offered to SMEs with fewer than 250 full-time equivalents (full-time employees). In the case of companies controlled by another company, the number of full-time equivalents of the entire group of companies is decisive and must be less than 250 full-time equivalents.
  • Innovation mentoring is only available to active SMEs based in Switzerland. The company’s UID number is regarded as proof of having a registered office in Switzerland.
  • For the Partner and Application Support services (mentoring for project initiation) and the Revision Support service (innovation mentoring for evaluating a project rejection and for project revision), you need an innovation mentor willing to commit to taking on the innovation mentoring.

What are the next steps?

  1. You apply for the support of a mentor by filling in and submitting a short form (in which we ask for information about the company and your idea).
  2. If you are granted support, the related funding will be valid for a maximum of 12 months. Innosuisse will pay your costs for the consulting services provided by mentors.
  3. You choose the innovation mentor you prefer from the Innosuisse list of mentors. If you are unsure which innovation mentor to choose, view their profiles or contact the individuals responsible for mentoring using the contact information listed on this website. We will be glad to help you.

There are three different types of support service which are tailored to the specific needs of different SMEs.

  • You have a novel business idea that could have wide-ranging implications, but you do not know how to classify it. In addition, you will need support in getting the endeavour off the ground (Basic Support voucher, initial analysis). We generally recommend that you begin with this voucher when starting a new project.
  • You have received a “Basic Support” voucher / you have already been in contact with a mentor / you are already familiar with the collaborative Innosuisse projects and do not need the Basic Support voucher but would like to have the need for project partnerships assessed and be assisted in finding suitable partners / or you need help in preparing a funding application (Partner Support voucher and/or Application Support voucher).
  • You have already submitted a funding application for a science-based collaborative innovation project, which was unfortunately turned down. You would like to critically discuss this with the help of the innovation mentor and revise it if necessary (Revision Support voucher).

Last modification 08.05.2024

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Knowledge and Technology Transfer

Nicole Gasser

Barbara Pfluger

Emile Dupont

+41 58 461 38 81


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Mentoring: Application

Submit your application

Please fill out the application form in full. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

FAQ about Innosuisse

Questions & answers

You will find the answers to frequently asked questions about innovation projects, start-up coaching and other Innosuisse instruments here.

Patent research

End of free services with the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI)

The patent search services previously offered free of charge to Innosuisse applicants via the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property have been discontinued.

However, costs associated with research into intellectual property issues may still be covered as part of the direct project costs chargeable for approved applications from the following funding schemes:

  • Innovation projects with or without partners
  • Innovation projects for start-ups
  • Swiss Accelerator