Bilateral cooperation: innovation projects across the globe

Are the perfect partners for your innovation project distributed across the globe? Innosuisse offers you the opportunity to develop existing contacts or establish new ones worldwide and co-finances bilateral, science-based innovation projects.

Innosuisse organises matchmaking opportunities, networking events and calls for proposals with its strategic partner agencies in the respective countries. Bilateral calls are launched annually. Successful funding applications are jointly supported, with each agency funding the applicants in its own country.


Who is the offer aimed at?

The following organisations can apply to Innosuisse for funding for bilateral innovation projects:

  • Swiss companies or other private or public organisations as implementation partner;
  • together with at least one Swiss or international research partner and at least one implementation partner from the partner country.
  • As a Swiss start-up before market entry, you can also submit project proposals without a research partner if the funding rules of the partner country allow it. The composition of consortia in the partner country is subject to the respective funding conditions of the partner agency.

Cooperation agreements with strategic partner agencies are currently in place in:


Submit application

As a Swiss company, end-user organisation or other implementation partner you collaborate with a Swiss or international research institution and would like to learn about bilateral innovation promotion, network with the innovation ecosystem in the corresponding countries, scout for new collaboration opportunities and engage in a collaborative innovation project with international partners.

Requirements for submitting an application

The specific requirements for submitting an application are negotiated with the partner agencies of Innosuisse and may vary from country to country. They are published in call guidelines on the call overview. The consortium must therefore include at least one Swiss company or other implementation partner and one Swiss or international research institution.

As a rule, such projects last between 6 and 36 months. Provided it is sensible for your project and the cost-benefit ratio is right, there is no financial limit on applications. Innosuisse covers a maximum of 70 percent of the project costs of Swiss participants.

Since 2023, Innosuisse is able to make direct project contributions to companies in bilateral innovation projects:

Submit a pre-proposal

Some bilateral calls are organised in a two-step application process and require the submission of a pre-proposal before the submission of an application. Corresponding instructions are published in the call guidelines. Applicants benefit from the two-step application process by receiving synchronised feedback from Innosuisse and its partner agency on the fulfilment of the formal criteria and the quality of the content of the planned innovation project.

The pre-proposal is composed of a document describing the planned international project and a document describing the Swiss part of the project. In the pre-proposal, partners are invited to present basic information on the innovation content, market potential, expertise of the partners involved, expected impact of the international collaboration and costs of the planned work.

Consortia with a promising pre-proposal will be invited to submit an application to Innosuisse and its partner agency. Partners receiving a critical feedback may revise their project according to the feedback and submit an application. Instructions are specified in the call guidelines.

Submit the application

The submission of the application follows the same procedure as Swiss innovation projects with implementation partners. As additional element, the applicants must:

  • upload the document describing the international project as an attachment to the application.


Evaluation and decision

The evaluation of an application for a bilateral cooperation and the decision follow the same procedure as for Swiss innovation projects with implementation partners. In addition, bilateral projects are only approved if Innosuisse and its partner agency accept the application for funding. If either Innosuisse or its partner agency rejects the corresponding funding applications, the entire application for the bilateral innovation project is rejected.


Sign contracts and start your project / Additional requirement

The signing of the contract and start of the bilateral innovation project follow the same procedure as for Swiss innovation projects with implementation partners. However, Innosuisse will not release the first tranche for bilateral projects until the consortium agreement is available. As an additional element, bilateral projects require a consortium agreement including all partners of the international project, including foreign partners.

All subsequent processes, namely:

are fully aligned with the processes for Swiss innovation projects with implementation partners.

Other support offers

> As an SME, do you need help developing your bilateral innovation project?
As a small and medium-sized organisation (up to 250 full-time equivalents), you can apply for support from an innovation mentor from Innosuisse for this purpose.

> As an SME, do you need help finding an international project partner?
As an SME, you can take advantage of the free support of an EEN advisor for this purpose.

> Would you like to carry out an innovation project with Swiss partners only?
Innosuisse supports science-based innovation projects that Swiss companies, SMEs, start-ups and other private or public organisations carry out together with Swiss research partners.


Last modification 06.03.2023

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Bilateral cooperation coordinator

Prabitha Urwyler

+41 58 469 17 67


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