The Flagship Initiative aims to foster systemic innovation which helps to overcome major challenges for the economy and society. For its second call, Innosuisse has chosen one topic which promotes intelligent energy solutions, new materials and processes and helps reduce the impact of climate change and environmental pollution for the benefit of the economy and society.
The flagship topic of the call 2023 therefore is:
I. Disruptive solutions for the transition towards a net zero world
The proposals within this topic must concentrate on at least one of the following focus areas:
- New materials and processes
- Energy storage, generation and real-time management
- Eco-design, circular economy and sustainable manufacturing
- Energy efficiency and reduction of emissions
Switzerland has the potential to develop net zero solutions for this globally challenging transition. Resources will be scarcer, and it will become even more important to use sustainable sources and renewable energy. The challenge regarding supply of materials, use of raw materials and reuse of material will become ever more important as we move towards a zero-emissions society and economy. Technologies for new materials, material savings, recycling and upcycling will therefore be very critical for the future and addressing its challenges. Furthermore, with the different industry sectors research into new materials is important for retaining a leading position in innovation and increasing independence from critical global supply chains.
Swiss companies can be role models in developing new materials and processes as well as manufacturing sustainable products from design to end-of-life and creating an impact on emissions reductions. With their processes and value chains, they can also contribute to increasing sustainability and limiting global warming in accordance with the Paris Agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. An interdisciplinary approach is needed as up and downstream processes have to be investigated. Developing sustainable, resilient and better controlled value chains is essential for future value creation.
Additionally, the energy transition is an ongoing challenge both in Switzerland and globally which needs to be addressed. Current global threats are reinforcing the need for a sustainable energy system, intelligent generation, real-time management and innovative storage solutions.
By developing a sustainable engineering strategy, taking into account scarcer resources, and using more renewable energy and next-generation power systems, the Swiss economy can become competitive and gain leadership in the international competition.
The flagship topic requires an interdisciplinary approach for developing new solutions for complex challenges. The solutions must have a decisive impact and become accepted by society and the economy. Legal and spatial framework conditions must not be neglected either. Climate change is a huge challenge for humanity, but also a big opportunity for Switzerland to demonstrate its innovative strength.