Competitive project funding for start-ups before market entry

Innosuisse supports science-based projects of start-ups with significant innovation potential. These innovation projects must be based on application-oriented research and prepare start-ups for entering the market for the first time. In the case of projects, only the start-up is supported. No research partners are supported. Funding is available for projects in all subject areas.

This offer is aimed at start-ups:

  • which have not yet entered the market. The start-up does not yet have ready-developed products or services on the market (except for services in the field of research and development, consulting and expert opinions, etc., on which the business model is not based).
  • whose scalable business model is based on a product or service and thus has the potential for more than linear growth.
  • whose headquarters are in Switzerland.
  • established not more than 5 years ago (in justified exceptional cases up to 10 years).
  • with less than 50 FTE (Full Time Equivalent) when submitting the application form; if the start-up is controlled by another company (i.e. another company commands a direct/indirect majority of votes or has the direct/indirect right to appoint or remove a majority of the members of the executive board or board of directors of the start-up) and its financials are consolidated by the controlling company, then the consolidated group must have less than 250 FTE.
  • Non-commercially active associations and foundations as well as units of public administration are not considered start-ups.

Which innovation projects are funded?

Innosuisse supports start-ups prior to entering the market in the realisation of science-based innovation projects with significant innovation potential. The funding is intended to make a substantial contribution to significantly accelerating the market launch of new products and services.

Support is provided for innovations that are not yet ready for market launch when the application is submitted, but which can be launched quickly on the market after project completion.

The start-ups are funded directly by Innosuisse, a research partner is not necessary and is not supported by Innosuisse as a direct subsidy recipient. Innosuisse covers a maximum of 70 per cent of the direct project costs. The start-up pays at least 30 per cent of the costs itself as its own contribution.

Legal basis for the funding of start-up innovation projects (Innosuisse Funding Ordinance)

Timetable and application submission

As of 14 February 2023, the application tool
will be open for the submission of applications.

From this point on, funding for start-up innovation projects becomes a fixed component of the Innosuisse funding portfolio. Projects can be submitted on an ongoing basis. There are no tenders.

The first projects are expected to start at the end of summer 2023.

Important: the applications submitted must be of very high quality both in terms of content and completeness. The applications can be submitted on an ongoing basic from the launch of the instrument. When it comes to applications, high quality is more important than submitting incomplete or sub-par dossiers to Innosuisse as early as possible.

Your innovation project: step by step

Start-up innovation project: step by step

As a start-up, have you already products or services on the market?

Then the Swiss Accelerator might be of interest to you. It is not possible to submit simultaneous applications to the Swiss Accelerator and the Start-up innovation projects due to the defined criteria. 

Comparison Swiss Accelerator/Start-up innovation projects

Programme comparison Swiss Accelerator and start-up innovation projects

Last modification 31.01.2023

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Project and Programme Funding


Do you have any questions? We will be happy to answer them during the webinar.

Print contact

Start-up innovationprojects-webinar-web

Webinar for applicant start-ups: Ask your questions

Is the instrument of interest to you and do you meet the requirements?

A webinar on start-up innovation projects will take place at 9 a.m on 23 February 2023. 

Register for the webinar

Recording: The webinar will be recorded and available as a replay afterwards.

Patent research

Free patent search

Are you in the process of applying for Innosuisse funding for an innovation project? Then take advantage of a free assisted patent search from the Intellectual Property Institute.