Innovative and committed to sustainability

Innovation not only strengthens the competitiveness of companies, it can also be an important driver for greater sustainability through increasingly efficient and resource-saving solutions. This approach is also in line with the vision of the Federal Council, which in the draft of its “Sustainable Development Strategy 2030” sets out, among other things, how the economy, financial markets and areas of education, research and innovation can drive sustainable development forward and what framework conditions are necessary to achieve this.

“Sustainability and innovation” is also a feature topic in our annual magazine Discover 2020. Read more in the introductory article about the planned implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Switzerland and the tools Innosuisse has long used to promote sustainable innovation.

We also recommend reading the interview with Renat Heuberger, Member of the Innosuisse Innovation Council and CEO and co-founder of South Pole. He explains how innovation contributes to global sustainability and how in the future Innosuisse can align its funding activities even more closely with the sustainability goals.


Sustainable innovation at Innosuisse

Sustainability_Image_Innovation Booster

NTN Innovation Booster

Innosuisse supports NTN Innovation Booster, which bring together key stakeholders from research, business, and society in Switzerland around an innovation topic and stimulate the development and testing of radically new ideas in interdisciplinary teams. For the first 2021-2024 funding period, no less than four of the 12 approved NTN IB are dedicated to sustainable development topics, these being “Applied Circular Sustainability”, “Energy Lab”, “Living-Labs for Decarbonisation”, and “Photonics”.

Sustainability_Image-SCCER highlights

SCCER energy funding programme

During two funding periods 2013-2016 and 2017-2020 Innosuisse, together with the Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF and the Swiss Federal Office of Energy SFOE, managed and funded the establishment and operation of university-networked research competence centres (Swiss Competence Centers for Energy Research SCCER). Some highlights from the eight years of funding were specially highlighted again.

Sustainability_Image_Flaghip Initiative

Flagship Initiative

The newly launched programme aims to promote systemic innovation and cross-disciplinary collaboration in the face of current economic and social challenges. Of the 78 pre-proposals submitted, 12 and 16 consortia respectively are dedicated to the priority areas of “supply chains” and “decarbonisation”, and thus strive to promote sustainable development in Switzerland.

Examples of support

Sustainability_Image_SCCER-project_heat isolation

SCCER project

The aim of the joint innovation project by HSLU and swisspor is to reduce energy consumed for heating. They are working on a sustainable and easy-to-implement solution for storing summer heat for several months for use in the winter.


bNovate Technologies AG

The start-up bNovate has developed an online flow cytometer that automatically measures the amount of bacteria in water from treatment plants and delivers the data online. It has taken a further step forward in an international Eurostars project with research partners in Vienna.



A young company from Zurich is integrating recyclable battery technology into electromobility and in doing so, promoting a more sustainable use of batteries. With the support of Innosuisse, they are working together with research institutes to develop state-of-the-art solutions.



The start-up combats food waste in commercial kitchens by using a device to measure, analyse and classify discarded food. It helps restaurants and hotels, universities, hospital kitchens and ski resorts to operate more cost-effectively and sustainably.



The fully automated software solution from new start-up Exnaton enables owners of photovoltaic systems to sell their surplus solar power directly to their neighbourhood, simplifying the trading of solar power within energy communities.



Saving the worlds honey bees, that is the objective of the start-up Vatorex. Its founders, from a family of beekeepers, have developed a sustainable technique to overcome the parasitic Varroa mite - one of the main causes of bee losses around the world.

Sustainability_Image_Bridge-project Power

Project "Power"

Up to 30% more efficient photovoltaic systems thanks to new coatings - that is the goal of the joint project by CSEM, EPFL and Empa. The new generation of solar cells is soon to be developed in a size that is also suitable for industrial production.


Sustainability_Image_SHIFT Switzerland

SHIFT Switzerland

The event advocates for a measurably more sustainable Switzerland and for the “SHIFT to a circular economy”. SHIFT brings together the right people for a circular economy, creates orientation, creative inspiration and new business contacts.


Circular Hub

As an open knowledge and networking platform, Circular Hub supports Switzerland’s transformation towards a circular economy. It spurs the innovative potential of Swiss companies and accompanies them on their way towards circularity.

Find out more about Innosuisse's partnerships on other innovation topics here.

Last modification 26.08.2021

Top of page


Communication Innosuisse

Eliane Kersten
Tel. +41 58 464 19 95

Lukas Krienbühl
Tel. +41 58 481 84 73


Print contact