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 (see examples of support). 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.

Read more 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

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Innovation Booster

Innosuisse supports Innovation Boosters, 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. Several Innovation Boosters are dedicated to sustainable development topics.

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Flagship Initiative

The  Flagship Initiative, launched in 2022, is also dedicated to this topic. Funding will be provided to systemic innovations that will help bring about a more sustainable and resilient world, thereby also contributing to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals under the UN 2030 Agenda.

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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.

Examples of support


The EPFL Lausanne spin-off extracts sustainable energy from underground parking. The panels with complex inner workings developed for this purpose function according to the principle of near-surface geothermal energy. Interest in Switzerland and abroad is huge.

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Founded in 2020, the ETH Zurich spin-off aims to combat micropollutants. The founders have developed special catalysts that can efficiently remove stubborn and toxic pollutants from wastewater.

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Bloom Biorenewables

The start-up from the canton of Fribourg wants to offer companies around the world an alternative to petroleum-based products. Their new technology allows biomass to be used for the production of cosmetics, textiles and food.

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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.

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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.

Last modification 09.08.2023

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