Drive digitalisation forward in Switzerland!

Switzerland is set to remain one of the leading countries in the development and application of digital technologies. In order to achieve this, the Federal Council is pledging a total of CHF 62 million as part of its 2019-2020 action plan. Innosuisse is implementing two of the recommended measures: the "Manufacturing technologies" impulse programme and the promotion of digitalisation in energy and mobility via the SCCER.

Manufacturing technologies impulse programme

The “Manufacturing technologies” impulse programme funds innovation projects at the interface between research and technology transfers that Swiss companies conduct together with research institutions in the digitally-oriented "Industry 4.0 and Modern manufacturing technologies" segment. Additional funding for 2019 and 2020 will amount to CHF 24 million.

Drive digitalisation in Switzerland forward and submit your innovation project now!  

Who can submit an application?

The programme is primarily aimed at consortia comprised of companies and research institutions which are active on a digital basis in the “Industry 4.0 and modern manufacturing technologies” segment. On the economic front, these are mostly companies in the vertical and horizontal value-creation chains of the following industries (the list is unexhaustive):        

  • MEM (mechanical, electrical and metal) industry
  • food industry
  • automotive supplier industry
  • medical technology industry
  • construction industry
  • chemical industry
  • pharma and biotech industry
  • ...

Applications from other sectors with the same thematic characteristics are also welcome.  

Regular funding conditions

The same conditions apply as for Innosuisse’s regular innovation project funding. 

Special funding criteria

Exploratory projects
Preference for funding will be given to exploratory projects at the interface between research and technology transfer, in which larger consortia or research associations work together with interdisciplinary teams from the worlds of research and industry.
Create quantitative advantages or new production opportunities
The projects are intended to provide the Swiss economy with quantitative advantages such as increased productivity, production flexibility (e.g. shorter changeover times) or increased uptime as well as new production possibilities.
50% share can be reduced
The usual rules requiring a contribution of at least 50% to the project costs by the implementation partners can be reduced as a result of a case-by-case basis if the projects are particularly innovative and have above-average potential for success or their results could benefit a wide range of users.
Comparatively higher material costs are eligible for funding
Comparatively higher proportions of material costs in the total costs are also generally eligible for funding for exploratory consortium projects, provided that the costs flow into pilot and demonstration systems with broader benefits, for example, and are reasonable in proportion to staff expenses.
Good opportunities for follow-up projects
Due to their exploratory and consortium character, high-quality projects with a correspondingly successful course are expected to have good opportunities for follow-up projects with specific applications for individual implementation partners.

Each project should feature (though these are not prerequisites):

  • more than one implementation partner (including at least one SME)
  • value chain coverage by a number of implementation partners
  • more than one research partner, at least one of which is a university of applied sciences
Examples of important manufacturing technologies (the list is unexhaustive):
  • automation technologies/robotics
  • the use of photonics and photonic sensors, components and systems
  • material-treatment technologies using light, laser and electron beams, etc.
  • coating and printing processes, including additive manufacturing
  • manufacturing processes for producing micro and nano surface structures
  • manufacturing processes for composite materials     
  • precision and ultra-precision processing
  • master shaping, reshaping, separating and joining processes in manufacturing
  • ...

Examples of key digital technologies for innovative manufacturing technologies (the list is unexhaustive):

  • simulation
  • artificial intelligence (AI)
  • vision, image processing / machine learning
  • digital twin / cyber-physical systems
  • virtual / augmented reality
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • cloud computing
  • wireless communication
  • optical communication
  • cyber security
  • ...

Important deadlines

There will be two calls for proposals depending on the project period.

Project period 18 months 12 months
Call for proposal starts
27 November 2018 27 November 2018
Closing date 21 January 2019 20 May 2019 - now closed
Funding decision Beginning of March 2019 Beginning of September 2019
Project start 1 May 2019
1 November 2019
Project end 31 October 2020 31 October 2020

Digitalisation in energy and mobility

The second part of the Federal Council’s 2019-2020 action plan that Innosuisse is implementing, consists in supporting digitalisation in the energy and mobility segments via the Swiss Competence Centers for Energy Research SCCER. For this, CHF 1.5 million per year of funding is expected, with a focus on a separate process involving three selected SCCERs.

Update on the second measure of the Federal Council's Action Plan 2019-2020

As part of the digitisation process SCCER 2019-2020, Innosuisse examined four applications and approved two of them. In cooperation with the Swiss Competence Centers FURIES and Mobility, it is pleased to promote the digitisation of energy and mobility; all the additional funds of CHF 3 million will be used for this purpose.

Last modification 21.05.2019

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Dannie Jost

Scientific Officer ICT

+41 58 467 17 55

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Successful start for the impulse programme - further applications may be submitted

The “Manufacturing technologies” impulse programme from Innosuisse – the Swiss Innovation Agency – has been successfully launched. (PDF, 98 kB, 14.03.2019) Of the 46 applications submitted for 18-month projects in the first call for projects up to the end of January 2019, 27 have been approved. CHF 10 million in funding is still available for the second call, for 12-month projects. Applications are now closed.

More information

Innosuisse has organised two information events with Swissmem, Industrie 2025 and SATW. Here you can find all the presentations.

Submit your application here!

Closing date for projects of 18 months: 21 January 2019

Closing date for projects of 12 months: 20 May 2019