The Federal Council and Parliament are planning to make far-reaching changes to energy supply in Switzerland. As part of the “Swiss Coordinated Energy Research” action plan, Innosuisse, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) have the joint mandate of managing and financing the establishment and operation of interdisciplinary research networks between higher education institutions, the Swiss Competence Centers for Energy Research (SCCERs). Innosuisse also receives additional funding for innovation projects in the field of energy.
The SCCERs are looking for solutions to the technical, social and political challenges relating to the 2050 Energy Strategy. Eight SCCERs are currently working on seven action areas. The centres bring together academia and industry, going a long way towards ensuring the transfer of knowledge and technology. They deal with the full spectrum of the energy innovation chain, from basic research and applied R&D to legal, regulatory and behavioural aspects. The SCCERs also provide research infrastructures as well as many opportunities to network with key experts and young researchers from the areas concerned.
CHF 120 million has been allocated to carry out this mandate in the 2017 – 2020 period. For the promotion of innovation projects, Innosuisse has earmarked an additional CHF 19 million on top of the regular budget for the same period.
Successful initial funding period
Founded in 2013 and 2014, the SCCERs have been able to successfully push forward with the development work until the end of 2016, at which point a total of over 1,100 researchers were working in these centres, forging many connections to industry and establishing themselves within the Swiss innovation ecosystem. As a result, the Federal Council suggested that the programme be continued – a recommendation that was implemented by parliament.
While the 2013–2016 funding period was devoted to setting up the centres, the work will be developed further over the next four years. In addition, priority will be given to projects carried out by SCCERs working together (known as joint activities). These projects are intended to reinforce interdisciplinary cooperation between the centres.
Seven action areas – eight SCCERs
Last modification 08.01.2018