Success of the Innovation Cheque


The innovation cheque helps start-ups and SMEs in Switzerland to test innovation ideas in collaboration with a research partner. It is a popular funding instrument. In 2019, Innosuisse received 559 applications, and 400 preliminary studies were carried out.

Through the innovation cheque, Innosuisse provides Swiss SMEs and start-ups easy access into the world of science-based innovation funding. Last year, a total of 559 applications were received, with 400 preliminary studies funded and carried out, resulting in a success rate of 72%. Innosuisse uses this funding instrument to finance obtaining research services of up to CHF 15,000 to test the feasibility of an innovation idea or to conduct a preliminary study, for example on the market potential of processes, products, services or technologies. “A collaboration such as the one between the ZHAW and Volunty, which extends over several months and involves many research assistants, would hardly be financially viable without the support of Innosuisse,” says Marco Meister, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Volunty Corporate AG, emphasising the benefits of the funding instrument.

Volunty is a start-up from Zurich that supports companies in correctly measuring employee engagement and subsequently promoting it in a sustainable manner through targeted measures. Thanks to financial support from Innosuisse, Volunty was able to rely on professional support from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), and a three-dimensional view of the issue of employee engagement was obtained in modern employee surveys for the first time. Volunty thus positions itself as the first provider of employee engagement life cycles and has established itself in Switzerland as a professional provider of scientifically based measurement and promotion of employee engagement.

After completion of the innovation cheque, Volunty and the ZHAW submitted an innovation project to Innosuisse, in which the list of questions and measures developed during the innovation cheque will be improved and supplemented with customer insights. This example demonstrates that the innovation cheque is an ideal funding instrument for Swiss SMEs and start-ups to facilitate their entry into science-based innovation and to get larger innovation projects off the ground.

Last modification 03.06.2021

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Communications Innosuisse

Eliane Kersten

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Lukas Krienbühl

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