Four myths about the funding of innovation projects and what you can learn from them for your next application


Innosuisse representatives regularly hear comments about the funding of science-based innovation projects that are not true. So we would like to put four myths to bed while also providing some useful advice on your next application.

1. Innovation projects are said to have a financial ceiling
Project partners often claim that Innosuisse only approves project costs of less than CHF 0.5 million. That is not the case: there is neither a legal nor an informal limit on funding applications.

>TIP for applicants: Provided it adds up for your innovation project, the cost-benefit ratio is justified and the implementation partner – for example a SME – is willing to bear 50% of the project costs, there is no financial limit on applications for innovation projects. This applies to all thematic domains.

2. Supposedly, only innovation projects with large companies receive funding
The figures tell a very different story. Over 75% of the innovation projects funded are implemented by Swiss SMEs in cooperation with research partners. Innovation projects with large companies as implementation partners account for less than 25% of the projects funded.

>TIP for applicants: It is not only SMEs and large companies that can submit projects with a research partner. Other private organisations, such as foundations or NGOs, but also public institutions, such as administrative bodies or social institutions, can submit science-based innovation projects. Projects with several research and implementation partners, especially those with an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary approach, are also welcome.

3. An implementation partner or a project leader at a research partner may only submit one innovation project per year
There is no formal or informal limit on innovation projects per implementation or research partner. On the contrary, there are many examples of innovative SMEs but also researchers working simultaneously on various projects funded by Innosuisse.

>TIP for applicants: You can submit several innovation projects per year, even if you are already implementing approved projects, provided you have the necessary capacity. This is how todrive forward knowledge-based innovation in the interest of business and society.

4. Supposedly, the chances of success were much higher in the past
The approval rate for submitted projects has averaged over 55% since 2018. This means the opportunities for high-quality innovation projects are at least as good as in the days of CTI. In comparison: In 2017, the last year of the CTI, the success rate stood at 47%.

>TIP for applicants: Your project application at Innosuisse has a realistic chance of success if it is specific, clear and coherent. This means that you have to define your new product or innovative service precisely. According to the evaluation criteria, applications should also clearly outline their value creation, sustainability, degree of innovation and market potential. The project plan, milestones and budget must also be coherent.

Does your innovation project meet these requirements? Then submit an application in 2020.

Last modification 13.12.2019

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Communications Innosuisse

Einsteinstrasse 2
3003 Berne


Eliane Kersten, co-head communications

+41 58 464 19 95

Lukas Krienbuehl, co-head communications

+41 58 481 84 73

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