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Switzerland’s Top 6 Government Grants For Tech Startups [2022]

Switzerland is one of Europe’s most attractive country for startups. There are indeed dozens of public grants startups can receive, to start off or scale up – no strings attached. So, what are Switzerland’s top 6 government grants for startups? Is your company eligible? How much money can you actually receive?

In this article we’ll look into Switzerland’s top grants for startups.

#1: BRIDGE

The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and Swiss Innovation Agency (Innosuisse) worked hand-in-hand to create the BRIDGE programme. It is a grant programme that gives both young and experienced researchers funding opportunities to conduct their R&D (research and development) on science-based innovation in order to provide new solutions to current issues.

BRIDGE actually consists of two separate programs:

Proof of Concept – this grant is for newly grads who have made successful research work and are interested in developing practical applications or services based on their work. Innovations of all kinds from all research areas may be accepted by the grant officials.

Discovery – this grant is exclusively for scientists who have years of experience in their respective fields and are looking to explore the innovation potential of their research work and implement it on a commercial scale. OA review board will look into the submitted proposals and approve only those that have real social and economic impact.

BRIDGE Proof of Concept

Are you a newly graduate student with bachelor’s degree, or someone with a master of science degree? Do you have basic research experience, or an innovative idea that requires R&D to produce a marketable product? And are you looking for funding opportunities to supplant your idea for research? 

Then the BRIDGE Proof of Concept is just what you’re looking for.

BRIDGE Proof of Concept is a funding program designed to provide financial assistance to young researchers to turn their research data into practical products/services with high potential market value.

BRIDGE Discovery

If you’re an experienced researcher with a tested and proven innovative idea and you also need funding to develop it further into a product that will benefit humanity, then BRIDGE Discovery can help you.

The BRIDGE Discovery funding opportunity offers a reasonable amount to get their research work (both basic and applied research) off the ground. It allows the scientists to move forward with their research and come up with interesting solutions that solves many problems and help them beat out the competition.

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#2: EPFL Ignition

The EPFL Ignition Grant was created to help researchers with great ideas to break free from the “too early” barrier. Too often, this is the predominant reason why such researchers never get their projects off the ground, but all of that is about to change with the Ignition Grant.

The grant should jumpstart your research work and produce significant results, as you get ready for future grants.

You will receive CHF 30,000 in order to get started on your research and develop a prototype within 6 months. This amount can be in the form of a salary and/or of consumables and/or outsourcing needs.

Moreover, you’ll even get the chance to use a cutting-edge EPFL laboratory and be given access to all of its equipment.

Are You Eligible To Apply?

In order to apply you will need to show you:

  • A clear business plan with a clear vision for your startup business that’s based on a scalable technological innovation
  • You have a MVP and/or some early traction
  • You’ve already established a connection to a hosting EPFL lab

#3: EPFL Innogrants

Another grant opportunity that you can take advantage of is the EPFL Innogrants. 

Similar to the Ignition grant, the Innogrants fund aims to support entrepreneurs by providing them a salary. Yet, it differs from the Ignition grant in the amount: entrepreneurs can receive as much as CHF 100,000 over a 12-month period instead.

Are You Eligible To Apply?

In order to apply you will need to show:

  • A clear business plan with a clear vision for your startup business that’s based on a scalable technological innovation
  • You have a MVP and/or some early traction
  • You must negotiate with a hosting EPFL lab to do R&D for your radical new idea

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#4: Innosuisse Flagship

Innosuisse’s Flagship Initiative is another of Switzerland’s top grants for startups. It aims to catalyze innovation in the socio-economic sphere of Switzerland. It does so by promoting project collaboration between investors, startup founders, researchers and corporates.

Strengthening the Swiss economy is, of course, the overall goal of this initiative and Innosuisse believes that collaboration and systemic innovation is the key to success.

Moroever, Innosuisse Flagship Initiative has no maximum budget for funding defined. Indeed, startups can theoretically get as much money they need for their projects, provided they justify the reason(s) for it.

#5: Innosuisse Booster

Innosuisse Booster is a type of funding initiative that aims to foster new technical innovation that solves a wide range of problems and issues relevant to Switzerland.

To be eligible, you will need to prove the project is indeed innovative and has the potential to become a product, service or process available on the market in the future.

The Innosuisse Booster programme provides an even larger funding opportunity for start-ups that caps at CHF 500,000 annually.

#6: National Research Programmes

Funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, the National Research Programmes (NRPs) are a number of grant programs that aim to finance scientific experiments and innovative projects in a number of areas.

The range of areas is vast and includes, among others: energy, nanosciences, urbanisation, healthcare but also gender equality, ageing population, immigration, etc.

Each start-up initially get CHF 50,000 in order to get their projects started. Then, subsequent funding is provided for research costs and staff salaries, as well as of scientific cooperation, networking and communication.

In total, startups can receive anywhere from CHF 300,000 to CHF 2 million across 4 years’ time.

More Free Resources For Swiss Startups

Have a look at our articles below:

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  • Easy-to-use Excel & PPT templates
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