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Author: Nina Müller
Themes of the UN 2030 Agenda
Themes of the UN 2030 Agenda

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Switzerland has been at the forefront of innovation worldwide for years.

The initiative "Switzerland Innovation Tech4Impact", a joint initiative of Switzerland Innovation, EPFL Tech4Impact and collaboratio helvetica, aims to make the unique technological know-how of Switzerland available to society. The "Switzerland Innovation Tech4Impact" (SI Tech4Impact) initiative supports entrepreneurial solutions that have the potential to make a sustainable impact in a comprehensive sense, i.e. in economic, environmental and social terms.

Technological solutions sought for pressing ecological and social problems

The goal of the SI Tech4Impact initiative is to enable the realization of innovation projects that address society's most pressing environmental and societal challenges, focusing on selected themes of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

To achieve this goal, SI Tech4Impact promotes the development of breakthrough projects focused on real market applications by supporting research groups from Swiss universities as well as startups and SMEs working with research partners on their projects. 

Until July 15, 2021, startups, SMEs and research groups can submit their project ideas for the competition on the following platform:

Evaluation criteria of the submitted projects

The submitted projects will be judged according to the following evaluation criteria: 

  • Seriousness of the social or environmental problem addressed
  • Relevance of the proposed project to addressing this social or environmental problem
  • Novelty of the project compared to the current state of the art
  • Competitiveness compared to existing solutions
  • The qualifications and experience of the project team and research partners
  • The ability of the team to implement the project
  • Potential to translate scientific findings into a marketable product or service
  • Scalability potential (in terms of markets and impact)
  • Validity of the proposed use of the budget with a clear breakdown (use of funds within the 12-month period)
  • The jury is composed of 5 members with high expertise in the field of sustainability (economic, environmental and social), coming from academia, industry and the NGO sector.

SI Tech4Impact is supported by the following innovation partners: ABB, Credit Suisse, Die Mobiliar, Economiesuisse, Interpharma, Schindler, Swiss Re Foundation, Swisscom, UBS, Zurich Insurance. 

Financial support of the winning project for 12 months

The winning project will be supported with grants of up to CHF 85,000 each. These funds will be financed by the above-mentioned innovation partners and awarded by the Switzerland Innovative Foundation with an external jury making the final decision on the selection of the projects and the award of the grants.

The grant will be awarded for a period of 12 months and will be paid in three tranches based on three key outcomes:  

October 2021: First payment after selection as a winner
March 2022: achievement of milestone 1 and M1 report. If approved, second payment scheduled 
June 2022: achievement of milestone 2 and M2 report. If approved, third payment scheduled 
July 31, 2022: Year-end report and financial report. 
Deadline to submit projects is July 15, 2021

More information on the full competition: