Bridge programme: the SNSF and the CTI build bridges

The SNSF and the CTI are jointly setting up the new funding programme BRIDGE, aimed at promoting the innovation potential of science.

The SNSF and the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) are jointly setting up the new funding programme BRIDGE to complement the support they already provide for Swiss science and innovation. The overall goal is to help realise the economic and societal potential of scientific research by strengthening collaboration between science, business and society.

BRIDGE relies on an integrative and iterative vision which assumes that science and innovation interact in many different ways. Researchers and implementation partners are encouraged to exchange knowledge and information at an early stage in the project. BRIDGE also aims to facilitate collaboration between different research institutions, particularly the universities, ETHs and the universities of applied sciences.

Two funding schemes

The first funding scheme - Proof of Concept - supports young researchers (bachelor's degree and higher) who want to develop an innovative application based on their own research results. The projects may target innovations of all kinds from all research areas. Funding is generally awarded for 12 months but may be extended to 18 months for special reasons. The applicants' salaries and any materials directly linked to the project are eligible for funding under this funding line. A Proof of Concept call is launched up to four times a year, giving researchers the opportunity to forge ahead with their innovative ideas.

As a second line of funding, Discovery will be aimed at experienced researchers seeking interactions between basic and applied research to assess and if possible realise the innovation potential of the research results. Only technological innovations with a strong societal or economic impact will be funded. Projects can last for up to 4 years and can be submitted by an individual or by a consortium consisting of up to three research institutions. The salaries of the project staff and project-related materials can be charged to the grant. The salaries of project leaders are generally excluded, except if they work at universities of applied sciences, where the institutional setup requires a different approach. Up to two calls are scheduled per year.

Planned start in autumn 2016

BRIDGE is part of the Education, Research and Innovation (ERI) dispatch for the period 2017-2020. The final decision on BRIDGE will be made by the Swiss parliament during its autumn session 2016. Subject to the parliamentary decision, the first call for Proof of Concept projects will be launched in October 2016. The first Discovery call for projects will follow in early 2017. From the beginning of October, detailed information about the schemes, calls and conditions of the new BRIDGE programme will be available on the website www.bridge.ch.