The Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF and the Commission for Technology and Innovation CTI are continuously monitoring developments in the area of research and innovation in Switzerland. They have noticed that certain interesting projects risk falling in the gap between SNSF and CTI funding schemes. In the ERI Dispatch 2017-2020, the Federal Council has mandated the two organisations to address this problem by setting up the special programme BRIDGE. The Swiss government increasingly views research and innovation as part of the entire value chain stretching from basic research via application through to marketable innovation. BRIDGE consists of two funding schemes with different target groups.
The special programme will act as a conduit between basic and applied research to accelerate the transfer of research findings to the economy. The two funding schemes Proof of Concept and Discovery will be rolled out in the 2017-2020 test phase, for which a budget of CHF 70 million has been made available.
BRIDGE relies on an integrative and iterative vision of innovation which assumes that science and innovation interact in many different ways. Research and implementation partners will be encouraged to consult with each other at an early stage in the projects. BRIDGE also aims to facilitate collaboration between different research institutions, particularly the universities, ETHs and the universities of applied sciences. The aim is to make better use of the economic and societal potential of research findings.
The programme aims to support researchers who see an application potential in their research in the form of a product or service, but need to do more work to flesh out their vision and show convincingly that the potential is there.
How is BRIDGE organised?
Experts from research, industry and administration are responsible for the successful execution of BRIDGE. Together they form the Steering Committee, which is elected by the presiding boards of the two funding organisations.
The BRIDGE office set up by the SNSF and CTI is responsible for the operational management of the programme.
Each funding scheme will have its own evaluation panel, which will be appointed by the Steering Committee. The panels are composed of experts from science, business and industry.