The 12 projects offer excellent science and a sound implementation plan, as well as high economic and social potential. Teams from universities of applied sciences are well-represented.
BRIDGE Discovery - a joint funding opportunity offered by the SNSF and Innosuisse - is aimed at researchers with experience in basic and applied research, with a view to realising the innovation potential of research findings. In the context of this second call, a panel composed of experts in applied research and in the implementation of scientific results evaluated 87 proposals in a two-stage process. After the first round of evaluation, 26 researchers were invited to continue to the second level - a presentation of the project and subsequent interview. Based on the evaluation, 12 outstanding projects have been awarded an overall amount of CHF 16.1 million, corresponding to a success rate of 14% for the call. The projects will be funded by the SNSF and Innosuisse. To ensure support for as many excellent projects as possible, the SNSF exceptionally allocated additional funds to the available BRIDGE budget.
Successful universities of applied sciences
The projects are devoted to topics ranging from the life sciences to engineering and information & communication technologies. Particularly encouraging are the remarkable increase in teams from universities of applied sciences and the grants won by female principal investigators.
The funded applicants include, for example, Tobias Delbruck’s team from the University of Zurich in collaboration with the Centre Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique (CSEM). They are working together to engineer ultra-low power intelligent systems for automatic real-time visual detection. This will facilitate the development of applications such as automatic fall detection systems for elderly people, smart white canes to assist blind people or smarter robot vacuum cleaners.
Also successful were Erich J. Windhab and his team from ETH Zurich and Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH). They are developing sophisticated 3D printing technologies for the food industry. The innovations will allow chocolate confectionary businesses to implement faster printing processes. Moreover, confectioners will be able to reduce the amounts of expensive aroma or nutritionally non-desirable ingredients in chocolates or pralines, thereby maximising sensory experience.
Another exemplary awardee is Constanze Pietsch. With her team at Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) she is developing innovative tools and processes to measure stress in fish for better on-farm management and for status checks by governmental agencies.
Latest call for proposals
The third call for BRIDGE Discovery was launched in December 2018. Researchers can submit a letter of intent until 18 February 2019 and a project proposal until 8 April 2019. In all cases, a letter of intent must be submitted ahead of the project proposal.