In 2021 there were bad news for Swiss Startups and SMEs, the negotiation process of Switzerland to become associated in EU’s Horizon Europe framework programme was cancelled. As a result, Swiss start-ups and SMEs could no longer apply to the EIC Accelerator, one of the most impactful funding programmes for highly innovative SMEs.

The king is dead, long live the king!
Now, in April 2022, the Swiss Innovation Agency Innosuisse published their transitional measure: The Swiss Accelerator! A budget of CHF 86 million was approved for the 2022 call.
Swiss start-ups and SMEs can apply for up to CHF 2.5 million to develop and scale up game changing innovations.

Who can apply?

The Swiss Accelerator focuses on Swiss start-ups and SMEs with disruptive innovations and clear growth ambitions. Companies with innovative ideas that want to trigger radical changes and lastingly change the market. Your company is an SME if you employ less than 250 full-time equivalents.

Where does it kick in?

The Swiss Accelerator is a highly competitive programme for direct project funding for Swiss start-ups and SMEs, very similar to the EIC Accelerator.
It aims to bridge the „Valley of Death” between R&D and market preparation.
Target group are companies with innovations at a TRL of at least 5 – 6.


Funding conditions
  • Up to CHF 2.5 million grant
  • 70% funding rate
  • Prefinancing at project start (50% of the total project budget)
  • Project duration typically 2 years
  • In contrast to the EIC Accelerator, there is no equity component.


Why is the programme so unique?
  • Your company can be supported individually
  • Completely topic- and industry-open funding programme
  • The focus is on the growth potential of your company
  • Your international market approach is funded
  • By focusing on close-to-market R&D, demonstration and market research, many types of costs are funded
  • With up to CHF 2.5 million per project it is one of the most attractive funding programmes worldwide

What does the application process look like?

Applicants undergo a competitive three-step application and evaluation process with a short proposal as entry point. With a positive evaluation, the applicant is invited to submit a full proposal and in the final step has to pitch his project in an online presentation.


When can applications be submitted?

There is only one entry point in 2022:
The application deadline is 10.05.2022. So, there is not much time left to prepare a convincing proposal.
The full proposal deadline is expected in Summer 2022, the interview presentations will take place in fall / winter 2022.
Positively evaluated projects can expect their project start in early 2023.


Innosuisse created a unique and highly competitive funding opportunity for innovative Swiss start-ups and SMEs with up to CHF 2.5 million funding. In contrast to the EIC Accelerator, already the short application has to be evaluated unanimously positive by all evaluators.

More information is provided by Innosuisse:

EurA has been involved in the blueprint of the Swiss Accelerator, the EIC Accelerator, since the start of the programme in 2014. Today we are one of the market leaders in Germany with over 200 applications. In addition, with more than 180 employees we are one of the largest consulting firms in this field. Thus, we have many years of experience and expertise to maximize your chances and create a winning proposal within that short timeframe.

You want to be on time and optimally prepared?
Then get in touch with us!

Author: Thomas Kraus

Stefan Durm

Your contact person
Stefan Durm

Do you want to learn more about this topic? Schedule a meeting with an expert.

I have been successfully involved in international projects for about 10 years. I have designed and coordinated international research consortia as well as (co-)developed and successfully implemented more than 50 business plans for highly innovative deep-tech start-ups. To keep sharpening my knowledge, I am a founding member of the European Association of Innovation Consultants (EAIC) and represent EurA there.This makes me a very good first point of contact for questions about international funding projects.

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