UK – Switzerland Bilateral: Collaborative R&D

Key Features

UK registered organisations, in collaboration with at least one Swiss registered business can apply for a share of up to £2 million for research projects resulting in innovative solutions. Swiss partners must apply for equivalent funding from Innosuisse.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £2 million

Opens: 17th Apr 2023

Closes: 26th Jul 2023

! This scheme is now closed


Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will work with the Innosuisse to invest up to £2 million in innovation projects.


The aim of this competition is to support UK-Swiss international business-led innovation collaboration. Through grant funding Innovate UK will support UK businesses to collaborate with Swiss counterparts for their mutual global growth prospects.

Your collaborative research and development (R&D) proposal must demonstrate:

  • a clear game-changing or disruptive innovative idea leading to new products, processes or services
  • a strong and deliverable business plan that addresses and documents market potential and needs
  • sound, practical financial plans and timelines
  • good value for money, which will always be a consideration in Innovate UK funding decisions
  • a clear, evidence-based plan to deliver significant economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation, within 2 to 3 years of the funded project completion
  • clear, considerable potential to significantly benefit the UK economy or national productivity
  • the benefit of participants from the countries working together and how this adds value
  • a clear definition of where intellectual property (IP) can be used and shared between the participants and countries
  • a clear route to market within 2 to 3 years of project completion

Your full application consists of the completion of a joint call document to Innosuisse and a submission of the national applications at Innovate UK for UK partners and Innosuisse for Swiss partners.

If successful, your collaboration must submit the same common consortium agreement including an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) agreement signed by all partners to Innovate UK and Innosuisse prior to start of the project. A failure to submit this document would make the application ineligible.


Your UK project must:

  • have a maximum grant funding request of £400,000
  • start by 1 January 2024
  • end by 31 December 2026
  • last between 18 months and 36 months

UK project partners must carry out the majority of their project work in the UK and intend to exploit the results from or in the UK.

The consortium must include at least one business registered in Switzerland that is a separate, non-linked entity. In order to receive any grant funding and continue as a feasible project, the project proposal must be successful on both sides of the consortium. If selected, UK participants will receive grant funding from Innovate UK and Swiss participants, if selected, will receive grant funding from Innosuisse.

UK participants must be part of an application submitted to Innovate UK. Swiss partners must submit a parallel application to the Innosuisse programme.

All businesses in a consortium must be separate legal and non-linked entities. This is to ensure that projects encourage genuine international collaboration, not internal company research. Linked companies are considered a single entity under the parent company.

Projects should have a balanced contribution of the total eligible project costs among the partners from the participating partner countries. No more than 70% of the total project costs can be claimed by any single partner or by all partners from a single participating country.

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian and Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian and Belarusian source.

To lead a project from the UK side your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • collaborate with at least one Swiss registered business applying for funding from Innosuisse
  • have at least one research organisation (RO) registered either in Switzerland or the UK as a collaborative partner in the project

Any Swiss registered organisation that joins an application must be a separate legal entity which is not linked to the UK partners.

You must not invite your collaborating Swiss partners onto the Innovate UK’s IFS application platform Their involvement in the project is listed as part of your answers to the questions.

To collaborate with the lead, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not for profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research organisation (RO)

Each partner organisation must be invited into the Innovation Funding Service by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once accepted, partners will be asked to login or to create an account and enter their own project costs into the Innovation Funding Service.

Your project can include partners, including overseas partners, that do not receive any of this competition’s funding. Their costs will count towards the total project costs.

Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

You can use subcontractors from the UK, Switzerland and other countries but you must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the countries providing grant funding for the project. All subcontractors must be selected through your usual procurement process.

You must provide a detailed rationale and evidence of the potential UK or Swiss contractors you approached, with the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use a subcontractor from a third country. All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate for the project.

An eligible UK business can lead on one application and collaborate on one further application.

If an organisation is not leading any application, it can collaborate in up to two applications.

You cannot use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.


Innovate UK are not funding projects that:

  • do not have a collaboration agreement with a Swiss registered business entity funded under the equivalent Innosuisse programme for their project
  • do not include at least one research technology organisation registered in either the UK or Switzerland
  • do not meet Innovate UK’s eligibility criteria

Innovate UK cannot fund projects that are:

  • dependent on export performance
  • dependent on domestic inputs usage

Funding Costs

Up to £2 million from Innovate UK and up to CHF 2 million from Innosuisse, has been allocated to fund innovation projects in this competition. Funding will be in the form of a grant.

Your application must be in line with the rules of Innovate UK and Innosuisse.

Each country will fund its eligible participants according to their national procedure and funding rules. Funding conditions and eligibility criteria may vary between UK and Switzerland. However, the bilateral joint cooperation between the partners and its added value is an important aspect to be considered within the evaluation.

The projects are funded by the national funding agencies, Innovate UK and Innosuisse, following the order of the joint ranking list. The funding agencies will fund as many projects as their funding allocation will allow.

UK organisations

As a UK partner if your organisation’s work on the project is commercial or economic, your funding request must not exceed the limits below. These limits apply even if your organisation normally acts non-economically but for the purpose of this project will be undertaking commercial or economic activity.

For feasibility studies and industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 60% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 50% if you are a large organisation

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a micro or small organisation
  • up to 35% if you are a medium sized organisation
  • up to 25% if you are a large organisation

Research participation for UK organisations

The research organisations undertaking non-economic activity as part of the project can share up to 30% of the total grant request. If your consortium contains more than one research organisation undertaking non-economic activity, this maximum is shared between them. Of that 30% you could get funding for your eligible project costs of up to:

  • 80% of full economic costs (FEC) if you are a Je-S registered institution such as an academic
  • 100% of your project costs if you are an RTO, charity, not for profit organisation, public sector organisation or research organisation

Swiss organisations

Up to CHF 2 million from Innosuisse, has been allocated to fund Swiss organisations for innovation projects in this bilateral call.

For Swiss organisations, one application for each project must be submitted, before the submission deadline 26 July 2023 17:00 hrs (CET).

Your full application consists of the joint call document and a submission of the national application to Innosuisse.

The completed application for Swiss partners must be submitted to Innosuisse in English as described on the Innosuisse webpage. The submission is made on the web-based submission portal of Innosuisse

You must also upload the completed Joint Call Document as an attachment on the Innosuisse submission portal.

Interested in applying for this competition?

Book an appointment to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your eligibility to apply for this Grant Funding opportunity.