Application submission process

Criteria and process for awarding grants for environmental technology projects.

Criteria for awarding grants (non-exhaustive)

  • To award a grant, the FOEN must receive an application in writing from an eligible project partner. Applications may be submitted in one of the official languages (German, French, Italian) or in English.
  • Submitted projects must provide information on the criteria of environmental benefits, innovation, economic and technical feasibility, including market chances, added value for Switzerland and other aspects of sustainability.
  • Support may be granted if the FOEN deems that the abovementioned criteria are met and if the environmental technology promotion (ETP) funds have not already been awarded to other projects.
  • In cases where over CHF 50,000 of ETP funding is requested, award decisions are made by the federal expert commission for environmental technology promotion.
  • There is no legal entitlement to a grant.
  • Federal funding (ETP funding and other federal contributions) is generally allowed to cover up to 50% of project costs. Applicants themselves must therefore assume at least 50% of all qualifying project costs. As an exception, the FOEN may cover more than 50% of the costs when an application has been made for ETP funding of less than CHF 50,000 in connection with a feasibility study.
  • The maximum ETP grant for pilot and demonstration projects is one million CHF.
  • The maximum project duration is four years.
  • Subsequent commercial use of the results must be plausibly demonstrated.
  • Obligation to repay grants when projects are commercialised: ETP funding must be repaid in proportion to the generated revenues up to the amount of the ETP grant if the results are used for commercial purposes.

In order to avoid double subsidies, special regulations apply to projects involving administrative units of the central and decentralised Federal Administration:

  • Administrative units of the central Federal Administration include the SFOE, swisstopo, FOAG and thus also Agroscope; see Annex 1 GAOO
  • Administrative units of the decentralised Federal Administration include ETHZ, EPFL, PSI, WSL, Empa and Eawag; see Annex 1 GAOO

Certain requirements apply to both types of administrative units:

  • They can be members of a project team, but they may not be the initiator, main applicant or sole party involved in the project. Projects will not be approved if one of these administrative units is the sole or main project applicant.

Special regulation for administrative units of the central Federal Administration:

  • ETP grants cannot be awarded to administrative units of the central Federal Administration.
  • The administrative units' own contributions are taken into account as federal contributions when calculating the maximum ETP grant.

Special regulation for administrative units of the decentralised federal administration:

  • ETP grants can be awarded to these administrative units if the project does not fall within the scope of their core mandate. In addition, the project must be of a certain size and relevance. For example, the total costs of the project must be at least CHF 50,000.
  • The administrative units' own contributions are not taken into account when calculating the maximum ETP grant.


Grant application process

  • To avoid misrepresentations, errors and the resulting disappointment, you should contact the Innovation Section before submitting an application.
    Contact: 058 469 69 10 and
  • A 1 to 2-page comprehensive project outline and a telephone call should largely suffice to clarify whether a project basically qualifies for a grant.
  • Once this has been done, a grant application may be submitted. Grant applications must be complete, regardless of the requested amount.

Approval process

  • Small projects (feasibility studies): If the requested federal contribution is less than CHF 50,000, the Innovation Section, in collaboration with the FOEN division concerned with the project topic, decides whether the project should receive support.
  • Projects: When over CHF 50,000 is requested, the project will be evaluated by the federal expert commission for environmental technology. First, the grant application will be checked to ensure that it is correct and complete. Applicants may revise their application. They will be invited to present their project at the next meeting of the expert commission. At its meetings, the expert commission decides which projects are approved and sets any conditions that will apply to them.
  • The expert commission is composed of experts from the FOEN, the SFOE, and Innosuisse.
  • The frequency of the expert commission meetings depends on the quantity of submitted grant applications and the available budget. In general, they take place twice per year.

Last modification 13.06.2023

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