Sinergia funds 15 interdisciplinary projects


Sustainable energy production, digital testing for autism spectrum disorders and evaluating nutrition systems: these are some of the topics of the 15 new research projects awarded a total of 36 million francs under SNSF’s Sinergia programme.

​​​The SNSF has evaluated 71 applications submitted to Sinergia for support on 1 December 2020. Fifteen projects representing 53 grantees have now been funded. This result constitutes a success rate of 21%. The individual Sinergia projects will typically run for four years and will receive an average of 2.4 million Swiss francs, for a total of 36 million francs. The proposals cover 32 different disciplines: 47% in biology and medicine; 37% in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering; and 16% in the humanities and social sciences. 

Long-term stability of solar hydrogen cells

One project will study performance degradation in photoelectrochemical solar hydrogen cells with the goal of enhancing their long-term stability, thereby making a major contribution to a sustainable energy supply. Three researchers from EPFL, the University of Salzburg and the University of Bern are collaborating on this project, representing the disciplines of mechanical engineering, materials science and physical chemistry. 

Autism spectrum disorder in children

A project developed by three researchers from the University of Geneva, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) and the Idiap Research Institute in Martigny combines the efforts of clinical research, engineering and computer-aided social sciences. The researchers are developing and testing digital tools for detecting and classifying autism spectrum disorders. To this end, the project will use Internet of Things sensors together with deep learning and image processing to assess the motor skills of young children. 

Nutrition in Switzerland

Another project brings together producers and consumers to study the sustainability of current and alternative nutrition systems. More specifically, the project focuses on foodstuffs, supply chains and agriculture, among other things. The project is being carried out by researchers from the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) and the University of Bern. 

"The projects selected by Sinergia represent intensive, multi-year collaborations between different disciplines", says Marc Zbinden, head of the SNSF division responsible for the programme. "Ideally, they will produce groundbreaking knowledge." The SNSF awards Sinergia grants twice a year. The programme has funded a total of 181 projects since 2016.


Division ​InterCo