National Research Programmes, setup of inter-university centres of competence and recruitment of young researchers – the SNSF is contributing on different levels to the reinforcement of energy research in Switzerland.
With its "Energy strategy 2050", the federal government is aiming for a
turnaround in energy policy that would increase energy efficiency and lead to
more widespread use of renewable sources of energy. Research plays a strategic
role in this context.
Funding of young scientists
According to the Federal Council’s Dispatch on the Action Plan "Coordinated Swiss Energy Research”, the SNSF will receive CHF 24 million for the years 2014 to 2016 to promote young researchers in the area of energy research. This targeted research promotion is intended to contribute to the rapid and flexible development of capacity for the seven new Swiss Competence Centers for Energy Research (SCCERs), which are funded by the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI). With this in mind, the SNSF has launched three schemes:
- Ambizione Energy
- SNSF professorship
- Assistant Professor (AP) Energy Grants
In 2012, the Federal Council commissioned the SNSF to conduct the NRPs "Transforming Energy" and "Options for Controlling Final Energy Consumption". Their purpose is to establish scientific principles for decision-making, particularly in view of the "Energy Strategy 2050". The two NRPs have a budget of CHF 37 million and CHF 8 million respectively and their financing is separate from the action plan "Coordinated Energy Research Switzerland". The calls for proposals for these two NRPs were issued in July 2013.
Although the SNSF now has additional funds at its disposal for supporting energy research, researchers may continue to submit applications in the funding schemes for projects and careers.
SNSF funding schemes
Action plan "Coordinated Energy Research Switzerland"
In its action plan "Coordinated Energy Research Switzerland", the Federal Council has earmarked a total of CHF 202 million for research.
CHF 24 million have been earmarked for the promotion of young scientists in research domains relevant to energy issues. The SNSF will award the money via the three following funding schemes: Ambizione Energy, SNSF professorships and Assistant Professor (AP) Energy Grants. This targeted funding of young talents by the SNSF will help to establish competences in energy research.
CHF 118 million will flow into the "Energy" funding programme, which is being implemented by the CTI in collaboration with the SNSF. The programme will finance the setup and operation of inter-university centres of competence with an amount of CHF 70 million. These centres will be selected by the CTI. The SNSF will participate in the call for proposals and in the evaluation procedure. An additional CHF 48 million will be used to fund projects conducted together with industry partners.
The different institutions of the ETH Domain will benefit from the remaining CHF 60 million.