BRIDGE: for experienced researchers in all disciplines as of 2021
The BRIDGE programme supports the transition from basic research to science-based innovation. As of 2021, the entire programme of Innosuisse and SNSF will be open to all disciplines.
Launched in 2017, both BRIDGE schemes have met with great interest. Young researchers have submitted 550 Proof of Concept applications. Another 350 proposals were submitted by experienced researchers to Discovery. The level of interest is significant considering that Discovery was limited to technological innovations until now. "The figures show a big need for pre-competitive support," says Chris Boesch, leader of the evaluation panel of Discovery. BRIDGE has so far awarded 144 grants in the current pilot phase 2017-2020, spending 53 million of the overall budget of 70 million francs.
For the funding period 2021 to 2024, Innosuisse and SNSF are increasing the BRIDGE budget by 50 per cent. A total of 105 million francs will be available. On the one hand, this will make it possible to fund more excellent projects. On the other hand, Discovery will be open to all disciplines, including the humanities and social sciences. "We are convinced that projects on social topics also have the potential to drive innovation," says Chris Boesch, adding that this was something the COVID-19 pandemic had clearly shown.
Quality-consciousness and credibility
While Discovery will now accept applications from all disciplines, the requirements stay the same: research projects of the highest quality that present a credible prospect of innovation. This innovative aspect must carry great social and/or economic potential. The next call for BRIDGE Discovery will be launched in January 2021.