Through the innovation cheque, Innosuisse provides Swiss SMEs and startups easy access into the world of science-based innovation funding. Last year, a total of 559 applications were received, with 400 preliminary studies funded and carried out, resulting in a success rate of 72%. Innosuisse uses this funding instrument to finance research services of up to CHF 15,000 to test the feasibility of an innovation idea or to conduct a preliminary study, for example on the market potential of processes, products, services or technologies.
One of such companies that have had a successful collaboration thanks to the funds is atwork, formerly known as Volunty Corporate AG. Based in Zurich, the startup built an employee engagement tool to supports companies in measuring employee engagement and subsequently promoting them through targeted measures. Atwork was able to collaborate with the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) with whom the company submitted an innovation project to Innosuisse after completing the Innovation cheque. In the proceeding stages, the startup will address the list of questions and improve measures developed during the innovation cheque, supplemented with customer insights.
“A collaboration such as the one between the ZHAW and artwork, which extends over several months and involves multiple research assistants would hardly be financially viable without the support of Innosuisse,” says Marco Meister, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of atwork Corporate AG.