Switzerland Innovation Tech4Impact: Six Projects Awarded CHF 85,000 Each

More than 50 project teams responded to the second call for proposals launched by Switzerland Innovation together with partners from the Swiss economy. The topics addressed by the award-winning projects range from efficient energy storage to biodegradable fast disposables and real time plant health measurement.

The call for proposals for the initiative was launched with the aim to foster innovative solutions within the Swiss ecosystem that can help meet the Sustainable Development Goals introduced as part of the UN Agenda 2030. This call for proposals launched by Switzerland Innovation together with its innovation partners from the Swiss economy and in collaboration with EPFL Tech4Impact and collaboratio helvetica, prompted a response from 53 project teams, which submitted their ideas addressing one of the six highlighted UN Sustainable Development Goals. From this broad field of applicants, an external and independent jury selected six projects whose novel approaches will now be further developed in one of the six Switzerland Innovation Parks:

COWACAPS (COWA): The project COWACAPS aims to develop market-ready storage capsules that increase the capacity of heating system thermal energy storages by up to a factor of four. With the support of the SI T4Impact initiative, the project plans to finalize the product development and to successfully enter the market in 2022.

Circular Economy through Advanced Recycling of Composite Materials (Composite Recycling): The project makes fiberglass reinforced plastics truly circular, by developing a technology that recovers high quality glass fibers from decomposing and toxic ageing boats and sells them as fiberglass mat and pyrolysis oil to ultimately make new circular plastic. Within the scope of the SI T4Impact grant, the project aims at optimizing this process for quality and cost.

Green-Y: Green-Y is a compress air energy storage system that stores electricity and generates renewable heat and cold with air and water only. With the support of the SI T4Impact Initiative, the team aims to develop its first pilot project and install Green-Y in the offices of the Switzerland Innovation Park Biel/Bienne. The system will allow the building to provide clean energy at a reduced cost.

Groam: Groam, is creating biodegradable foam from food waste to be used for fast disposables. This innovative foam offers a price competitive and sustainable solution to current fossil-fuel materials in a highly polluting industry. With the support of the SI T4I Grant, the team from the ETH Zurich Laboratory of Food Process Engineering aims to finalize a scalable MVP and acquire their first pilot customers from the plant substrate sector.

PhytlSigns Scout (Vivent): PhytlSigns aims to develop a cost-effective, energy efficient sensor that will allow farmers to access real time information about the health status of their crops. With the support of the SI T4Impact Initiative, the project aims to overcome the technical challenges of the system.

positiveEnergy: The road to zero-emission vehicles and ecological transport relies on powerful and cost-effective batteries. positive Energy is developing solutions for next generation solid-state lithium-ion batteries. With the support of the SI T4Impact Initiative, the project aims to move beyond the laboratory scale and manufacture solid-state batteries to showcase to potential customers.

A Boost for Innovation Projects

The award-winning project teams are to receive a CHF 85,000 grant. The funds are designed to give the innovation projects a considerable boost, make them ready for market launch or allow them to embark on further development. The subsidies are financed by the following innovation partners: ABB, Credit Suisse, Die Mobiliar, economiesuisse, Interpharma, Schindler, Swiss Re Foundation, Swisscom, UBS and Zurich Insurance.

(Press release / SK)