UK-Switzerland CR&D Round 2

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £4 million for innovative projects in all technologies. You must collaborate with at least one Swiss implementation partner applying under the equivalent Swiss Innosuisse programme.

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation and Innosuisse, The Swiss Innovation Authority, will invest up to £4 million from Innovate UK and a minimum of 3 million CHF from Innosuisse in innovation projects.

We encourage innovation in, but not limited to, the following technologies:

  • life sciences
  • AI
  • semiconductor applications
  • quantum


The aim of this competition is to enhance UK and Swiss collaborations and capabilities in the emerging fields of technology. The result being, the developing and delivering of new innovations and applications of the technologies across a broad range of other sectors.

Your proposal must comply with the scope and eligibility requirements as stated on this competition summary page, and include a consortium made up of non-linked Swiss and UK partners.

In applying to this competition, you are entering into a competitive process.

This competition closes at 11am UK time on the deadline stated.

Competition details


Your UK project must:

  • have a maximum grant funding request of £450,000
  • start on 1 November 2024
  • end by 31 October 2027
  • last between 18 and 36 months
  • include at least one business entity from each country (UK and Switzerland) and one research institute from either the UK or Switzerland in your consortium

Note: If the Swiss applicant is an individual start-up (pre-market and less than 50 full time equivalent employees) the research institute requirement is waived.

UK project partners must carry out the majority of their project work in the UK and intend to exploit the results from or in the UK.

Your project must demonstrate a balanced technological contribution by the participants from both countries and must be equally significant to all participants.

Note: eligibility on the Swiss counterpart competition states that in a project with two cooperating partners, no partner may contribute more than 70% of the total person months to the project. Person months is the metric for the time in months devoted by staff to a project.

In a project with more than two cooperating partners, no partner may contribute more than 50% of total person months. All research organisations involved in the consortium may altogether not contribute more than 50% of the total person months.

Your application must be in line with the criteria of Innovate UK and Innosuisse.

Applications identified as not eligible by either Innovate UK or Innosuisse will not be sent for assessment.

Your project must always start on the first of the month and this must be stated within your application. Your project start date will be reflected in your grant offer letter if you are successful.

You must only include eligible project costs in your application.

Under current restrictions, this competition will not fund any procurement, commercial, business development or supply chain activity with any Russian or Belarusian entity as lead, partner or subcontractor. This includes any goods or services originating from a Russian or Belarusian source.

If your project’s total grant funding request or duration falls outside of our eligibility criteria, you must provide justification by email to at least 10 working days before the competition closes. We will decide whether to approve your request.

If you have not requested approval or your application has not been approved by us, you will be made ineligible. Your application will then not be sent for assessment.

Lead organisation

To be a UK lead your organisation must:

  • be a UK registered business of any size
  • be or involve at least one grant claiming UK registered micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • collaborate with at least one Swiss implementation partner applying to the Innosuisse programme, which must be a separate legal entity, not linked to the UK partners
  • collaborate with at least one research institute from either the UK or Switzerland

More information on the different types of organisation can be found in our Funding rules.

Project team

To collaborate with the lead and claim grant funding from Innovate UK, your organisation must be one of the following UK registered:

  • business of any size
  • academic institution
  • charity
  • not for profit
  • public sector organisation
  • research and technology organisation (RTO)

Each UK partner organisation must be invited into IFS by the lead to collaborate on a project. Once partners have accepted the invitation, they will be asked to login or to create an account in IFS. They are responsible for entering their own project costs and completing their Project Impact questions in the application.

Only UK registered partners must be listed in the Project Partner section of your application on the Innovation Funding Service (IFS). Your Swiss partner will not receive any of this UK competition funding. Swiss partners will be funded by the Innosuisse programme, following a successful parallel application.

Each organisation in your consortium will receive funding from its respective national funding body.

Non-funded partners

Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses. Their costs will count towards the total project costs.


Subcontractors are allowed in this competition.

You can use subcontractors from the UK, Switzerland and other countries but must make the case in your application as to why you could not use suppliers from the countries providing grant funding for the project.

All subcontractors must be selected through your usual procurement process.

You must provide a detailed rationale and evidence of the potential UK or Swiss contractors you approached, with the reasons why they were unable to work with you. We will not accept a cheaper cost as a sufficient reason to use a subcontractor from a third country.

All subcontractor costs must be justified and appropriate for the project.


The aim of this competition is to enhance UK and Swiss collaborations and capabilities in technology. The result being, the developing and delivering of new innovations, and applications of the technologies across a broad range of other sectors.

This competition will support UK and Swiss business-led collaboration in innovation, with grant funding.

Innovate UK will support UK businesses to collaborate successfully with Swiss counterparts and build their global growth prospects.

Specific themes

Your collaborative R&D proposal must demonstrate:

  • a clear game-changing or disruptive innovative idea leading to new products, processes or services
  • a strong and deliverable business proposal within your application that addresses and documents market potential and needs
  • sound, practical financial plans and timelines
  • good value for money and how you intend to deliver significant economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation within two to three years of project completion
  • clear potential to significantly benefit the UK economy or national productivity
  • the benefit of participants from the countries working together and how this adds value
  • a clear definition of where intellectual property (IP) can be used and shared between the participants and countries
  • a clear route to market within two to three years of project completion

Research categories

We will fund feasibility projects, industrial research projects and experimental development projects, as defined in the guidance on categories of research.

Proposals can come from any area of technology and we particularly encourage applications in, but not limited to, the following technologies:

  • life sciences
  • AI
  • semiconductor applications
  • quantum

29 January 2024

Online briefing event: register to attend

5 February 2024

Competition opens

1 May 2024 11:00am

Competition closes

12 August 2024

Applicants notified

How to apply

You must read the guidance on applying for a competition on the Innovation Funding Service before you start.

Before submitting, it is the UK lead applicant’s responsibility to make sure:

  • that all the information provided in the application is correct
  • your proposal meets the eligibility and scope criteria
  • all sections of the application are marked as complete
  • that all UK partners have completed all assigned sections and accepted the terms and conditions (T&Cs)
  • that projects submitted to the Innovation Funding Service and Innosuisse have the same project title
  • a common proposal form is submitted to both Innovate UK and Innosuisse

You can reopen your application once submitted, up until the competition deadline. You must resubmit the application before the competition deadline.

What we ask you

The application is split into four sections:

  1. Project details.
  2. Application questions.
  3. Finances.
  4. Project Impact.

Accessibility and inclusion

We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and are committed to making our application process accessible to everyone. This includes making reasonable adjustments, for people who have a disability or a long-term condition and face barriers applying to us.

You can contact us at any time to ask for guidance.

We recommend you contact us at least 15 working days before this competition’s closing date to allow us to put the most suitable support in place. The support we can provide may be limited if you contact us close to the competition deadline.

You can contact Innovate UK by email or call 0300 321 4357. Our phone lines are open from 9am to 12pm and 2pm to 5pm UK time, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

Find out more on the application process here.

Supporting Information

The UK and Switzerland are collaborating to deliver bilateral funding through Innovate UK and Innosuisse grant funding.

The Innosuisse programme in Switzerland is designed to enhance companies' capacity to innovate and to strengthen their long-term competitiveness. Under Innosuisse, Swiss companies and the research institutes they work with can be awarded grants for ambitious R&D projects.

Innosuisse funding is not restricted to any particular field of technology, nor to specific fields of application. Whether or not an application for a grant is approved depends on how innovative the R&D project is and how marketable the results are likely to be.

Application guidance for Swiss organisations

The Swiss organisations must follow these guidelines:

  • there will be mandatory submission of a proposal via Innosuisse submission portal, including a consortium agreement draft, common call document and financial documents per business entity
  • there needs to be a minimum project consortium of one business entity from each participating country and one research institute from any of the participating countries
  • all participants need to comply with funding rules of their origin country
  • requested project funding to Innosuisse should not exceed 450’000 CHF
  • project duration should be between 18 and 36 months

The funding rate for Swiss partners is as follows:

  • research institutions 100%
  • start-ups and micro, small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs) up to 50%
  • large enterprises up to 25%

Swiss start-ups that have not yet entered the market and that only collaborate with foreign companies can receive up to 70%

A maximum 70% of the total Swiss project costs are covered by Innosuisse.