Switzerland Innovation Tech4Impact Initiative

SI Tech4Impact facilitates the realization of innovation projects that tackle society’s most pressing environmental and societal challenges, focusing on selected themes of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
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The “Switzerland Innovation Tech4Impact Initiative” (SI Tech4Impact) is a research grant created to facilitate the realization of ground-breaking impactful projects in Switzerland that are implemented in collaboration with Swiss universities, entrepreneurs, SMEs and research partners. 

The one-year project grant focuses on selected themes of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and selects projects with a real market application potential providing them with a grant that ranges from CHF 70.000 – CHF 100.000. 

This initiative is led together with Switzerland Innovation Foundation and is further supported by the following innovation partner companies: ABB, Credit Suisse, Die Mobiliar, Economiesuisse, Interpharma, Schindler, Swiss Re Foundation, Swisscom, UBS, Zurich. 

Awarded Projects – 2021

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 mar-ket in 2022.

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 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 new building of the Switzerland Innovation Park Biel/Bienne. The system will allow the building to provide clean energy at a reduced cost.

Groam is creating biodegradable foam from food waste to be used for fast disposables. This inno-vative 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 aims to finalize a scalable MVP and acquire their first pilot customers from the plant substrate sector.

PhytlSigns aims to develop a cost-effective, energy efficient sensor that will allow farm-ers 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 batter-ies. 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.

Awarded Projects – 2020

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Ceco-Met

Electronic waste is one of the largest, growing municipal waste streams in the world. CECO-MET, a project launched by the would be spin-off company of the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) named REMRETEch, is aimed at achieving strong municipal electronic waste disposal so as to recover valuable metals. The patented technology is designed to improve recycling, promote responsible consumption, and make towns and cities more sustainable by introducing a circular-economy approach and “urban mining”.

Naturloop Team

Cocoboard is a natural fiberboard made of coconut husks that can be used in manufacturing furniture and in housing construction. The product, designed by the company NaturLoop, aims to foster integration among coconut farmers and respond to the demand for affordable construction materials in developing countries. Together with the Swiss Smart Factory at Switzerland Innovation Park Biel/Bienne, NaturLoop is developing a micro-factory concept that is to be implemented in the Philippines in 2022.

CompPair Team

The composite materials currently used in marine, sports, the aerospace industry and in wind turbines are susceptible to cracking, require expensive maintenance and are difficult to recycle. The solution offered by the company CompPair, a spin-off of EPFL, shortens repair times from hours to minutes, extends the product service life and can help make the recycling process more efficient.

Enerdrape Team

The technology developed by Enerdrape, a spin-off of EPFL, uses geothermal wall panels to harvest geothermal and excess energy within buildings for their heating and cooling needs. The patented solution helps make existing buildings more energy-efficient, cut their operational costs and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Plastogaz Team

Plastogaz, a spin-off of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), has developed a technology that uses powerful catalysts to selectively convert mixed plastics that cannot be recycled into methane. Methane is used as a form of heating gas and in the chemicals industry. The Plastogaz technology has the potential to considerably reduce the greenhouse gases resulting from the disposal of plastic waste (e.g. through incineration).

WASTELESS team

The UN forecasts that by 2030, the global water supply will fall 40% short of demand. This is where the WaSTeLeSS project launched by the company Droople comes into play: A network of sensors delivers time-relevant data on hot- and cold-water consumption. The new findings obtained using the patented solution facilitate a better understanding of consumption behavior, allowing hot- and cold-water waste to be reduced.