Switzerland is stepping up its efforts to address energy and climate challenges. The Swiss Federal Council has opened a consultation for additional funding to expand the SWEET (SWiss Energy research for the Energy Transition) program into SWEETER (SWiss research for the EnErgy Transition and Emissions Reduction). This expansion aims to tackle urgent issues such as energy security and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. The consultation period runs until September 29, 2023.
SWEET focuses on applied research and brings together academia, private sector, and public institutions in transdisciplinary consortia. The program has a funding commitment of 136.4 million Swiss francs for 2021-2032. With the expansion to SWEETER, Switzerland aims to swiftly address pressing questions related to energy supply security and decarbonizing the economy. An additional funding commitment of 135 million Swiss francs for 2025-2036 is planned.
The SWEETER consortia comprise universities, private sector partners, and local authorities. These partners contribute their own and third-party funds to finance research activities, allowing for a significant increase in resources. Previous projects under SWEET secured additional funding of 82 percent from various sources. Furthermore, 62 percent of cooperation partners in previous consortia were from the private sector.
The additional funding will enable Switzerland to finance eight new research initiatives, covering areas such as energy storage, spatial planning, smart grids, circular economy, and social innovations.