Expertise

A systematic matching of supply and demand in the Swiss energy innovation ecosystem

Across Switzerland, around 180 programmes offer support in the area of energy innovation through contact mediation, specialist expertise, coaching, information events and other services. An explorative study examines how these offerings fit with the requirements of trade and industry.

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Energy innovations in Switzerland are promoted by a wide range of support services. As an important actor and stakeholder, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy has commissioned a study on these support offerings in the form of a systematic stocktaking. The central element of this study is the comparison of supply and demand. This shows a good match between the support required by trade and industry and the services offered. However, finding the right support services proved to be a challenge. Reasons for this are either lack of resources to search or lack of information. These challenges need to be addressed in the future to make the energy innovation ecosystem even more efficient.

Switzerland's unique energy innovation ecosystem

Innovations in the energy sector enable the more efficient provision, storage, distribution and use of energy. In this way, they make a substantial contribution to the implementation of the energy strategy and the sustainability goals of the Confederation. An important impetus for these innovations can be support from the federal government, cantons, municipalities, but also from foundations, research institutions, networks, clusters, alliances, associations and many others. This gives rise to Switzerland's unique energy innovation ecosystem, consisting of offers of support services and users of such services.

Broad-based offerings with a dedicated focus

In a first phase, the Competence Center for Business Engineering at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts compiled an overview of the existing offers. The focus is on offers that operate via non-monetary support. Such offers provide services such as contact mediation, specialist expertise, coaching, information events and others. The 180 offers identified cover a wide range of sectors. A distinction can be made between offerings that provide support from the idea to concept development to solution development, and those that focus on the phases from solution to market development.

Current offer meets the requirements of potential users

In a second phase, several representatives of different sectors and company sizes were interviewed by means of a structured survey regarding their current challenges and desired support for energy innovations. Three types of users emerged: companies with a limited time budget for researching support offerings, companies with dedicated internal positions for the search and acquisition of support offerings, and companies that do not consider themselves relevant in terms of energy innovations. In principle, the challenges and requirements of the companies are covered by the existing support services. However, these support services are not always sufficiently known.

Vision: Finding the right funding offer faster and more efficiently

The great strength of the existing system lies in the breadth and diversity of the existing offers. The weaknesses are the perceived excessive time required for the identification and acquisition of suitable support services, as well as the partial lack of information about the available services. The danger is primarily that good offers are not taken up by potential users due to a lack of information and that the innovations that are possible as a result are not implemented or are implemented only with delay. Building on the existing strengths of Switzerland's energy innovation ecosystem, the study suggests that the focus should be on making it easier to identify and take advantage of funding opportunities. Given the limited time and resources available to potential users, quick and efficient access to the right funding opportunities is crucial. The form and implementation possibilities of such simplified access are already part of current research projects.

 

Contact

Lucerne University of Applied Sciences & Arts
Institute for Innovation and Technology Management IIT
Competence Center Business Engineering
Technikumstrasse 21
CH-6048 Horw
www.hslu.ch
Simon Züst
Simon.zuest@hslu.ch

Invitation to Webinar on Finding the Right Funding Program Faster and More Efficiently.

The authors of the study will present the results and lead a joint discussion with the participants.

The webinar will take place on 23.11.2021 from 11:00 to approx. 12:30.

The event is free of charge.

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