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Project-based contributions «Innovation in Biocatalysis»

Innovation in Biocatalysis: A toolbox for sustainable bio-based production

Funding is available for innovative projects in research and education promoting the transfer of biocatalytic approaches from the academic laboratory to industrial application.

Federal project contributions (PgB) are granted by the Swiss Higher Education Council to higher education institutions to conduct innovative projects – either jointly or individually – that are of Swiss-wide relevance in higher education policy.

The project proposal «Innovation in Biocatalysis: A Toolbox for sustainable Bio-Based Production» was approved in September 2016. The program will run  from 2017 to 2020 and is led by Dr. Rebecca Buller (ZHAW) .

More information and the full application (P14) is available in German.

Main objectives of the program

  1. Development of transdisciplinary concepts which promote integration of biocatalytic processes for the sustainable production of added-value chemicals.
  2. Adapting the educational content at tertiary level to incorporate elements important in the bio-based technology shift.
  3. Examination of economic and social implications of biocatalysis and communication within the community and to a larger audience.
  4. Development of a «Biocatalysis Roadmap» to guide activities within the network beyond 2020.

The program includes three types of calls

Type Funding periode Program contribution
Research Projects 7 projects are funded for up to 30 months CHF 1'380'000
Curricular Element 4 projects are funded for up to 30 months CHF 300'000
Sustainability 1-2 projects will be funded for up to 10 months CHF 40'000


The program encompasses three types of project calls

The following projects started at the end of 2017:

A third call opened in 2019:


Applications may be submitted by faculty members or teaching and research staff employed at a research institution such as a Swiss University, a Federal Institute of Technology, an University of Applied Sciences or other research institutes. Please consult the document «Guidelines for submitting a proposal» for a complete list of eligible host institutes.


The SBFI supports the program «Innovation in Biocatalysis» with CHF 2 Mio. The host institutes of the successful applicants contribute equal funds (50:50 co-financing) to the projects. At least half of the institutes’ co-financing is to be supplied as «Real Money» (to be used for staff and/or equipment), the reminder can be «Virtual Money» (e.g. use of infrastructure).

Project Evaluation

The evaluation and monitoring of the projects in the field «Research Projects», «Curricular Elements« and «Sustainability» are carried out by three Working Groups, composed of experts in biocatalysis. Working Group members formulate the project calls, will evaluate submitted proposals and prepare funding recommendations to the Scientific Board, who has the final decision on funding. Additionally, the Working Groups will monitor project progress and make recommendations about the continuation of the projects.