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Sustainable Impact Program

With the Sustainable Impact Program, the ZHAW promotes outstanding and impactful initiatives by students and employees as well as young entrepreneurship in the field of sustainable development.

Submission deadlines 2023

Applications for new projects can be submitted until the following three submission deadlines: 

  • 01.03. (grant decision on 06.04.) 
  • 14.06. (also deadline for SDG Award, grant decision for other projects on 14.09.) 
  • 25.09. (grant decision on 02.11.) 

Important information: The funding for research projects for 2023 has been exhausted. Applications for research projects starting in 2024 can be submitted until 25.09. (funding decision on 02.11.).

For students

CHF 5,000 for your project idea at the ZHAW or in the region

The key points for your submission: 

You can submit your project proposal here: 

More information on the application and evaluation process can be found here

Need inspiration? These projects have already been funded. 

Nico Frommherz

"Unsure if your idea meets the criteria? Or do you have questions about the application? Then send me an email."  

Nico Frommherz, Wissenschaftlicher Assistent Nachhaltigkeitsprogramme

SDG Award

Are you writing a paper (e.g. project, Bachelor's or Master's thesis) during your studies that is relevant to sustainable development? Then submit your work by 14.06.2023 at the latest. Monetary prizes totalling CHF 4,500 and a public award at the Swiss Green Economy Symposium await you. 

All papers submitted for examination between June of the previous year and the deadline are eligible. 

More information about the competition and the SDG Awards of the past years can be found here

Impact Entrepreneurship

Does your business idea solve a social or ecological problem? As part of the SIP, the ZHAW also supports young entrepreneurs who want to make a difference in society with their project idea. Impact Entrepreneurship comprises three opportunities: The Sustainability Safari series presents innovative startups with their ideas for sustainability, the Sustainability Booster focuses on developing independent ideas, and the Sustainability Incubation Program promotes concrete startup projects and provides professional support. 

More Information 


For employees

Teaching and Research Projects

The most important details for teaching and research projects: 

You can submit your project proposal here: 

More information on the application and evaluation process can be found here.

Need inspiration? These teaching projects and research projects have already received support. 

About the SIP 

With the Sustainable Impact Program (SIP), the ZHAW aims to promote a culture and community of sustainable development and to contribute to the achievement of the ZHAW Sustainability Strategy and the 2030 Agenda with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Effective contributions to addressing local and global challenges in the area of sustainable development by students and staff are therefore needed. In this way, the programme can also lay the foundations for a living lab at the ZHAW. 

Francesco Bortoluzzi

"As a university, we share responsibility for promoting innovative solutions to the challenges of sustainable development through research and knowledge transfer. This starts with our own students and employees: The Sustainable Impact Program enables them to engage themselves with their own project and become part of a sustainability community at the ZHAW and in the region." 

Francesco Bortoluzzi, Head of Sustainability Programs

The SIP is open to all members of the ZHAW: 

Students can realise their sustainability project at the ZHAW or in the region with the help of financial support and coaching opportunities. Together with the Swiss Green Economy Symposium in Winterthur, the ZHAW also presents the SDG Award in September each year to recognise particularly valuable student work. All ZHAW students are eligible to apply with their student work, such as assignments, projects, bachelor's and master's theses. With the Impact Entrepreneurship programme, the ZHAW encourages new business and organisational ideas with impact and provides support on the path to self-employment. 

Employees can apply for funding for their teaching or research project to help anchor sustainable development in the curricula and create innovation. 

The SIP is supported by the national funding platform U Change and by the ZHAW Foundation (in German only).

Contact persons