Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) | SWEET (SWiss Energy research for the Energy Transition) Call 1-2023


Event details

Date 01.07.2023 18.10.2023
Hour 12:00
Category Call for proposal
Event Language English
SWEET (SWiss Energy research for the Energy Transition) is a funding programme of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE). The purpose is to fund interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and innovation activities with a focus on Switzerland’s energy strategy 2050 and the country’s climate policy goals. The programme targets solution-oriented research and innovation in the natural sciences and engineering as well as in the social sciences and humanities (SSH) in the domains of energy efficiency, renewable energy production and consumption, storage, networks, society and energy, and security and safety of critical energy infrastructures.

The guiding theme for the 1st call 2023 is “Critical Infrastructures, Climate Change, and Resilience of the Swiss Energy System”. The focus of this call for proposals is on critical infrastructures, such as power plants, dams, and the power grid. The research questions centre on:
  • How does the changing energy system affect critical infrastructures?
  • How vulnerable is the energy system to technical, natural, and societal hazards?
  • What can be done to mitigate the risks for the energy system and society and make the energy system more resilient?
The consortium’s work is expected to propose portfolios of interrelated research projects, including pilot and demonstration projects (P+D). A portfolio should be composed of projects focusing on research, development, demonstration, and deployment/implementation, structured such that the projects build on and feed into each other. The portfolio may include projects that involve real world laboratories and other formats in which the effects on and the agency of people can be explored. As a result, the consortia and project portfolios should cover significant parts of the innovation system.

A consortium must meet the following requirements:
1. It is led by 1 Swiss host institution.
2. It consists of at least 5 applicants from different legal entities.
3. It consists of at least 1 applicant from each of the following entities:
a. Swiss university or institute of the ETH domain (ETH Zurich, EPF Lausanne, Empa, Eawag, PSI and WSL),
b. Swiss university of applied sciences,
c. Swiss industry/private sector.

In addition, a consortium should:
1. Consist of applicants and cooperation partners that span the innovation system and thereby enable an interdisciplinary or a transdisciplinary approach commensurate with the research challenge.
2. Consist of applicants and cooperation partners that deliver complementary and significant contributions to the consortium’s work programme.
3. Be gender-balanced and reflect Switzerland’s diversity in terms of languages and regions.

Who can apply:
Research institutes, tertiary education sector, private sector, as well as public sector such as cantons and communes. Foreign institutions of higher education, non-commercial research organizations, and private nor-profit entities may apply for SWEET funding if their contributions are essential to achieving the consortium’s objectives, cannot be provided by Swiss applicants, and generate added value in Switzerland.

Members from the SSH are expected to be equitably represented in the consortia and their management.

Federal departments and their administrative units are prohibited from receiving SWEET funding. As a result, employees of federal departments and their administrative units may not participate in SWEET consortia.

Project selection, funding & duration:
The two consortia with the highest-ranking pre-proposals will be invited to submit full proposals. One consortium will be selected for funding. The call budget of at most CHF 8 million will be awarded for a term of 6 years.

Eligible costs:
In preparing their budgets, consortia must take into account the following:
  • For research projects, the maximum remuneration must follow specified hourly rates. For P+D projects, the maximum remuneration for applicants from institutions of higher education must follow these rates, while the maximum remuneration for other applicants should follow these rates.
  • At least 10% of the core budget must be allocated to two work packages on management and coordination as well as KTT. While these work packages need not yet be detailed in the pre-proposal, the fraction of the core budget allocated to them must be reflected in the budget that must be submitted with the pre-proposal. The work packages on management and coordination as well as KTT may be fully funded by SWEET.
  • Overhead costs are not eligible.
  • The cumulation of federal financial assistance to fund a project is inadmissible if the legal provisions or rules of any of the concerned funding instruments are breached. For instance, if funding from one instrument has been secured and that assistance is sufficient for the project to goahead, applying for assistance from other instruments for the same project would result in an inadmissible cumulation. Similarly, an inadmissible cumulation would occur if the maximum funding rate of one instrument is violated by the assistance from other instruments. To prevent inadmissible cumulations, applicants that seek financial assistance from several federal instruments must clearly disclose all sources of financing and inform all concerned authorities.
Submission and deadline:
SWEET Call 1-2023 is being organized as a two-step process:
  1. All interested consortia should submit a pre-proposal no later than 18 October 2023 (no later than at 12:00 noon CEST).
  2. A short-list of the highest-ranking consortia will be invited to submit full proposals. The deadline for submission of full proposals will be in Spring 2023.
If you have pre-registered your project to SFOE (deadline 29 August 2023), please contact the EPFL Research Office in parallel.

Letters of Interest of Applicants or Cooperation Partners, as well as a Letter of Commitment of the Host Institution are requested by SFOE: please contact the EPFL Research Office at [email protected] by 4 October 2023.

Schedule of the call:
Deadline for submission of pre-proposals: 18 October 2023 at 12:00 noon CEST
Announcement of evaluation results: January 2024
Invitation to submit full proposals: January 2024
Deadline for submission of full proposals: April 2024
Announcement of funding decision: July 2024
Consortium starts operations: October 2024

An Open access and data management plan is requested: for help, please contact the EPFL library at [email protected].

For further information: please visit the SWEET webpage, and read carefully the SWEET Guidelines. The proposal and budget templates and the list of FAQ are available in the EPFL Sweet Call 1-2023 document folder. If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].


Practical information

  • General public
  • Free


  • Federal Office of Energy

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