2011 was a year of change for the CTI. It was the first year in which the CTI operated as an independent executive commission with its own secretariat and wide-ranging decision-making competencies. Furthermore the strong value of the Swiss franc and the subsequent package of countermeasures introduced between October and December also had a significant impact.
In terms of R&D project promotion (regular funding and special measures combined) the CTI assessed a total of 1110 projects, over 300 applications more than in the previous year. Experts from science and industry approved 556 projects (incl. CTI voucher), 246 of which fell under the special measures. In 2011 these R&D projects received a total of CHF 208 million in grant funding.
Of the applications approved over 70 per cent originated from SMEs, 5 out of 10 companies were conducting a project through the CTI for the first time. Most projects receiving funding were in the field of Engineering Sciences (174), followed by Life Sciences (147) and Enabling Sciences (133). 102 applications were approved in the field of micro and nanotechnology.
In 2011 26 young businesses were awarded the CTI’s highly regarded ‘Start-up Label’. Since 1996 ‘Start-up Label’ firms have created a total of 3700 jobs, 200 in the reporting year alone. Businesses with the CTI Start-up Label have a high success rate of 86 per cent.
KTT, or knowledge and technology transfer between industry and research, is a key element in innovation promotion. The CTI is in the process of reorganising this area and in 2011 laid the foundations with its new KTT strategy.