The Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) has launched the third call for proposals under the SWEET (Swiss Energy Research for the Energy Transition) funding programme. The guiding theme of the call, which has a total budget of CHF 10 million, is 'Critical Infrastructures, Climate Change, and Resilience of the Swiss Energy System'.

This call is a joint undertaking with the National Centre for Climate Services (NCCS). The deadline for applications is 3 December 2021.

The focus of the third call for proposals is on critical infrastructures, such as power plants, dams and the power grid. The research challenges are:

  • How does the restructuring of the energy system affect critical infrastructures?
  • How vulnerable is the energy system to technical, natural or societal hazards?
  • What can be done to mitigate the risks for the energy system and society and make the energy system more resilient?

The term 'energy system' here refers to the evolving system in the period from 2021 to 2050. This also addresses hazards or risks resulting from increased decentralisation of the power supply and digitalisation of the energy system (cyber risks). Of particular interest are hazards which are caused or exacerbated by climate change.

The 2020 national risk analysis by the Federal Office for Civil Protection (FOCP) found that two of the top ten risks were related to the energy system. This third call for proposals was therefore prepared in close collaboration with the FOCP and the National Centre for Climate Services (NCCS) and is, in fact, a joint undertaking with the NCCS.

The call will be conducted in two stages. Research consortia from universities, non-profit research institutions, the private sector and the public sector can submit a pre-proposal by 3 December 2021. The two consortia with the highest-ranking pre-proposals will be invited to submit a full proposal. At the end of the process one consortium will be selected. The call budget of CHF 10 million will be awarded for a term of 6 to 8 years. The results of the third call are expected to be announced in July 2022, and the research work is scheduled to start in October 2022.

Details of the entry conditions are set out in the 'Call Guideline.'

SWEET (Swiss Energy Research for the Energy Transition) Funding Programme

The SWEET programme issues rolling calls for proposals for consortium projects and will continue until 2032. Funding is provided only for consortium projects that comprehensively address central research topics of the Energy Strategy 2050 and the long-term climate strategy. The focus of SWEET is on application-oriented research and on demonstrating the results achieved. The programme lead for SWEET lies with the SFOE.

Visit the SWEET website for more information.

National Centre for Climate Services

The NCCS is a network and coordination body made up of nine federal offices (including the SFOE and the FOCP) and research institutions. It brings together existing climate services, promotes dialogue between actors and works collaboratively to develop and communicate appropriately tailored information, procedures and solutions. A new programme on cross-sectoral impacts ('NCCS Impacts') aims to develop practical climate services for public administration, business and society from 2022 to 2025.

Download the call guidelines.


Cover image by NickyPe from Pixabay.

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