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Innovation program

DIZH’s innovation program is one of the initiative’s core components. Our partner universities are running various types of innovative digitalization projects with the private and public sector. This is intended to bring research findings closer in line with practical real-world applications and also allows researchers to consider the needs and experiences of their partners in industry and government. Here the following characteristics of innovation play an important role: being open to taking risks, incorporating a variety of disciplines, creating value and working together.

Funding from the innovation program will be distributed in a transparent and competitive process. As part of our calls for proposals, a jury consisting of members from partner institutions will select the best project applications and fund them according to the available budget. Various calls will be launched every year.

Program concept and rules

The concept document describes the operations and implementation of DIZH’s innovation program. It provides information on the goals of the program and how they contribute to the overarching goals of DIZH.

The rules for DIZH’s innovation program over the 2020–2029 period establish the organizational structure of the program and how it is run.

DIZH understands innovation very broadly and includes all disciplines: artistic, design, natural science, technology, humanities, education and social science.

Innovation panel

The innovation panel is responsible for drafting concepts and decision-making criteria for the innovation program. The panel consists of a core team of innovation experts from DIZH partner universities. If needed, the panel can call on additional experts inside or outside the university community.

Conflict of interest

In their activities as reviewers or approvers, both members of the Innovation panel and the Management Board may have potential conflicts of interest.

The submission and recusal rules in the DIZH Innovation Programme (PDF, german) regulate both the submission of applications and the recusal from reviewing and approving project proposals.

Calls for proposals can largely be categorized into the following groups:

  • a. Proposals for ecosystem creation: for creating long-term innovation structures (Structure Call)
  • b. Project proposals: for a variety of parties to tackle a specific issue
  • c. Founder proposals: for founding spin-offs, start-ups and non-profit organizations; open to employees and students at partner universities
  • d. Rapid action proposals: for putting ideas into practice when time is of the essence
  • e. Outreach proposals: for expanding and boosting the visibility of DIZH issues and projects

You can find more detailed information in the program concept and rules (German only).

DIZH’s innovation program has a CHF 80 million budget for the 2020–2029 period, to which the initiative and the partner universities are each contributing half.

Resolution of the Parliament of the Canton of Zurich to provide funding to the Digitalization Initiative of the Zurich Higher Education Institutions (DIZH) from 2020–2029 (German only)


Office Innovation program DIZH

Dr. Helge Johannssen:

    • Gabriele Biller, Manuel Bamert:

For inquiries regarding matching funds and other questions regarding financing and the call, please contact: