Innovation Booster Swiss Smart Cities

The Innovation Booster Swiss Smart Cities promotes radical solution ideas that create public value for smart cities and regions throughout Switzerland.
Innovation needs courage and a spirit of discovery!


  • Lead school Business School
  • Institute Institute for Public Sector Transformation
  • Research unit Data and Infrastructure
  • Funding organisation Innosuisse
  • Duration (planned) 01.01.2022 - 30.12.2025
  • Project management Prof. Dr. Matthias Stürmer
  • Head of project Prof. Stephan Haller
  • Project staff Amir Sahi
    Prof. Dr. Urs Anderegg
  • Partner Smart City Alliance
    ZHAW School of Engineering
    Universität Fribourg
  • Keywords Smart City, Innovation, Design Thinking, Public Value


The needs of city dwellers are becoming more complex and demanding. Municipalities have recognised the challenges presented by the increasing complexity of urban life and the opportunities of digitalisation. Thus public corporations, research institutions, industrial networks, start-ups and public organisations have started to engage in joint innovation projects. While these initial approaches are welcomed and important, they mostly just target specific applications only – typically in the energy sector –, and there has been so far a lack of success stories in generating sustainable applications that scale up and that effectively generate public value across silos in Swiss cities. Furthermore, experimentation, prototyping and scale-up needs to be broadened into other application domains, successful solutions must address all layers of the 3D Smart City Wheel: Applications, processes, services, data, digital technologies and the physical infrastructure.

Course of action

The Innovation Booster Swiss Smart Cities supports the development of connected solutions from the very beginning and facilitates radical innovation projects on a larger scale with higher risks and rewards that cannot be tackled by isolated local projects alone. Smart urban solutions require the participation of a broad range of stakeholders, from citizens to the private sector to government agencies and academia. The Booster brings together these actors from all regions of Switzerland; in a co-creation approach, they will develop solutions to key challenges of modern cities that encompass all dimensions of a smart city. To this end, the Booster will conduct regular calls for ideas, which will be evaluated by a jury. Successful innovation teams can be funded with up to CHF 25,000. The aim is to provide initial financing for good ideas in the first stage of an innovation process, in order to develop or validate these ideas to such an extent that further development to market maturity becomes feasible. This intitial funding and promotion of new ideas will thus provide a major boost to smart city developments in Switzerland and thus contribute to further digitization in the public sector.

Es ist eine belebte Strassenszene mit Fussgänger*innen im Vordergrund zu sehen.
Swiss Smart Cities fördern innovative Pilotprojekte im Bereich Smartcity.

This project contributes to the following SDGs

  • 11: Sustainable cities and communities