UniBE Venture Fellowship

CHF 100,000 for young researchers to translate their scientific findings into innovative products and services.

A project aimed at creating a proof-of-concept for an innovative product or service and laying the entrepreneurial groundwork for successful implementation. Applications with a focus on basic research will not be considered.
Eligibility The applicant must hold a Master's or PhD degree. A research group leader from the University of Bern, Inselspital or the University Psychiatric Services must support the applicant. At the time of application, the spin-off company has not yet been established.
Funding amount
Max. CHF 100,000 per application. The Fellowship typically lasts 12 months.
The Venture Fellowship contribution can cover the following costs: Salary costs, material costs, travel and organizational costs, entrepreneurship trainings, intellectual property protection costs.

expected December 2024

There is usually one deadline each year.

What is goal of the UniBE Venture Fellowship?

The University of Bern aims to strengthen the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Bern and the lnselspital, University Hospital Bern, across all disciplines.

The goal of the UniBE Venture Fellowship is to promote the transfer of innovative research and teaching by means of innovative products or services into society and the economy and to support entrepreneurial young researchers. During the fellowship, the underlying research of the innovation is to be continued in order to validate the technical feasibility (proof-of-concept) and to prepare the commercialization accordingly.

What is supported?

The project must be focused on establishing a proof-of-concept with regard to the development of an innovative product or service, and creating the entrepreneurial foundations for successful implementation in society and the economy. Applications with a focus on basic research will not be considered.

The Fellowship includes a funding budget of CHF 100,000, which must not be exceeded. The employment is based in principle on 80% employment. The duration of the Fellowship is usually 12 months (might be shortened if necessary). With the contribution of the UniBe Venture Fellowship the following costs can be covered:

  • Salary costs (including social security contributions of the employer)
  • Material costs directly related to the implementation of the project
  • Costs for project-related travels and networking events
  • Expenses for recommended entrepreneurship training
  • Costs for the protection of intellectual property

How does it work?

  • MA and PhD applicants as well as applicants with a medical degree can submit their application up to 6 months before and no later than 12 months after the graduation date. Postdoctoral applicants and Assistant Physicians are also eligible to apply but would need to end the current employment contract before starting the Venture Fellowship.
  • The candidate must be supported and hosted by a Research Group Head at the University of Bern, the Inselspital or the University Psychiatric Services, who confirms that the Fellow receives access to the necessary infrastructure.
  • The application includes a detailed project description (in particular a description of the problem, the innovative aspect of the solution and the business model), a project plan, information on intellectual property issues (in particular on the question of patentability and, if applicable, the status of the patenting procedure) and a project budget.
  • The applicants may reach out to the advisors of the Innovation Office for support in preparing their UniBE Venture Fellowship application by contacting innovationoffice@unibe.ch.
  • The application must be submitted to the Innovation Office. The Innovation Office will provide the necessary forms. The Innovation Office will check whether the submitted applications are complete and meet the eligibility criteria in due time.
  • Applications that meet the formal criteria will be assessed and evaluated by the UniBE Venture Fellowship Jury. The evaluation will be based on the following criteria: Innovation potential, feasibility of the project, implementation plan, entrepreneurial potential of the applicant.
  • Rejected applications may be submitted a second time on the basis that substantial improvements have been made.
  • The exact rules and regulations can be found in the regulations (German) and in the guidelines.
  • Timeline
    Application deadline: 14 December 2023
    1st round jury deliberations: 25 January 2024 (based on application documents only)
    2nd round jury deliberations: 29 February 2024, with candidate’s presentation (Save-the-Date!)