6 Innovations Teams already funded in 2022


The Innovation Booster Living Labs for Decarbonisation is proud to announce the Innovation Teams that have been selected by our Innovation Committee throughout the start of 2022. A great launch that shows the development of our Innovation Booster.

6 Innovation Teams will receive funding to develop their ideas in energy efficiency, mobility, circular economy, and digitalisation. These Innovation Teams are all committed to co-designing solutions to impact decarbonisation in Switzerland. Discover the ideas selected for funding in this blog.


Sustainable Mountains supported by Red Lab

How can we support mountain destinations in their sustainability initiatives? How can we facilitate their transition to the tourism of tomorrow? What concrete actions should be taken and how can we ensure that they are communicated to the general public?

Sustainable Mountains is the Summit Foundation’s 3-year support programme for Swiss mountain lift companies aiming to achieve greater sustainability in mountain destinations. Participating companies engage in a process of analysis and implementation of concrete measures around a sustainability strategy.

Discover their website: https://www.summit-foundation.org/sustainable-mountains

Fresh Water Farms Europe supported by Living Lab Syntezia

The idea consists of the construction of an Aquaponic systems prototype of 40 m2 specifically designed to be adaptable to urban and peri-urban areas, promoting local economy, sustainability and decarbonization, saving high amounts of carbon emissions and avoiding transportation of seafood and agri-food over large distances. The project is now already a reality in Switzerland and to discover in Meyrin.

Smart Ski Resort supported by Novatlantis

Climate change and climate crisis: Ski resorts are also affected. A tipping point is needed for the decarbonization of ski resorts. Ski resorts have large infrastructure facilities. A big step would be taken if renewable, decentralized energy generation systems could be added to existing facilities.

Renewable energy generation can have many sources: Buildings, ski lifts, storage ponds, wastewater. The focus of this proposal is on the potential of water ponds. Using the design thinking approach of the Innovation Booster “Living Labs for Decarbonisation”, stakeholders are networked around potential energy generation options.

We have already funded 6 projects through our Innovation Committee in April. This makes us confident for our goal of 15 funded ideas by the end of 2022. This also reassures us of our desire to find radical ideas to decarbonize the future.

Fiona Zimmermann, Senior Academic Associate at HES-SO Valais-Wallis

Freespace supported by the Energy Living Lab

Redefining the mobility of a municipality or a state by using an adhoc open-source visual collective intelligence software that allows citizens and authorities to co-imagine the future together.

The idea is to create a case study in a village where authorities and citizens will create a decarbonized mobility network that will have many benefits in terms of social, economic and environmental dynamics, and then to encourage the duplication of these sustainable mobility networks until the electric shuttle operators understand that they benefit from future users and territories ready to welcome them. The new lake crossing will give the “spirit of Geneva” a Venetian touch and will be a good example of smart decarbonized mobility for international organizations and NGOs that value the city.

Automated carbon footprint of SMEs in French-speaking Switzerland supported by Red Lab

How to help Swiss SMEs to measure their carbon footprint? Carrying out an environmental assessment of one’s organisation (a carbon footprint) allows one to quantify and formalise its impact. This first stage of analysis is the basis for setting the right priorities and giving credibility to the entire approach, strategy, and communication. Although a strong dynamic exists among large companies, most SMEs are just beginning to ask themselves questions and realise that the transition to a sustainable economy will also concern them. Under the impetus of the SBTI (Science Based Targets Initiative), recently relayed and promoted by the Swiss Economy association, it is likely that SMEs will have to calculate their carbon footprint and put in place a sustainability strategy.

The solution is to provide Swiss SMEs with an automated dashboard of their carbon footprint. Much of the data needed to carry out a carbon footprint is already contained in the management systems of SMEs: invoices, personnel data, stock, purchasing, delivery, etc… This carbon footprint module would allow SMEs to easily access their carbon footprint, which would encourage them to initiate a sustainability strategy. WINBIZ would also like to make the specifications of this module available in open-source format, thus allowing any software solution provider to develop a similar module and improve the methodology.

Washing and reuse of glass bottles for wine producers supported by Red Lab

In the current context of climate change, winegrowing is facing two major challenges: adapting practices while mitigating the effects of climate change by reducing its carbon footprint. Swiss winegrowers are not immune to this reflection and wish to act from wine production to the packaging and shipping of their goods. In terms of the carbon impact of the wine sector, several studies show that glass packaging accounts for the largest share of it, i.e., around 30%. Indeed, the wine bottle itself, although recyclable, requires large amounts of energy to produce (the raw material is melted in furnaces reaching over 1600 degrees) and the same is true for recycling, which requires the collected glass to be remelted. The manufacture of glass thus consumes 15 times more energy than just washing a bottle.

Within the framework of this project, we wish to co-construct with the actors of the field a solution of bottle reuse. Globally, the environmental balance of washing is between 60% and 80% better than the balance of the production of a new bottle. Reusing the bottles would therefore reduce the environmental impact of a bottle of wine by about 20% (60% to 80% of 30%). As the carbon footprint is about 1.5 kgCO2 per bottle of wine, this would save about 300 g CO2 per bottle. As Switzerland consumes 90 million litres of wine per year, the generalized washing of bottles (of Swiss wine only) would allow a savings of 36’000 tons of CO2. The main challenges related to the implementation of a system are aspects of practicality, the diversity of bottle shapes, the lack of coordination between actors, the associated logistical constraints, and the initial investments. Moreover, it is a solution that is regularly imagined but rarely implemented. Co-constructing the solution with the different stakeholders and using a living lab approach seems relevant to imagine finding a viable solution.

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