The Pilot and Demonstration programme provides support for innovative projects that indicate high energy efficiency potential, increase the use of renewable forms of energy or create another benefit for the energy system in accordance with the objectives of Energy Strategy 2050. Projects have to fulfil the criteria for support from the Pilot and Demonstration programme.
Pilot and demonstration projects are primarily distinguished by the status of development of the technology concerned. While pilot projects are in an earlier phase of development and mostly focus on sub-systems, demonstration projects are more advanced and are normally implemented at a scale of 1:1.
A flagship project is a demonstration project that draws attention to new, groundbreaking concepts and technologies and supports dialogue on energy among the general population. The SFOE decides whether to classify a project as a flagship project based on its evaluation of the application. The decision by the SFOE is based on its assessment whether the project has high strategic relevance, has the potential to attract widespread interest and can be readily communicated to the population.
Applicants are required to complete and submit the two official forms, “Gesuch um Finanzhilfe – Energieforschungsprogramme und Pilot- und Demonstrationsprogramm (bottom up)” (Application for financial support – Energy research programmes and Pilot and Demonstration programme [bottom up]) and “Finanzbeiblatt zu Projektkosten, Finanzierung und NAM” (Financial details: project costs, financing and non-amortisable additional costs), plus any additionally requested documentation. This means that those parties that are exclusively involved in the financing of the project have to provide a written confirmation or declaration of intent stating the envisaged amount of the financing. If financial support exceeding one million Swiss francs is applied for from the SFOE, the most recent annual and audit reports of all participants in the project must be submitted.
The non-amortisable additional costs of a given project correspond to the costs that arise for the implementation of the project in comparison with the costs of a conventional solution and which cannot be amortised over the useful life of the realised facility or solution. This means they represent the uneconomical parts of the project. Typical recoverable costs encompass expenditure for development, testing, dissemination, etc. For investment costs it is normally the additional expenditure for planning and implementation of the system compared with the use of conventional technologies that is calculated, while any additional earnings or savings have to be deducted. Examples of how to calculate non-amortisable additional costs can help you calculate the non-amortisable additional costs.
The financial support provided by the SFOE for pilot and demonstration projects is limited to 40% (in exceptional cases, 60%) of the non-amortisable additional costs. For the purpose of specifying the amount of financial support the SFOE takes account of the nature of the project, its proximity to the market and its potential for attracting national interest.
Private (e.g. small to medium-sized) companies, as well as research institutions and/or public-sector organisations can be eligible to receive financial support from the Pilot and Demonstration programme. Projects of administrative units of the federal government are not permitted to receive financial support from the programme.
Subsidies are not classified as remuneration and are therefore not subject to value-added tax (VAT). Detailed information about VAT can be found under VAT information 05 and VAT sector information 25 on the website of the Federal Tax Administration. Questions concerning value-added tax should be addressed directly to the VAT Section. Information is legally bind-ing for the enquiring person subject to tax as well as for the Federal Tax Administration.
The findings obtained from the project are made accessible to the general public and other interested parties in that the main project data and reports (interim and final reports) are posted on the ARAMIS federal platform for research projects.
The project has to be implemented in accordance with the description provided in the application for support. Major changes may only be made with the prior consent of the SFOE. Any such changes will then be defined in an addendum to the agreement. It is therefore important to inform the relevant project support personnel without delay about any problems, delays or other changes. Applications to make changes to a project may be made without formalities. They should include all relevant information concerning the reasons, impacts and countermeasures for the adaptations.
Approximately 2 months before the contractually agreed conclusion of the project a draft version of a comprehensive final report has to be submitted, together with a detailed financial report. The latter must cite all effective costs that have been directly incurred in connection with the implementation of the project (fees, material costs, etc.). The SFOE determines the definitive amount of the non-amortisable additional costs and the amount of the financial contribution on the basis of the effective project costs as per the financial report. The invoice for the payment can be submitted once the final report and financial report have been approved and the SFOE has specified the definitive amount of the financial contribution.
The templates provided by the SFOE should be used for preparing the financial and final reports.
The templates provided by the SFOE should be used for preparing interim and final reports (as of the deadlines specified in the subsidisation agreement). Interim reports mainly focus on the tasks that have been carried out and contain a description of the project, the provisional findings and an assessment thereof, plus a description of the next steps. By contrast, the final report primarily focuses on a qualification of the project (major findings, benefits and value-added, recommendations, future implementation, etc.), and contains information regarding the project content, methodologies, findings and conclusions. Project reports are published on the ARAMIS federal platform for research projects.