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New models of collaboration – Culture and Business


Sylvain Gardel


Media enquiries

Pro Helvetia is testing new promotion models in the areas of design and interactive media. Swiss talents in these domains are among the best in the world, not least thanks to outstanding courses offered at universities. As a rule, however, creatively minded graduates cannot move on to traditional institutions such as museums or theatres. Instead, they need to take their productions directly to the market.

This calls for a new promotional strategy. The promotion models for design and interactive media launched by Pro Helvetia for the 2016-2020 period therefore aim to support projects not only in view of their artistic quality, but also with an eye on their innovation and market potential.

The measures and criteria involved are the following:

  • With a pilot programme called «Coordinated collaboration in design and interactive digital media» involving partners from the fields of innovation, business and cultural promotion, Pro Helvetia is initiating new support tools to help creative talents make their mark in the field. The tools are aligned to the various steps in the development of a new product – concept, prototype, production, marketing – and are applied by Pro Helvetia in a targeted fashion with the assistance of expert know-how and advice.
  • This enables talented Swiss practitioners to acquire the skills it takes to advance their projects with a focus on both quality and innovation. In most cases, they are then offered the backing required for a successful international marketing of their product.
  • The support tools are on offer for artistically and technologically innovative projects that also show sufficient market potential.

These measures have been developed by Pro Helvetia in accordance with the Swiss government’s cultural policy statement («Kulturbotschaft») 2016-2020.

Promotion model for design – focus on quality and innovation

Design Promotion

To the application guide

Discover our online platform addressed to the design industry in Switzerland


Design made in Switzerland stands for high quality, longevity and innovation. With this tradition in mind, Pro Helvetia has developed a new, four-step promotion model aiming to support the development and execution of top-notch projects in all branches of design. Talented Swiss practitioners in fields including fashion, product design, furniture, graphic and textile design are backed not only in the development, testing and implementation of their ideas, but also in the marketing of the resulting product.

Pro Helvetia thus provides support for promising projects and/or products at each stage of their evolution:

  • A concept grant helps designers create and visualise a concept.
  • A grant for the development of a prototype helps advance the project to the stage of completed prototype.
  • A production grant facilitates the realisation of an initial product.
  • A grant for extension of the project helps participants find distribution partners, expand collections and intensify marketing measures (from 2018).

Further support measures enable designers to take part in coaching and mentoring programmes and to present their work at trade fairs or exhibitions in Switzerland and abroad. Pro Helvetia implements these measures in cooperation with partners from the worlds of culture, innovation and business promotion as well as private sponsors and investors.

The measures described above are part of Pro Helvetia’s newly developed «Coordinated promotion of design and interactive digital media» programme.

Promotion model for interactive media – support for projects and international promotion

Discover our online platform addressed to the game industry in Switzerland


Pro Helvetia supports computer games, virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) and interactive comics, as well as any other form of digital content whose use requires a high level of interaction. The focus is primarily on high-quality and innovative projects with international potential that combine creativity, state-of-the-art technology and marketability.

Pro Helvetia offers the following forms of support:

  • Funding for development, production and distribution via an annual call for projects.
  • Support to enable individual participation of Swiss creatives in international trade fairs, upon request.
  • International promotion through delegations at international industry meetings such as Gamescom in Cologne, the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco or VR Days Europe in Amsterdam.
  • Promotion of initiatives in Switzerland that enhance the visibility and the competencies of local developers of digital worlds.
  • Support of events, including the Ludicious – Zürich Game Festival and the World VR Forum in Crans-Montana as well as hackathons, game jams, workshops and conferences. Priority is given to events that foster exchange among Swiss practitioners and help them gain international recognition.

Pro Helvetia has been promoting interactive digital media since 2010 and is thus one of the pioneers in the advancement of this young arts discipline. With its support programmes «GameCulture» and «Mobile – in touch with digital creation» it helped raise national and international awareness of the Swiss digital scene. In its support of interactive media developers, Pro Helvetia cooperates with partners from the worlds of culture, innovation and business promotion as well as private sponsors and investors.

The measures described above are part of Pro Helvetia’s newly developed «Coordinated promotion of design and interactive digital media» programme.


Sylvain Gardel


Media enquiries

As part of Pro Helvetia’s first interactive media initiatives (GameCulture, Mobile), digital creators have expressed a need for support in finding international business partners. Matchmaking, or the art of organising matches based on several criteria designed to identify affinity, is essential to promoting Swiss talent in an extremely competitive market. Since 2016, Pro Helvetia has been testing new support tools through its «Culture and Economy» programme to help creative talents establish themselves in the field.

Matchmaking am Designers’ Saturday

On the occasion Designers’ Saturday 2018, Design Switzerland organised active formats that at the same time connect young Swiss designers with potential partners in the industry and link them with established peers to learn from their experience. We asked 3 designers about the importance of connecting with partners to further develop their products and get them on the market.

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