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On behalf of innovative Swiss design

This year the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia launched a new promotional strategy: it supports Projects from young designers, ranging from the initial idea up to market maturity. The call for applications sought out projects uniting creativity and quality with utility and market potential. Of the fifty-six projects submitted, eighteen were selected for targeted support on different levels, from the concept to the marketing of the final products.

Seeking to strengthen the link between creation and the market is the goal of Pro Helvetia’s new promotional strategy on behalf of a wide array of professional projects in all design disciplines. Our first call for projects met a great response: a total of 56 projects — from fashion to furniture and from product to industrial design — were submitted and evaluated by a jury in a two-step process. The jury was impressed by both the wide range and the high quality of the projects.

Eighteen projects were chosen to be promoted at various levels of the value chain: during the initial concept phase, for the development of a prototype, at the production or marketing level. This ensures giving a chance to both lesser-known designers as well as already established studios. The latter include the Ottolinger fashion label from Stein (SG) and the Geneva-based accessories label WORN. Moreover, the chosen designers can profit from coaching and mentoring sessions, and will have the opportunity to present their products at fairs in Switzerland and abroad. The grants allocated in the first year of this new promotional strategy amount to a total of CHF 300’000.-

Focus in the Federal cultural policy statement

The promotion of design is a focal point of the «Coordinated promotion of design and interactive digital media («Culture and Business»)» model, which has been developed in accordance with the Swiss government’s cultural policy statement 2016-2020. This special focus is aimed, by the means of calls for projects, not only at designers, but also at creative players in the realm of interactive media. Both branches require targeted funding, since young creative minds graduating from universities lack an institutional backing to assert themselves on the international market. In the words of jury member Walter Stulzer, founder of  Futureworks and expert at Innosuisse, the Swiss Innovation Agency: «The new funding model is a big step forward. Now it will take time and continuity to develop its full potential.”

Jury members

The jury covered diverse design disciplines as well as other fields such as marketing, promotion of innovation or engineering. This year’s jury members were: Yannick Aellen, founder of Mode Suisse, Zürich; Matali Crasset, industrial designer and lecturer at HEAD, Paris (president of the jury), Frédéric Dedelley, designer, Zürich; Elmar Mock, Swatch cofounder, Creaholic founder and serial entrepreneur, Biel; Chantal Prod’Hom, Director of mudac, Lausanne; Renato di Rubbo, Chief Marketing Officer Franke Group Aarburg; Walter Stulzer, founder of Futureworks and expert at Innosuisse, Schweizer Agentur für Innovationsförderung (Swiss Innovation Agency), Zürich.

The following 18 projects receive a grant:

Concept grant:

  • Isabel Bürgin, Laura Endtner, «3D FLAX TOWEL», [Basel]
  • Leon Laskowski, Jérôme Rütsche, «Kraftplex – weiterführende Recherche», [Bern]
  • Sebastian Marbacher. «Neue Materialkombination bei Sitzmöbeln», [Basel]
  • Arno Mathies, «Table Scapes», [Genève]

Grant for the development of a prototype:

  • Christa Bösch, Cosima Gadient / Ottolinger, «Ottolinger Herbst/Winter-Kollektion 2018», Stein/SG
  • Diiis Designstudio GmbH, «RUDI the side table», [Liestal]
  • Florian Hauswirth Industrial Craft, «Feuille lamp collection», [Biel]
  • Rafael Kouto, «all the nothing that will remain», [Losone]
  • MDK – Miranda Kaloudis, «Funktionale Jackenkollektion», [Zürich]
  • Giulio Parini, «Glass Type», [Paris/ Lugano]
  • Hanno Schwab, «Earlybird OWASHI», [Bern]
  • Amihan Zemp / Coltrane, «Coltrane AW18 Collection: Love and the Weather», [Zürich]

Production grant:

  • Velt GmbH, «Do the rounds – Leather bags of good conscience», [Uster/ZH]

Project expansion grant:

  • kollektiv vier design studio GmbH, «product line», [Basel]
  • Julian Zigerli, «AW18 Thumbs Up», [Zürich]
  • dukta GmbH, «dukta – flexible wood, [Zürich]
  • Alain Schibli, «Makerball, [Aarau]
  • Brofam Sarl/WORN, «Expansion of the brand WORN on international markets», [Genève]

Press kit with a description of five selected projects and photos : https://datatransfer.prohelvetia.ch/#/public/shares-downloads/5JfGRLypEjrBTrsS8olphSOTDQDvYE9i

Media contact: Lisa Stadler, Kommunikation
Tel. +41 44 267 71 51 , lstadler@prohelvetia.ch

Media release of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, 30.11.2017

Upcoming maintenance work

The application portal myprohelvetia will be updated from 1.1.-7.1.2024. Due to these changes, open applications must be finalized and submitted via the current online portal (myprohelvetia.ch) by the latest 23:59 on 31 December 2023. Until this date, the deadlines and criteria outlined in the current guidelines and calls for applications apply. New applications can be created and submitted in the application portal as of 8 January 2024.