Diseases and injuries can severely affect the functions of the central and peripheral nervous systems as well as the sensory organs. To develop novel therapeutic approaches – gene therapy, optogenetics, bioactive molecules, diagnostic tools, imaging techniques, or implants, among others – the Fondation Bertarelli has donated CHF 5 millions to create a Catalyst Fund.

This fund is designed to foster innovative research and the development of life-saving treatments for diseases (including rare diseases) affecting the brain, the spinal cord, the peripheral nervous system, and the sensory organs.

The third call for proposals of the Catalyst Fund is now open, with a deadline for applications on 30 June 2020 (extended from 19 May 2020).


  • Funding available for 2-year projects (CHF 300’000 per project);
  • Projects should focus on diagnostic procedures and/or therapeutic interventions (including basic research approaches) for diseases/disabilities affecting the central and peripheral nervous systems and the sensory organs;
  • Projects can be collaborative, involving two or more institutions or two or more research groups within the same institution;
  • A preference will be given to new projects.


  • Researchers employed by an academic institution in Western Switzerland (Bern, Fribourg, Geneva, Jura, Neuchâtel, Valais, Vaud);
  • Researchers employed by a Swiss/European academic institution outside Western Switzerland who submit a collaborative project with at least one applicant from an academic institution in Western Switzerland.


  • Projects should preferably be implemented at least in part at Campus Biotech, including the use of technological platforms;
  • Collaborative projects with an institution outside Western Switzerland must be implemented at least in part at Campus Biotech.

How to apply: On-line portal

More details: Please visit the Catalyst Fund website