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Our Projects - THE experience we share!

Since the foundation of the first research and innovation agency EUrelations AG in Switzerland, our team has been involved in building several hundred research consortia. As a result, we have been able to gain considerable knowledge and continuously acquire new methodological skills. Here are some interesting extracts from our work over the past 15 years:   



AcceleRare is the collaborative response of the Swiss research community to the National Rare Disease Policy. Our common goal is to use cutting-edge academic science and a unique project management structure to develop new drugs and therapies, while addressing related societal challenges. As AcceleRare, we apply as a National Centre of Competence in Research for a federal mandate to advance drug discovery for rare diseases.


Who are we?

AcceleRare is a Swiss academic research consortium of 28 research groups from 12 institutions, led by the University of Zurich, ETH Zurich, and the University of Geneva.

Why this collaboration?

Rare diseases, which affect around half a million people (mostly children and young adults) in Switzerland, pose an underestimated threat to human health. The challenge is to investigate these diseases, understand their mechanisms, and develop individual therapies. We apply state-of-the-art expertise and technologies to advance rare disease research in harmony with those affected.


AcceleRare’s mission

In December 2018, AcceleRare applied to the Swiss National Science Foundation for funding as a National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR). Upon initial evaluation by external experts, the proposal received excellent reviews and by now we have made it to the final stages of the selection procedure after another round of positive assessments and interviews. If AcceleRare gets approved, it will create a knowledge platform for rare disease research while strengthening (inter)national collaboration between researchers, pharmaceutical industry, and patient advocacy groups. We aim to:

  • Investigate disease mechanisms, develop new innovative treatments;

  • Accelerate clinical translation and technology transfer, including ethical, legal, and organisational aspects of rare disease research;

  • Stimulate knowledge exchange between multi-disciplinary academic research teams, pharmaceutical industry, and patient advocacy groups;

  • Provide cutting-edge education and training in a restructured research field



NCCR AcceleRare capitalizes on recent developments in personalized medicine, digitization, translational research, and health economics to address societal challenges resulting from rare diseases. Implementation of this NCCR will provide:

  • Novel insights in disease mechanisms, potentially relevant to common diseases;

  • Innovative drugs and treatments for rare disease patients;

  • Policy and decision-making concepts for societal challenges of rare diseases;

  • Effective knowledge transfer between academia, industry, and society;

  • Experts prepared for a career in academia, industry, or public service;

  • a world-leading position for Switzerland in rare disease research.


The AcceleRare network stimulates structural measures, translational & entrepreneurial initiatives, an education and training portfolio, integration into competence centres, and exchanges with patients and society. Together, this will ensure a long-lasting impact and turn Switzerland into a lighthouse for translational rare disease Research.


Want to learn more about AcceleRare ?


European Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence in ChiNA

2017-2020, 48 months

13 organisations supported by a network of 128 stakeholders


This project intends to set up the European Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence in ChiNA (ERICENA). The Centre itself will aim to promote European Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) interests in China by connecting and supporting European researchers and entrepreneurs.

It will also try to reinforce the leadership of European countries in STI in China by providing support-based services (networking, advice, training) and technology-related services to European researchers and entrepreneurs in China

ERICENA will connect and support European science, technology and innovation organisations with the Chinese market, providing a careful selection of STI related services to private and public clients in China, and simultaneously aim to be financially self-sustainable by the end of the project duration.


The project is divided into 4 stages

  • Initial Set-Up Stage (Month 1-12)

  • Pilot Stage (Month 13-24)

  • Full Operational Stage (Month 25-36)

  • Self Sustainable Stage (Month 37-48)

EUrelations AG contributed substantially to the preparation oft he successful proposal. In addition, we are an active research partner and will contribute significantly to the projects results.

Total Budget

3'589'000 €



Technology and Research Plus

2015-2018, 36 months

13 companies and universities from 9 countries

DRGAON-STARPLUS (follow-up project of DRAGON-STAR) shall build on the existing analyses, mappings and reports and broaden activities as well as deepen them. In line with the EC´s New Strategic Approach towards enhancing and focusing EU international cooperation in research and innovation the proposed follow-up project shall implement new measures in line with the proposed trends and strategic recommendations and contribute to supporting the identified instruments

The project aims to provide efficient services on three levels (priority areas):

  • To support the European and Chinese research communities to establish collaborations under Horizon 2020 and beyond

  • To provide a cooperation platform and tools to policy makers, aiming ultimately to support and enhance the bilateral cooperation, through the concept of mutual benefit

  • To provide an ERA-NET style platform to funding agencies for exchanging best practices and planning joint activities

Within this framework, DRAGON-STARPLUS has the following objectives:

  • To maintain the participation levels of Chinese Researchers in Horizon 2020 despite the ineligibility ofChinese participants for funding;

  • To increase the participation of Europeans in Chinese programs;

  • To provide a better knowledge base as guidance for further decisions by policy makers;

  • To contribute to a successful implementation of Joint calls (national and EU level);

  • To provide recommendations/input for future road maps (SFIC/EC);

  • To foster the policy dialogue and contribute to identify future priority areas, and new funding mechanisms;

  • To foster innovation cooperation and technology transfer between Europe and China.

EUrelations contributed substantially to the preparation of the successful proposal. In addition, we are an active research partner and will contribute significantly to the projects results.

Project website:

Total Budget: 

2'227'814 €



Technology and Research

2012-2015, 36 months

11 companies and universiteis from 6 countries

People’s Republic of China has the largest population in the world and occupies a position of geo-strategic importance. The Chinese S&T and innovation system is developing extremely fast and dynamically and China has become a major new actor in the global system for the production of knowledge.

The EC-China S&T Cooperation Agreement was first signed in 1998. Today – 15 years later – the Sino-European cooperation shows growing dynamism as is demonstrated by the growing numbers of participations of Chinese partners in cooperative research projects.

However, there is still work to be done in terms of the reciprocity in the bilateral cooperation, in dealing with specific societal challenges and by establishing broader research collaboration beyond the framework programs.

Dragon-STAR will support the Sino-European collaboration at 4 levels:

  • Supporting the quantity and quality of the Chinese participation in the Framework Programs

  • Supporting the reciprocity originating from the signed EU-China Scientific Cooperation Agreement

  • Supporting the bilateral cooperation in the broader field of innovation and especially the technological cooperation between industrial players.

  • Supporting the ongoing bilateral Scientific Cooperation dialogue with studies and reports.

EUrelations contributed substantially to the preparation of the successful proposal. In addition, we are an active research partner and will contribute significantly to the projects results.

Project website:

Total Budget: 

1'799'181 €


Key Performance Factor Assessment and Valorisation for Successful EU-Project Participation of innovative SMEs in the Area of Health

2008-2011, 36 months

7 companies and universities from 6 countries 

What are the key factors for a successful participation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in EU-funded research projects? The KAPPA-Health projects tried to answer this question, in particular for SMEs in the health domain. The ten most important factors have been identified within this study by means of questionnaires and interviews with the most successful SMEs.

In addition, the KAPPA-Health project supported SMEs in the acquisition of additional funding, from public research programmes as well as from private investors. The project team included seven participants - five of of them are SMEs themselves - and was coordinated by the Belgium SME Euro Top. The consortium complemented each other ideally with their knowledge in the area of Framework Programmes, managerial issues, financial market and awareness of the challenges that SMEs are facing in their perspective of achieving commercial success out of their research results.

Download here the KAPPA-Health report “The Voice of Biomedical SMEs: Performance Factors in Moving from Research to Market” and learn more about the results of the study.

EUrelations contributed substantially to the development of the project idea and the preparation of the successful proposal. EUrelations itself was partner in the project and leader of two work packages.

Read more about the project and the outcomes: 


Total Budget:

829'163 €


Sunflower: Sustainable Novel Flexible Organic Watts Efficiently Reliable

2011-2015, 48 months

17 companies and universities from 7 countries

SUNFLOWER is a collaborative research project of 17 partner institutions from science and industry. It is coordinated by the Swiss Research Centre CSEM and its goal is the development of highly efficient, long-lasting, cheap and environmentally friendly printed organic photovoltaic cells.

As a result of increasing prosperity more and more countries need more energy. The growth of the traditional industrial countries is based largely on energy from fossil fuels. But it is well known how much they pollute our planet.

That’s the reason why research in the area of alternative energy sources, as for instance solar energy, is strongly supported by the European Commission. Within the SUNFLOWER project, the consortium wants to make a significant contribution to the improvement of solar cells and helps to make them more efficient, thin, small and favourable.

EUrelations AG supported the coordinator, the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) in coordinating and managing the project.We were also responsible for the design of the website, and other marketing material to disseminate the results.

Learn more about the current project news under

Total Budget:

14'184'476 €


Funding Forum - 1st internationale Conference on Funding for Research & Innovation

12 & 13 June 2009

Cooperation Partners: KAPPA Health (FP7-Project), CTI (now InnoSuisse), Swiss National Science Foundation, and many partners form EU countries.

Where can I apply for third-party funds? Which regulations do I have to follow? And how is the procedure of such projects? These and other questions have been addressed during the international Funding Forum on 12th and 13th of June 2009.

The two-day event was held in Zurich and was a great success. More than 100 participants from the research community as well as high-tech and manufacturing SMEs took part.

The first day gave visitors an overview of the largest funding opportunities for research. The most important funding initiatives were on-site and informed about their objectives. On the second day, specific workshops were held on various topics of research funding. Well-known experts from all over Europe provided practical insights and prepared helpful guides and tools with the participants for their everyday work.

EUrelations AG conceptualised, organised and realised the whole conference. Despite to the economic crisis in 2009 all sponsors withdraw before the forum. EUrelations had to cover the depts of about 30'000 € by own budget. 

Ten years later, in 2019, EUrelations with partners form EU countries and China re-launched the Funding Forum in Brussels. On 5.-6. October 2020 the Forum should be organised in Budapest. 

See short film: 

Total Budget:

150'000 €


The FUture of FUlly integrated human exposure assessment of chemicals: Ensuring the long-term viability and technology transfer of the EU-FUNded 2-FUN tools as standardised solution

2012-2015, 36 months

14 companies and universities from 9 countries

The assessment of risks to human health from chemicals is of major concern for politics and industry and ultimately benefits all citizens. In this process, exposure assessment is generally considered to be the weakest point, as currently available tools show major flaws.

To overcome the drawbacks, the FP6 project 2-FUN produced prototype software containing a library of models for exposure assessment, coupling environmental multimedia and pharmacokinetic models.

The 4FUN-project will now demonstrate, innovate and exploit this prototype software, to standardise it, to transfer it to stakeholders and guarantee its long term technical and economic viability.

EUrelations contributed substantially to the preparation of the successful proposal. EUrelations itself is partner in the project and supports the management.

Read more on project website:

Total Budget:

3'253'027 €


Entrepreneurship for Better Business in Europe

2011-2014, 36 months

6 companies and universities from 5 countries

In this world of downsizing, restructuring and technological change, traditional careers are being challenged. People increasingly depend on their own initiatives to realize success. This situation underpins the B-Innovative project which aims to encourage people to take the decision to ‘start their own business’.

Young entrepreneurs have been identified as contributors for the reduction of unemployment. However, they face multiple barriers such as poor access to comprehensive support packages.

B-Innovative is based around the background IPR of the "Basics of Building a Business Lectures" series developed and delivered at the University of Bedfordshire, United Kingdom. The lectures have been running since 2005 with over a thousand participants from student groups and the local community. The original content and format of the B3 Lectures will be re-developed for a European audience.

The programme will be delivered over three years by successful business people in five European countries guiding participants through the essential stages of starting and growing a business. 

EUrelations AG contributed substantially to the preparation of the successful proposal. EUrelations itself is partner in the project and responsible for the workshops in Switzerland.

Total Budget:

399'612 €


Enhancing Access & Services To East European users towards an efficient and coordinated pan-European pool of NMR capacities to enable global collaborative research and boost tech. advancements

2009-2013, 48 months

21 companies and universities from 16 countries

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is a key technology for research in the modern Life Sciences, with an increasing impact on human health. This technology is unique in new areas of molecular systems biology providing detailed insight into protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions.

Europe has traditionally enjoyed a leadership role in NMR, but to maintain this position in the face of increasing international competition, scientific and technological capabilities throughout the EU must be fully exploited.

The EAST-NMR project responds to exactly this challenge. The project which is funded under the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) connects 21 partners and is coordinated by the Johan Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt. It provides access for scientist all over the world to NMR facilities stationed in Eastern Europe. It therefore relies on experiences made during another EU projects (EU-NMR). Furthermore, scientists from Eastern Europe are trained and educated with regard to the potential and use of NMR technology. Also, the project aims to make further progress in the sample preparation technologies especially of difficult to tackle membrane proteins through joint research activities.

See short film on:

Total Budget:

3'856'239 €


2007-2009, 36 months

9 companies and universities form 7 countries

CAPPELLA: Combating cancer through novel approaches to protein-protein interaction inhibitor libraries

The CAPPELLA project was funded under the 6th Framework Programme for Reseach and Technological Development (FP6). The consortium with nine partners has been coordinated by the SME Evolva SA. The aim of the project was to develop a series of innovative small-ligand tools and libraries that allow new approaches to the inhibition of protein-protein interactions (PPI) in cancer.

The inhibition of PPI is one of the most promising approaches to the development of novel cancer therapies. Because many PPI occur within the cell they can only be targeted by small molecules. But because PPI differ structurally from more classic drug targets, such as enzymes and receptors, existing compounds have generally delivered disappointing results.

During the project, the consortium has developed functional assays for three chosen cancer targets. CAPPELLA was a unique opportunity to integrate novel in-silico, chemical, genetic and ADME-based approaches in the design, synthesis and optimization of libraries and compounds. At the end of the project, researchers were able to identify six new compound families acting on the three targets.

Read here the final report of the projet and learn more about the research results.

EUrelations contributed substantially to the preparation of the successful proposal. EUrelations supported the coordinator during the project.

Total Budget:

4'914'700 €


2010-2014, 48 months

9 companies and universities from 6 countries

High resolution tools to understand the functional role of protein intrinsic disorder

Recent research has shown that a large share of proteins gains functional advantages by remaining natively unstructured. This challenges well-established concepts in structural biology. In this frame, NMR plays a strategic role (see also EAST-NMR). The highly dynamical properties of such “intrinsically disordered proteins” are characterised in atomic resolution and the possible reorganisation by interaction with partners in their environment is followed.

The IDPbyNMR project aims to establish a framework to train a new generation of young researchers in this emerging area. The network offers a multidisciplinary training programme as to transfer not only know-how in the scientific field but also in complementary skills, like e.g. project management and intellectual property rights. Nowadays, scientific excellent is not sufficient to compete, Complementary Skills are indispensable to succeed.

The project is funded under the Marie Curie programme of the European Commission and coordinated by the CERM Magnetic Resonance Center in Florence.

Learn more about the different workshops and the project in general under

EUrelations contributed substantially to the preparation of the successful proposal. In the project EUrelations acts as associated partner, provides project training courses in complementary skills and fulfils dissemination activities.

See YouTube channel: 

Long term result (too many to be listed): 

- Former PhD student Dr. Pryjanka Joshi at project partner Cambridge University/UK was  listed in the Forbes "30 under 30" list of innovators in science and healthcare and the Vogue 25 list of influential women (researchers) in Britain.

- ...

Total Budget:

3'431'831 €


2007-2012, 66 months

20 companies and universities from 13 countries

Applied venomics of the cone snail species Conus consors for the accelerated, cheaper, safer and more ethical production of innovative biomedical drugs

CONCO was a European FP6 project with twenty partners, coordinated by the Geneva Biotech-SME Atheris Laboratories. The project explored the natural peptides of cone snails (Conus Consors) and tried to develop new drugs out of them.

Just like certain insects, arachnids and frogs, the cone snails produce numerous toxins. Cone snails, which hide in gorgeous shells, shoot their prey with arrows. The toxin does not only paralyse the prey, but also protects the snail from natural enemies.

CONCO aimed to characterise the bioactive compounds – from the genome to the point of a potential therapeutic property. The genome, the transcriptome and the proteome of Conus Consors and other related species were researched. The venomous animals analysed and put in proteomic studies. The biological activity of the obtained libraries was tested for its therapeutic potential and the active molecules optimised and approved in in vitro and in vivo models.

But the project not only served science. A major goal of CONCO was also to inform the public and therefore preserve biodiversity.

A 52 minutes documentary has been produced by ARTE TV to take you in the world of cone snails and the CONCO project. 

See film:

EUrelations contributed substantially to the preparation of the successful proposal. EUrelations itself was partner in the project, supported the management and fulfilled certain dissemination activities. 

The coordinator did not pay the last million to the partners (including EUrelations). He was convicted in absentia by a court in Geneva. His company, Atheris Laboratories, was dissolved. We did our best to organize help - also from the EU Commission - to limit the damage. 

Long term result:

- Former PhD student Priit Palta could go for a secondment from  Tartu University to partner Craig Venter Institute (as discribed and budgeted by EUrel in the proposal). He then worked at Wellcome Sanger Institute and now has become a teaching professor and entrepreneur at University of Helsinki


15'619'954 €


SLIC-Biosensors in molecular diagnostics: nanotechnology for the analysis of species-specific microbial transcripts

2005-2007, 36 months

6 companies and univiersities from 4 countries

SLIC was funded by the 6th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP6) and was one of the first projects coordinated by a Swiss partner. The Geneva SME Ayanda Biosystems S.A. guided the six partners through the project. The aim was to develop a biosensor-based device for molecular diagnostics for application in clinical microbiology.

Until then, the technologies had either technical limitations, were expensive or required high skilled personnel and heavy infrastructure. Especially in developing countries this is a serious issue. The developed chip is able to recognise, identify and quantify the bacteria on one single device. The consortium has filed in a patent.

Read more about the project results in the final report.

EUrelations contributed substantially to the preparation of the successful proposal. Further, EUrelations was a partner in the project, supported the management and fulfilled certain dissemination activities.

Long term result:

- Former PhD student in the SLIC Project, Dr. Paul Vulto co-founded Mimetas (the organ-on-a-chip company)  with the knowledge and the entrepreneurial spirit he gained in the project. 

- Former PhD student, Dr. Sven Parkel, became high skilled research manager and entrepreneur in Tartu Biotechnology Park. He mortivates and supports very many bio ventures. 

- The former coordinator and entrepreneur, Dr. Solomzi Makohliso,  has become deputy director of EPFL Essential Tech and supports Technology Innovation for Development, Humanitarian Action and the Promotion of Peace. 

Total Budget: 

2'380'000 €


CSI-LTB: The role of chromosome stability in persistence, latency and reactivation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

2007-2009, 30 months

5 companies and universities from 4 countries

Tuberculosis causes more deaths than almost any other infectious agent. One-third of the world’s population is latently infected with the causative agent, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. To develop new drugs against tuberculosis, more knowledge about the biology of the pathogen and its persistence in the human host is needed.

Within the EU FP6 project CSI-LTB five partners from Europe and India have studied the mechanisms of DNA repair and genome integrity in M. tuberculosis. The project has been coordinated by Prof. Erik C. Böttger from the University of Zurich.

The studies conducted within CSI-LTB have greatly contributed to the knowledge of mechanisms involved in mycobacterial chromosome stability. The insights gained have been made available to the public and the scientific community by more than 15 publications.

With the work conducted, a novel strategy for therapies has been developed. This is expected to be of general use both to shorten the time period required to treat active disease and to eradicate latent tuberculosis.

Learn more about the scientific results in the final report.

EUrelations contributed substantially to the preparation of the successful proposal, was a partner in the project, supported the management and fulfilled certain dissemination activities.

Total Budget: 

1'252'000 €


TB-Drug: A SME-STREP for Tuberculosis Drug Development

2006-2009, 36 months

5 companies and universities from 4 countries

Tuberculosis causes nearly two million deaths globally per year and has a devastating impact on developing countries. The disease kills more than 50% of the infected patients. The situation is getting worse due to growing resistance of mycobacterial strains to existing drugs and ever increasing human migration. These facts implicate the need for more efficient means of therapy both to reduce the number of deaths caused by tuberculosis and to allow more effective treatment of drug-resistant infections.

TBDRUG was funded under the 6th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development with nearly two million € and teamed up five partners from four different countries. It aimed to establish an integrated drug discovery and development process to save the lives of thousands of infected individuals around the globe. The main goal of the project was to find new lead compounds suitable for drug development against several new targets of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

At the end of the project, the consortium coordinated by the Hungarian SME Vichem Chemie Research Ltd. identified three promising lead candidates and is still working on them.

Read the final report of the project for more information.

EUrelations contributed substantially to the preparation of the successful proposal. Further, EUrelations was a partner in the project, supported the management and fulfilled certain dissemination activities.

Total Budget: 

3'374'857 €

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