The focus of the third call for proposals is on critical infrastructures, such as power plants, dams and the power grid. The research challenges are:
- How does the restructuring of the energy system affect critical infrastructures?
- How vulnerable is the energy system to technical, natural or societal hazards?
- What can be done to mitigate the risks for the energy system and society and make the energy system more resilient?
The term 'energy system' here refers to the evolving system in the period from 2021 to 2050. This also addresses hazards or risks resulting from increased decentralisation of the power supply and digitalisation of the energy system (cyber risks). Of particular interest are hazards which are caused or exacerbated by climate change.
The 2020 national risk analysis by the Federal Office for Civil Protection (FOCP) found that two of the top ten risks were related to the energy system. This third call for proposals was therefore prepared in close collaboration with the FOCP and the National Centre for Climate Services (NCCS) and is, in fact, a joint undertaking with the NCCS.
The call will be conducted in two stages. Research consortia from universities, non-profit research institutions, the private sector and the public sector can submit a pre-proposal by 3 December 2021. The two consortia with the highest-ranking pre-proposals will be invited to submit a full proposal. At the end of the process one consortium will be selected. The call budget of CHF 10 million will be awarded for a term of 6 to 8 years. The results of the third call are expected to be announced in July 2022, and the research work is scheduled to start in October 2022.
Details of the entry conditions are set out in the 'Call Guideline':