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This is Challenge-Driven Innovation

Challenge-Driven Innovation, CDI, is an effort on collaborative projects that, in the long term, works to solve societal challenges to contribute to the sustainability goals of Agenda 2030. It is you who are seeking funding that defines the societal challenge. You also need to describe your innovation and which actors that must work together to succeed in introducing and spreading the innovation. For example, the projects we fund deals with solving difficult societal challenges such as the climate crisis, the development of sustainable cities and transport systems, antibiotic resistance and social vulnerability.

In CDI, we are looking for projects which through broad collaboration seek to find solutions to address the major global challenges facing societies today. It addresses challenges such as the climate crisis and the transition to renewable energy, sustainable consumption and production, but also good health for everyone, and reduced inequality and social vulnerability. 

Agenda 2030 as a catalyst for innovation

The projects must be clearly based on the societal challenges addressed in Agenda 2030 and the solutions developed must also contribute in a substantial way to achieving the goals of the agenda. The solutions must be novel and have international appeal as well as great potential for contributing to sustainable growth and societal benefits. Gender equality is also an important aspect in terms of the project’s participants, the implementation and the design of the solutions. 

Who can apply for grants, and for what?

CDI Stage 1 initiation is intended for groups of at least three participants, and applicants from all sectors and industries are welcome.

You must have identified innovative solutions to a complex societal challenge within Agenda 2030. You are committed to working together to initiate a project in order for the solutions to develop. The solutions developed must contribute to achieving the sustainability goals of the agenda.

The project must focus on the development of your idea for novel solutions and lead to a plan for how these ideas will be realized and used. Other important activities include producing a more detailed needs analysis and seeking collaborations with more participants.

Funding in three stages

In CDI, projects can receive funding in three stages: initiation, collaboration project and implementation. To enable projects to work in the long term to solve complex societal challenges, we grant larger sums in stages 2 and 3. 

  • In Stage 1- Initiation there is a focus on developing your idea and planning how it will be realized and used. In the first stage, the project can apply for a maximum SEK 500.000.
  • In Stage 2 - Collaboration project, collaboration between the participants and solutions or partial solutions is developed and tested. In the second stage, the project can apply for a maximum SEK 10 million.
  • Stage 3 - Implementation is about testing the solutions in a real environment and implementing and disseminating the results. In the third and final stage, the project can apply for a maximum SEK 20 million.

In order to apply to the next stage, the project must have been completed and approved in the previous stage. New projects begin in stage 1.

Our vision

Vinnova's vision is that the Challenge-Driven Innovation program will be a powerful tool for developing new sustainable solutions with international luminosity that meet important challenges identified in the framework of Agenda 2030. By doing so, the program is an important and unique component of Swedish growth - and the innovation engine.

The projects that are financed are visionary, challenge existing mental models and meet systemic issues. The issues are characterized by being cross-border and require a cross-disciplinary approach. Results that are developed lead to a more sustainable society and help to solve the challenges defined in Agenda 2030.


If you have questions about Challenge-driven innovation, you are welcome to contact us.

Last updated 7 March 2022

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