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Extra funds requested to boost innovation

The cabinet is seeking an additional SFr60 million ($65.8 million) to promote innovative business projects in close cooperation with research institutes.

The economics ministry said the new funds are aimed at coping with the flood of requests submitted last year after it announced a stimulus package worth SFr100 million to help businesses suffering because of the strong franc.

The Commission for Technology and Innovation, which is responsible for disbursing the money, said it received more than 1,000 applications requesting a total of SFr530 million. Nearly 250 projects were awarded money, but more than 500 others could not even be assessed.

Parliament is expected to discuss the extra funds in its summer session.

The original stimulus package was approved by parliament last September.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR