NRP 73 is the first National Research Programme that takes account of all natural resources and stages of the value chain, and adopts a holistic view of the environment, the economy and society.

All human activity goes hand in hand with the use of goods and services derived from natural resources. But the regeneration capacity of natural resources is limited and they are becoming increasingly scarce. A sustainable economy considers the potential scarcity of non-renewable resources and the regeneration capacity of renewable resources. At the same time, a sustainable economy pursues economic competitiveness and social welfare. NRP 73 will lead to greater knowledge that is useful for decision-making and planning for a sustainable economy.

Expanding the knowledge base

NRP 73 focuses on expanding existing knowledge about the use and dependence of Switzerland on resources. Research projects need to ensure international comparability and consistency as well as consider the insights and data already available today.

Opportunities and risks

A sustainable economy entails risks and opportunities - for producers and consumers as well as for different sectors and the Swiss economy as a whole. NRP 73 analyses the potential and estimates the costs and benefits of a sustainable economy.

Measures and instruments

If the use of resources is to be decoupled from economic activities and social welfare, we need technological change as well as adequate political framework conditions and the introduction of economical instruments. NRP 73 explores the efficiency and impact of various measures and how they could be combined.

Enterprise applications

The development and distribution of innovative products and services as well as clean technologies can offer a competitive advantage. In collaboration with enterprises or groups of enterprises, pilot projects will apply and test scientific insights by transferring them to concrete applications.

The Federal Council mandated the Swiss National Science Foundation to carry out the programme on 23 March 2016. A total budget of CHF 20 million has been made available for NRP 73 for 5 years of research. Projects are expected to start in the second half of 2017.

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