The Swiss Plant Science Web (SPSW) project was initiated by Professor Thomas Boller (University of Basel) and the Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center. In collaboration with the universities of Neuchâtel, Lausanne and Geneva they submitted a funding proposal to the Rectors’ Conference of the Swiss Universities CRUS (relaunched as swissuniversities in 2015). Since on behalf of the Swiss University Conference (SUC), CRUS had launched a call for innovation and cooperation projects aiming to maintain academic quality at Swiss Universities.

In June 2009 the Swiss Plant Science Web (SPSW) project was selected among seventeen submitted proposals as one of six innovation projects. The SPSW project received funding to establish a national network in plant sciences at universities in Switzerland.