The charter of Gebert Rüf Stiftung founded in 1997 states the purpose article as «promoting Switzerland as a place to live and do business». It has an annual grant budget of around 15 million Swiss francs. The mission statement of the foundation provides support for new approaches and selected junior scientists in the so-called valley of death. In line with the support criteria, a project must be impact-oriented and of a high caliber if it is to be eligible. Gebert Rüf Stiftung is not an operating foundation that exclusively maintains its own projects, but is above all a grant-making foundation which actively shapes and enables.
Gebert Rüf Stiftung does not wish to simply finance existing and tested activities, to replace discontinued funding from government or private sources or to provide residual financing. Neither does the foundation award educational scholarships. It is far more committed to providing project-related start-up financing and to funding projects with seminal or keystone potential; i.e. initiatives which can be a critical factor triggering broader impact. The foundation aims to use its limited resources as a form of risk financing subject to on-going evaluation, to provide a platform for pioneering approaches and help get novel pilot projects off the ground.
Promoting tomorrow's talents today
Taking advantage of its special position as a private, non-institutional and politically independent organization, Gebert Rüf Stiftung finances and supports educational and research projects with outstanding pioneering potential. It is not intended as a source of funding for projects that aim to optimize existing approaches following the «faster, higher, better, more precise» mode. The focus is on ambitious initiatives led by scientific project managers who are committed and eager to effect change.
Shaping the future
Gebert Rüf Stiftung intends to provide groundbreaking, fresh impetus to science and society. For this reason, the foundation places top priority on synergizing and networking individual projects, which are in turn anchored to specific areas of activity. In order to achieve this, the Foundation employs its resources in a flexible yet focused manner. Its aim is neither long-term nor serial financing of projects, and support for its areas of activity is provided for a limited time only. Gebert Rüf Stiftung sees itself not as a mere sponsor or distributor of funds, but as a partner and an active member of the project team. Thus, conventional grant allocation goes hand-in-hand with strategic and effective action.