AREA OF ACTIVTY «PILOT PROJECTS»

Free support vehicle: Highly innovative projects – since 1998


Despite following a support strategy based on areas of activity, Gebert Rüf Stiftung makes around 30 % of its funds available for supporting pilot projects (science and research at institutions of higher education). In principle, projects from all disciplines and from a very wide range of contexts are welcome, but they must satisfy the support criteria especially closely. They are therefore defined not on the basis of thematic or technical criteria, but strategic criteria.

Why pilot projects?


By pursuing a support strategy based on areas of activity, each of which is time-limited, Gebert Rüf Stiftung achieves a more sustainable impact than would be possible if the same resources were channeled into the kind of diversely scattered support typical of grant-making foundations. Despite this, within a certain framework the foundation wishes to be able to consider specific projects which stand out as particularly original, innovative, surprising or promising. Accordingly, through the pilot project support vehicle, the board of trustees exercises an «enlightened autocratic approach» unconstrained by narrow content criteria. This makes it possible to realize multiple small-scale beacon projects which break new ground and from which thematic areas of activity can be developed.

Criteria for pilot projects


  • Proven pilot nature
  • Highly innovative and original
  • Clear distinctive features
  • Suitable to serve as a model
  • Major potential
  • Start-up or initial funding

Selection of pilot projects


The available support budget is always exceeded many times over by the demand for funding. This means that at all levels of the submission process there needs to be a selection process based on the core project support criteria. At the very end, the board of trustees draws up a ranking list. Many projects inevitably have their applications for support from Gebert Rüf Stiftung turned down with the verdict «approved but not funded».

There can be no question of entertaining requests for re-examination or reconsideration of applications; no correspondence will be entered into on the subject of grant-making decisions.

Picture Credits Header

Christoph Läser Photograph AG Basel