Bridging the gap to innovation, 2013–2018

The DesignPlus program is no longer being run as an independent area of activity, but has continued under the «InnoBooster» support vehicle since September 2018. From 2013 to 2018, Gebert Rüf Stiftung supported applied research projects which incorporated design into an early phase of product development. By integrating DesignPlus into the «InnoBooster» program, the focus of funding is directed at university-based business projects that can accelerate market entry with additional product-centric design know-how.

Objective achieved: New interfaces in place

The objective of the «DesignPlus» (2013 to 2018) area of activity was to reinforce the importance of incorporating design knowledge and methods as an integral part of specialist scientists' work as early as possible. Initial interfaces between design, research and innovation were created with the funded projects.

This provided Gebert Rüf Stiftung with a basis to further sharpen its focus and its management of the funding gap. To combine design with technology where the benefit is greatest, product-specific inputs from a design perspective are now supported under the «InnoBooster» program, shifting the accent to university-based business projects already in Venture Kick stage 1.

Previous DesignPlus funding took the form of complementary funding that specifically enabled cooperation between scientists and designers with all the related budget implications. Small projects with a short duration and a budget of up to CHF 50,000 were considered alongside larger projects extending over two to three years and with funding requirements of up to CHF 300,000. The newly focused «InnoBooster» funding addresses projects with a budget of up to CHF 150,000 and a duration of no more than 1.5 years.


Grants were aimed at project groups from the science and technology communities who were willing to plan their R&D and educational projects with designers from the very outset, thus moving away from narrow scientific preconceptions. In principle, calls for submissions were directed to all faculties and disciplines.

Approved projects DesignPlus