Heinrich Gebert, himself a globally active entrepreneur, considered the re-Europeanization of the former Eastern bloc and Soviet satellite countries to be a European issue. Consequently, grants for Eastern Europe is the only area of activity laid down by the founder in the statement of purpose, and is the only area of activity where the centre of grantmaking activities is located outside Switzerland. It is to be maintained until the level of development in these countries «is comparable with that in Western Europe».
The grants for Eastern Europe aim to provide specific support for the respective transition processes with education and development projects. Between 1999 and 2011 these were known as the Swiss Baltic Net (SBN) promoting young academic talent in the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. From 2009 to 2018, the Academic Swiss Caucasus Net (ASCN) focused on supporting social sciences and humanities in the South Caucasus region.