SSCN – Swiss South Caucasus Net

Project support in the South Caucasus

In addition to “promoting Switzerland as a top location for business and as a place to live”, Gebert Rüf Stiftung has also been active in Eastern Europe since 1999, in accordance with its statement of purpose. The focus of the current programme is to provide targeted project support in the South Caucasus, an area with ethnic, political and economic problems.

Grants for Eastern Europe: supporting transitions

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.

Objective: education and development projects with practical application benefits

As Gebert Rüf Stiftung’s third Eastern Europe programme, the SSCN is also concerned with transition development in South Caucasus, especially in the neighbouring – yet very different – countries of Georgia and Armenia. Its activities do not revolve around research and science, but provide thematically broad funding geared towards basic training and fundamental needs.

With development projects in the area of education, the SSCN thus initiates and supervises key areas such as agriculture and tourism, as well as school and university projects with great benefits in terms of implementation and application. All projects aim to unlock the potential and help it towards independence. The support therefore does not take the form of subsidies, and should not create any dependencies.

Gebert Rüf Stiftung outsources the operation of the programme, which is managed as a fund (non-independent foundation) by the Swiss umbrella foundation Fondation des Fondateurs in the same way as Venture Kick. The Swiss South Caucasus Foundation, which is open to third-party funding, “aims to support transition processes in the South Caucasus by initiating, supervising and implementing education and development projects with practical application benefits.”

Programme management

Dr. Philipp Egger, Eastern Europe Delegate, Realpstrasse 77, 4054 Basel
philippegger@mac.notexisting@nodomain.comcom, phone +41 79 318 66 77