Highly innovative and promising projects

Next submission deadline: 01.05.2018

Despite following a support strategy based on areas of activity, Gebert Rüf Stiftung makes around 30% of its funds available for supporting pilot projects. 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.

Objectives: unconstrained support vehicle

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 being 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.

Support criteria for pilot projects

  • Proven pilot nature
  • Highly innovative and original
  • Clear distinctive features
  • Suitable to serve as a model
  • Projects of nationwide importance
  • Start-up or initial funding with great potential
  • The project has to be rooted at a Swiss university or research institution (ETH domain, cantonal university, university of applied sciences).
  • No infrastructure or overhead costs are financed, but only salaries and material costs related to the project.

Submission of projects

  • Projects can be submitted to Gebert Rüf Stiftung by one of the quarterly deadlines (1 February, 1 May, 1 September, 1 December) in accordance with the general requirements.
  • The submission procedure has two stages.

Evaluation 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 is no procedure for appeals or applications for re-examination or reconsideration; no correspondence will be entered into regarding grant-making decisions.

Approved projects pilot projects

Picture credits

Christoph Läser Photograph AG Basel