As a private grant-making foundation, Gebert Rüf Stiftung sees its role as bearing risks and providing initial financing. By supporting projects with a clear identity, Gebert Rüf Stiftung aims to achieve measurable leverage. It positions itself in the well-known funding gap, known as the «valley of death», where the grant-making chain breaks down for many innovative projects, no more research funding is available and venture capital is not yet available.
The support policy particularly favours projects of highly entrepreneurial young scientists pursuing an independent course. It therefore follows that project support from Gebert Rüf Stiftung is a matter of personal support. In order to have an impact, the foundation attaches great importance to the networking potential of individual projects and to their classification according to its areas of activity.
Clear criteria are applied when selecting the projects. Innovative projects of high relevance and scientific quality that satisfy the basic criteria of «originality», «effectiveness», «transfer potential» and «interdisciplinarity» are sought. These basic criteria are used in the selection process, together with a range of positive and negative criteria.