Project presentations on the website

Every project supported by Gebert Rüf Stiftung is made accessible with a web presentation that informs about the core data of the project. With this public presentation, the foundation publishes the funding results achieved and contributes to the communication of science to society.


Crowdfunding Science


Für den Inhalt der Angaben zeichnet die Projektleitung verantwortlich.


Dieses von der Gebert Rüf Stiftung geförderte Projekt wird von folgenden weiteren Projektpartnern mitgetragen: Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF); Swiss crowdfunding platform wemakeit.ch

Project data

  • Project no: GRS-040/15 
  • Amount of funding: CHF 325'000 
  • Approved: 26.04.2016 
  • Duration: 08.2016 - 09.2018 
  • Area of activity:  Scientainment, seit 2013

Project management

Project description

Everybody loves new science and technology. But why can only established scientists and engineers be part of the fun of discovering or inventing new stuff? Is science really so difficult and expensive? And do science and innovation always require big investments and funding? The last years have shown that crowdfunding initiatives could be a new way of supporting young and risk-taking researchers in their quest for knowledge. However, while many platforms exist around the world, in Switzerland there are no resources to help such small and short-term projects outside the traditional research world. This pilot project launches a crowdfunding channel for science and research in cooperation with the largest Swiss crowdfunding platform wemakeit.ch and gives everyone the opportunity to contribute to the scientific adventure. By doing so, it promotes original and small science projects in an unconventional and at the same time create a communication channel between citizen and researchers.

What is special about the project?

Science and innovation still lack resources dedicated to short-term and small-scale projects, both outside and within academia or industry. Crowdfunding has become a popular way to help people launch initiatives that would otherwise never have been funded. Today, this holds especially true for the arts. A number of crowdfunding initiatives have dedicated some of their efforts towards funding science projects, more or less successfully, but none have been active in Switzerland. In addition to being the first in the country, this project is unique in the sense that it will encourage interactions between the ‘crowd’ of an established platform with scientists who are eager to communicate their science to a broader audience. The goal is thus to provide extensive coaching to the researchers in order to maximize the quality and impact of their campaign on society. The first-degree benefit for them will be an alternative source of funding for short-term and small-scale research projects. However, we anticipate that the initiative will also give researchers a unique opportunity to improve their communication skills, as well as significantly increase their interaction with the general public.


The goal of the “Crowdfunding Science” project was to establish the first crowdfunding platform dedicated to science in Switzerland. After an incubation phase, we launched the Science Booster channel in January 2017 in partnership with wemakeit, the largest crowdfunding website in the country. The Science Booster is now a popular destination for projects looking for financial support for research, education and communication. Over the first 18 months of its existence, 37 projects convinced over 2800 individuals to contribute a total of nearly half a million Swiss francs to their crowdfunding campaign. Out of these 37 projects, 29 reached their target, giving a success rate of nearly 80%. The projects covered a wide variety of topics in natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities, including astronomy, marketing, brain surgery, history, agronomy, ecology, epidemiology, and many more. Through a matching fund mechanism, the Science Booster distributed an additional 225,000 francs to the successful campaigns thanks to the support from the Gebert Ruef Stiftung. Considering the total amount donated by the crowd, this support is leveraged over 2-fold.



Persons involved in the project

Luc Henry, Co-Projektleiter, Verein PocketScience
Mirko Bischofberger, Co-Projektleiter, Verein PocketScience
Johannes Gees & Melina, wemakeit – Crowdfunding für kreative Projekte, Zürich

Last update to this project presentation  07.12.2022