Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Swiss Foundations Strongly Support Science


An increasing number of foundations in Switzerland support the sciences. Two-thirds focus on a specific research area and half of them further limit their support to a single type of grant. For universities, these foundations represent important partners in implementing their projects faster.

Philanthropy for science is the trend. The number of foundations specifically supporting science and higher education is increasing even faster than the already growing foundation sector. In the last twenty years, more and more foundations have declared the promotion of science their core purpose.

According to a study by the Center for Philanthropy Studies at the University of Basel (CEPS), there are 2,305 foundations in Switzerland supporting the sciences, making up almost a fifth (18.8%) of all non-profit foundations.

With 43.1%, the majority of foundations is funding the field of medicine, followed by the humanities (28.6%) and the natural sciences (20.3%). Two-thirds of all foundations are focusing on a single research discipline and half of them even restrict themselves to a single type of grant.

Besides the promotion of research (72.5%), these are mainly the promotion of teaching and contributions to students (35.6%) as well as funding of publications (15.5%). Due to the large number of foundations, the private promotion of science has become broader and more divers than the public funding.

Foundations as strategy accelerators

The study also asked representatives of universities about the significance of private science promotion for universities. The results clearly show that private endowments are not nearly close to replacing the large public grants: On average, the private grants cover only 6% of a university’s total expenditure.

However, private funds help universities to implement their strategies and to promote innovative and interdisciplinary projects that otherwise could not be financed by means of regular funds. Universities that have successfully raised large grants in the past have an advantage in the stiff competition for funding. In addition, well-structured projects with a measurable success also have better chances to receive funding.

Universities in need of development

Despite the major grants in the three-digit million range that Swiss universities have received in past years from private donors, it is still necessary to further develop and professionalize fund raising. “In order to protect the financial autonomy of universities in the future, it is essential to apply principles such as transparency and sustainability to private fund raising,” says director of studies Prof. Georg von Schnurbein from CEPS.

Further information
Prof. Dr. Georg von Schnurbein, University of Basel, Center for Philanthropy Studies, Peter-Merian-Weg 6, 4002 Basel, phone: +41 61 267 23 92, email:

Weitere Informationen: - “Philanthropie für die Wissenschaft – Wie Schweizer Stiftungen die Forschung unterstützen” (German only) [PDF, 6.3 MB]

Reto Caluori | Universität Basel

Further reports about: Basel Stiftungen Wissenschaft advantage grants strategies

More articles from Science Education:

nachricht Studying outdoors is better
06.02.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Classroom in Stuttgart with Li-Fi of Fraunhofer HHI opened
03.11.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion

22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>