Annual Report 2020: making great things possible together

6 April 2021

Accelerating pioneering research, facilitating the education of talented students and advancing strategic projects – in 2020, more than 2,300 individuals, foundations and companies made donations for research and teaching at ETH Zurich.

In 2020, donors and partners once again demonstrated their commitment to ETH Zurich. The recently published annual report details donations of CHF 145 million to the ETH Foundation (previous year around CHF 120 million). This invaluable support comes from more than 2,300 private individuals who supported ETH either during their lifetime or with a legacy gift. Together they facilitated over 140 projects in teaching and research, scholarships, spin-offs and infrastructure.

“Every single donation provides crucial momentum and has a decisive effect on research and education; it is often the crucial component in the bigger picture, from supporting talented students to furthering ground-breaking technologies such as quantum research or socially relevant topics, like the mobility of the future and artificial intelligence,” explains Donald Tillman, Managing Director of the ETH Foundation.

From supporting talent to funding research

The support of donors and partners impacts many areas of ETH. Excellence Scholarships support talented young students, while needs-based scholarships enable gifted students in difficult financial circumstances to study at ETH. And Pioneer Fellowships help young entrepreneurs to develop their research into marketable products and to establish spin-offs.

The wide-ranging support not only benefits individuals; the students and researchers also contribute their knowledge and skills to the fields of economics, science and politics, thereby boosting innovation both in Switzerland and internationally.

Strategic priorities thanks to philanthropy

This support has also facilitated the launch of major strategic developments in the past year, for example in the field of quantum research. A generous donation from Martin Haefner, ETH alumnus and Honorary Councillor, brought the vision of a highly specialised physics building on the Hönggerberg campus the crucial step closer. And the various commitments of companies and foundations such as Siemens, Basler & Hofmann, the Hilti Group, the Hilti Family Foundation, AMAG, the Fondation Botnar and the Wellcome Trust have facilitated research in priority areas such as sustainable construction, robotics, mobility and health.

Further insights into the valuable support of donors and partners at ETH Zurich in 2020: digital annual report of the ETH Foundation