The Research Commission of the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich promotes researchers and projects from all fields. The only condition is that they be promising projects. Every application undergoes a multi-stage evaluation process.
“If researchers receive start-up finance from the Research Commission at an early stage, they stand a good chance of succeeding with large funding organisations, such as the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the European Research Council (ERC),” Uwe Sauer, the president of the Research Commission, said in an interview with ETH News.
Apart from ETH Zurich, only the Max Planck Society in Germany has its own internal funding.
When choosing the best projects, the Commission is very close to the current research “hotspots”, added Sauer. One of the current trends that he mentions is drone technology. “From the applications, we can see that ETH Zurich is extremely strong in robotics and drones.”
According to Sauer, drone technology is now so advanced that it can be developed for a wide variety of tasks. For instance, drones can be deployed to check the quality of infrastructure like bridges or to monitor glaciers in polar regions.