Zurich/Heilbronn - Thanks to a donation from the Dieter Schwarz Foundation in Heilbronn, Germany, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) is planning to build a center for responsible digital transformation. Over the next 30 years, a total of 20 professorships are to be created at both the Heilbronn teaching campus and in Zurich.

The charitable Dieter Schwarz Foundation and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) have agreed to build an ETH Zurich teaching and research center for responsible digital transformation at the teaching campus in Heilbronn. According to a press release issued by ETH Zurich, the center will focus on issues such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), cyber-security, bioinformatics and the circular economy. Following the ETH research center established in Singapore in 2010, this will be the university’s second foreign-based research center.

From an initial two professorships in Zurich and five in Heilbronn, the aim is to create a total of 20 professorships over the next 30 years, more than half of which will be located in Baden-Württemberg. The ETH researchers based in Germany will teach both at ETH Zurich and in Heilbronn.

“This partnership with the Dieter Schwarz Foundation allows ETH Zurich to further develop its research and teaching, particularly in the field of AI, to an extent that would not be possible with regular ETH funding and structures”, comments Joël Mesot, President of ETH Zurich, in the press release. In this way, ETH Zurich will be in a position to expand “strongly” in the strategic field of digital transformation and data science.

Construction of the Schwarz teaching campus, which covers 128,000 square meters, started in 2010 in its hometown of Heilbronn. According to a video, this also offers educational opportunities for people of all ages and is intended to make Heilbronn an exemplary city of knowledge. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is based at the campus, as are several universities, including the Technical University of Munich (TUM), where Schwarz likewise finances a range of professorships. In 2020, the Schwarz Group, which has been fully transferred to the foundation, was the largest trading group in Europe in terms of annual turnover. ce/mm

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