Franke supports ETH projects

Zurich – Franke is supporting the Student Project House of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) with 4 million Swiss francs. This programme allows students to develop their project ideas.

The Student Project House was initiated by ETH President Lino Guzzella. It is a creative thinking and makerspace that has been operating as a pilot station at Hönggerberg since the autumn of 2016. It gives students the opportunity to develop their creative ideas and enables them to discuss with colleagues from other disciplines, while also offering an infrastructure with CNC milling machines, 3D printers and laser cutters. The infrastructure for student projects is currently being expanded further. A Student Project House at the former district heating plant on the Zentrum campus will be opened in 2020. The Student Project House at Hönggerberg is scheduled to move into new premises five years later.

A donation from Franke, a company from the canton of Aargau, is enabling the Student Project House to be brought to “a new level today”, ETH reported in a press release. Franke has given ETH 4 million francs. This will benefit student projects in the three focus areas of nutrition and agriculture, innovation for social change and aerospace technology. A fourth area, known as the “open box”, will bundle student initiatives outside these areas. The new funds will allow experienced coordinators to support the students with their projects. The aim is to achieve closer cooperation with companies and for the projects to receive more visibility. “Thanks to the generous donation from Franke Holding, even more students will now have the opportunity to pursue their creative ideas,” says Rector Sarah Springman.

Michael Pieper, the owner of Franke, enjoys a close connection to ETH Zurich. His brother studied there, and his company has employed many ETH graduates over the years, the press release reports. “At times, practically the entire Corporate Executive Board was made up of ETH graduates,” says Michael Pieper. “They have always shown us very systematically how to build state-of-the-art factories and implement the related processes.” With this donation, he is now supporting further innovative ideas from ETH students.

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