ETH Zurich and UBS launch partnership to promote innovation and entrepreneurship

Over a period of 10 years, UBS will invest up to CHF 20 million in two joint initiatives to promote entrepreneurship and innovation, and raise interest in STEM subjects. UBS will also make a donation of up to CHF 20 million to support the construction of a new ETH building for student initiatives and spin-offs on the Hönggerberg campus.

Innovation is crucial to Switzerland’s prosperity, with a zest for science and entrepreneurship playing a key role. That is why ETH Zurich and UBS are aiming to boost entrepreneurship in Switzerland and inspire schoolchildren to study STEM subjects (STEM = Science Technology Engineering Mathematics).

The two partners aim to use the joint initiative to provide students and young entrepreneurs with the necessary toolkit, along with helpful contacts, for them to successfully implement their ideas and innovations and bring them to market. This will complement the assistance ETH Zurich already provides start-ups with. For example, a series of events will give young entrepreneurs the opportunity to meet experienced business leaders at ETH, where they can share information, network and learn from them. Interested students will be able to find out more about financing, preparing business plans and managing a company at various events. ETH and UBS intend to support this noteworthy expansion of the existing entrepreneurship eco-system, both with in-person offerings and on digital channels. Alongside promoting entrepreneurship, ETH Zurich and UBS aim to encourage more enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering and mathematics among primary and secondary school students in a second initiative.

A creative and innovative place to meet

In addition, a new ETH building will be constructed on the Hönggerberg campus. A place where students can implement projects together, and budding entrepreneurs can share ideas with executives and experts. UBS will make a donation of up to CHF 20 million towards the new building. Further financing sources will include already made and additional donations. The building will be the new home of the VSETH student association and the Student Project House. Its purpose is to have student initiatives and projects, ETH entrepreneurship and several spin-offs all under one roof. In addition to flexible-use offices, the welcoming timber construction will accommodate event and multi-purpose rooms, together with a large maker space for building prototypes. This will make the new building on the Hönggerberg into a melting pot for students where they can experience the joy of experimenting and entrepreneurial buzz.

(Press release / SK)
Bild: Sabine Keller-​Busse, President UBS Switzerland, und Joël Mesot, Präsident ETH, unterzeichnen die Verträge zur strategischen Partnerschaft. (Bild: Alessandro Della Bella / ETH Zürich)