The endowment of our chair certainly allows us to fulfill our research and teaching commitments. However, given the broad range of research topics, it needs additional funding to reach a sufficient level of activity in all of these areas. Applying for external funding has several positive aspects. First of all, it is a very competitive process. Hence, if a proposal is granted after rounds of external evaluation, this should be seen as an additional confirmation of the quality of the research proposed (and done so far). Secondly, as most funded research projects are based on collaborations, they allow us to develop our scientific network inside Switzerland, but also in Europe and worldwide. Thirdly, being partners in multinational research projects, we are able to efficiently disseminate our competencies, while contributing to the frontiers in scientific research, internationally.
Consequently, grant proposals played an important role in our scientific activities over the last five years. Certainly, not all of our applications turned out to be successful, at the end. However, we are proud having received external funds of about 2.7 million CHF for our chair, up to today, some of which can be spent until the end of 2012. Noteworthy, except for a rather small project, none of the funds is from joint projects with the industry -- they come mostly from Swiss governmental institutions and from the European commission.