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In conjunction with application-oriented research and development, the institutes and centres of the ZHAW School of Engineering offer their business partners various opportunities for collaboration.

Funded projects (Innosuisse, NF, EU)

The most common form of collaboration with business partners is carried out in the context of funded projects (Innosuisse (former CTI)). These projects are normally worked on by scientific assistants and headed by university lecturers. They typically have a scope of one to three person-years. With this type of project, a contribution of approximately 50% of the project amount provided by the promotion institution (Innosuisse) is expected from the business partner. The goals and time frame of the project are determined together with the business partner during the development of the project proposal. The complete results of the project are made available to the business partner.

Collaboration on project assignments, bachelor theses and master’s theses

In the project assignments and bachelor theses which complete their studies, students work independently on a current topic or problem. This work is generally carried out in collaboration with industry partners, who mandate the projects.

Project assignments and bachelor theses (PA/BT) provide industry partners with an economical and simple way of acquiring initial experience of new technologies or of having specific questions analysed. Teams of two usually work on these project assignments and bachelor theses. PAs are carried out in the autumn semester and involve 360 person hours (ph) of work, while BTs are carried in the spring semester and involve a workload of 720 ph.

During the course of their studies, master’s degree students complete two master’s project assignments – involving 720 ph of work – and a master’s thesis (MT) with a scope of 810 ph. Both types of assignment are carried out by individual students and generally commence at the beginning of a semester. These assignments address demanding problems arising in industry.

Scope of project work and Bachelor theses

Project work in the fall semester  
Scope of work 2 Persons * 30h/ECTS * 6 ECTS = 360 h
Request for proposal CW 18 - aprox. CW 25
Definitive assignment CW 35
Start of work CW 38
End of work CW 51
Bachelor thesis in the spring semester  
Scope of work 2 Persons * 30h/ECTS * 12 ECTS = 720 h
Request for proposal CW 44 - aprox. CW 50
Definitive assignment CW 4
Start of work CW 7
End of work CW 23

Contract projects

The ZHAW School of Engineering also carries out research and development projects for its business partners. In this way, the goals and time frame for the project are set by the business partner alone. The entire project costs are borne by the business partner.

Longer-term collaborations

With longer-term collaborations, the business partner can secure R&D services, training courses and other services (e.g. coaching, consulting) from the ZHAW School of Engineering. These are agreed to in the form of a framework contract.