The cooperation between Disney and ETH Zurich is quite unique in Europe and has already earned a reputation as one of the world’s leading innovation laboratories for computer animation.
Zürich, Switzerland and Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) September 23, 2010
Disney Research Zurich (DRZ) has won the Tell Award for most significant Swiss Technology and Innovation Investment in 2009, the Walt Disney Company, ETH Zurich and the Greater Zurich Area AG jointly announced today.
Receiving the Tell Award is a mark of recognition to the Los Angeles-based company for successfully launching operations of its Disney Research Centre in the Greater Zurich Area in collaboration with the ETH Zurich.
The DRZ was officially launched at ETH Zurich at the end of April 2010. Approximately 30 computer scientists and 10 PhD students are jointly developing new algorithms for applications in the field of computer animation. For example, one of DRZ’s more than 30 different projects addresses capturing and animating extremely realistic representations of human faces for use by Disney’s animation studios, game divisions, and theme parks.
DRZ will be presented with the Tell Award by the new Ambassador of Switzerland at the Tell Awards Ceremony and Gala, on November 8th 2010, at the Swiss Embassy in Washington DC.
Named after the national hero Wilhelm Tell, the Tell Awards are an annual celebration of Switzerland’s most significant inward investment projects by North American firms organized by the Swiss Trade and Investment Promotion (STIP). Past winners for the Greater Zurich Area have included illustrious companies such as IBM, Microsoft, and Google.
Markus Gross, Director DRZ and Professor of computer science at ETH Zurich: “We are very pleased and honored to be presented with the Tell Award for innovation and technology investment. The cooperation between Disney and ETH Zurich is quite unique in Europe and has already earned a reputation as one of the world’s leading innovation laboratories for computer animation. We are on a par with several of ETH Zurich’s strategic industrial partnerships, such as the IBM Research Lab in Rüschlikon.”
Dr. Robert Sumner, Associate Director of DRZ: “European scientists have always been notable for innovation and creativity in the computer graphics sector. This is particularly true for the vibrant ICT scene in the Greater Zurich Area and was an important factor for Disney to partner with the ETH Zurich.”
Christoph Besmer, Head Greater Zurich Area Inc., San Francisco: “Congratulations to the DRZ! This Tell Award for innovation is well-deserved and comes by no means as a surprise: In terms of R&D, the Greater Zurich Area is an incredibly creative and inventive environment that is a natural partner for research centers in Northern and Southern California.”
Sonja Wollkopf Walt, CEO Greater Zurich Area AG, Zürich: “DRZ is a model for the type of symbiotic cooperation between corporate and academic worlds that we try to advance in the Greater Zurich Area AG. DRZ’s Tell Award underscores the potential of this trend.”
Greater Zurich Area AG
Claudia Magri, Head of Communications
Tel.: +41 44 254 59 07, claudia(dot)magri(at)greaterzuricharea(dot)ch
Roman Klingler, Head Media Relations,
Tel.: +41 44 632 40 39, roman(dot)klingler(at)cc.ethz(dot)ch
Walt Disney Studios, Schweiz
Tel.: +41 44 289 22 43, Stephanie(dot)Hug(at)disney(dot)com
About the Greater Zurich Area AG
The Greater Zurich Area AG, a nonprofit organization, is the location marketing organisation for the Greater Zurich Area business region. It recruits international companies abroad and assists them in setting up companies and making investments in the Greater Zurich Area. Its sponsor is the “Stiftung Greater Zurich Area Standortmarketing,” a public-private partnership that was established in November 1998. Since that time, its membership has grown to include the cantons of Aargau, Glarus, Graubünden, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Solothurn, Zug and Zürich, the cities of Zürich and Winterthur, and several Swiss companies.
Disney Research Zurich (DRZ) is the only research lab that Disney operates in Europe. It is perfectly placed for easy access to ETH Zurich, one of the world’s leading technical universities. With strong ties to the Computer Graphics Lab at ETH Zurich, the Zurich lab is influencing video of the future (video manipulation, video coding, 3D, and perceptual studies), computational cinematography, human and facial animation, and capture technologies. Additional strengths include wireless networking and computational materials. Computer scientists work in collaboration with various business units of The Walt Disney Company to devise new technologies for tomorrow’s entertainment industry.
About ETH Zurich
ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich) has come to symbolize excellent education, groundbreaking basic research and applied results that are beneficial for society as a whole. Founded in 1855, ETH Zurich has more than 15,000 students from approximately 80 countries, 3,400 of whom are doctoral candidates. Today, it offers researchers an inspiring environment and students a comprehensive education as one of the world’s leading universities for technology and the natural sciences. 21 Nobel Laureates have studied, taught or conducted research at ETH Zurich, underscoring the excellent reputation of the institute.
About The Walt Disney Company in GSA
Disney is a leading diversified media and family entertainment company. Its activities comprise five business segments: Media Networks, Parks & Resorts, Studio Entertainment, Consumer Products and the Interactive Media Group.
Disney's business in Germany, Switzerland and Austria comprises various divisions - in Switzerland the company is active since 1992. Today, Disney is one of the leaders in film distribution and as a provider of DVDs. In Switzerland, on top of the Disney movies, the company is responsible for the film distribution of Sony Pictures Releasing. Disney also focuses on producing local movies such as “Die Herbstzeitlosen” or “Achtung, Fertig, Charlie”. Furthermore, the company distributes films, TV and animated series to German, Austrian and Swiss TV stations and operates TV channels (Pay TV) of its own, such as the Disney Channel, Disney XD, Playhouse Disney and Disney Cinemagic. This is augmented by a broadly based license and merchandising business as well as digital works on offer, ranging from video and mobile phone games all the way through to online content. In its offices based in Munich, Zurich and Vienna the company employs roughly 350 persons and has a 50% stake in SUPER RTL, among other holdings.