The applied research arm of The Walt Disney Company, Disney Research, is to open a 20 staff strong research laboratory on ETH-Zürich grounds. The two research bodies will collaborate over a five year period and share resources to research into computer animation, geometric modeling, computational photography, image generation, video processing, artificial intelligence and robotics.
The agreement will permit collaboration between the Department of Computer Science, Visual Computing and the Computer Graphics Laboratory at ETH-Zürich and Disney Research units including Disney Animation Studios, Image Movers Digital, Imagineering, Disney Interactive Media Group and ESPN, whose respective expertise in computer graphics and animation will complement one another.
The initiative will provide internship and technology transfer opportunities, making the collaboration of high strategic value to ETH-Zürich. Indeed Markus Gross, of ETH-Zürich, said: “Joint PhD projects and research contracts, as well as teaching services from senior Disney researchers will arise from the partnership, in addition to the joint intellectual properties and patents that will result from our research.”
Peter Chen, Vice-President of Research at ETH-Zürich, called the collaboration “A unique opportunity with enormous potential for all participating parties. To be chosen as the European location for Disney Research is further proof of ETH-Zürich’s excellent international reputation and the quality of our research and development, in this case in Information Technology and Visual Computing.”