Disney Launches Global R&D Labs With Carnegie Mellon University
ETH Zurich has a strong tradition of research in computational methods and computer systems. It is one of the most renowned locations for research in computer science, and as such, a strong partner for Disney. Professor Markus Gross, Head of ETH Zurich's Computer Graphics Laboratory in the Department of Computer Science calls the collaboration with Disney "on the cusp of the cutting-edge." "We have been looking for a partner like Disney to create synergies that will open up a wide spectrum of different fields in entertainment technology," he says. He adds that, "Our research will explore novel algorithms to bring both traditional animation and 3D computer animation to the next level of perfection. We will investigate how artistic knowledge and rules can be incorporated into computer-assisted production and content creation. Additionally, we plan to design the next generation of cinematographic technology." The applied research and joint intellectual properties that will result from the technology transfer will offer new and creative opportunities to strengthen ETH Zurich's talent, potential and ability to make an impact on industry.
The Disney Research lab in Zurich will work with faculty members from the Department of Computer Science, specifically with Visual Computing and the Computer Graphics Laboratory, to conduct the highest level applied research in areas including computer animation, image synthesis, computational photography, and artificial intelligence.
Joint PhD projects and research contracts, as well as teaching services from senior Disney researchers, are part of the advantages and synergies to be drawn from the collaboration. Professor Markus Gross will head Disney Research in Zurich.
The individual R&D programs at Disney Parks & Resorts, Pixar and Disney Animation Studios, Interactive Games, Disney's television and motion picture studios and ImageMovers Digital and their existing university alliances with schools throughout the globe will continue. The Pittsburgh and Zurich labs will focus on areas of research that span multiple business units across the company.
Carnegie Mellon is a private research university with a distinctive mix of programs in engineering, computer science, robotics, business, public policy, fine arts and the humanities. More than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students receive an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. A small student-to-faculty ratio provides an opportunity for close interaction between students and professors. While technology is pervasive on its 144-acre campus, Carnegie Mellon is also distinctive among leading research universities for the world-renowned programs in its College of Fine Arts. For more, see www.cmu.edu.
ETH Zurich (The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich) focuses primarily on engineering sciences, architecture, system-oriented sciences, mathematics and natural sciences. It conducts research that is highly valued worldwide. On a yearly basis, ETH Zurich applies for 80-100 patents and directly supports the founding of up to 20 spin-off companies. More than 360 professors, largely of international origin, teach a student body of 14,000 from more than 90 nations. The university is distinguished by the successes of 21 Nobel laureates, and committed to providing its students with unparalleled education and outstanding leadership skills.