Published: 11.02.09

Citius-Bob: From development to the Olympic Games in Vancouver

Simone Ulmer

The Swiss Bobsleigh Federation joined forces with ETH Zurich and several industrial companies to develop the 4- and 2-man bobs for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The alliance, founded in 2007 under the name Citius, developed and produced two prototypes, of which the 2-man bob was shown publicly at the Swiss Innovation Forum in early November 2008. In the coming weeks and months, ETH Life will report how bobsleigh driving changed over the course of a century, what results were obtained from wind tunnel and ice track trials, and how the scientists met the new challenge of bobsleigh construction. About 14 months still remain until the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. An eternity, or so it seems. For the bobsleigh designers, it means a lot of work in a very short time, because more 2- and 4-man bobs will be built in the coming months.

Project funding

The ETH Zurich Foundation awarded 870,000 Swiss francs to the Citius project at the request of ETH Zurich for the period from 2007 up to and including 2009. The money comes from a two-million fund, which the company Sika made available to the ETH Zurich Foundation for research projects that come under its field of interest. The ten industrial partners – sia Abrasives, Sika, Indrohag, Georg Kaufmann, Quadrant, Bucher, AUDI, Promec Estech, Ruag, V-Zug and Franz Marty – and the Swiss Bobsleigh Association (SBSV) provide the same level of funding through their work and the provision of materials. On top of this, ETH Zurich’s payments in kind by the 12 professors and over 20 staff members involved in the project and the departmental workshops provided, amount to over 500,000 Swiss francs.

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