This is one of the most fascinating stories I’ve encountered in a while. For the past three years, Disney has been running a network of research labs in Zurich, Pittsburgh and Boston under the banner of Disney Research. The locations were chosen so that they could attract the brightest scientists from top institutions like the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon, Harvard and MIT. The facilities operate in addition to the ongoing research being done at Pixar, Disney Feature Animation and Imagineering. There are roughly 200 total people working in Disney Research including 50 senior research scientists. Here’s a look at their Zurich operation.
It’s surprising how little I’ve read about the group considering that Disney Research has a website with extensive details about their activities. I initially learned about them at FX Guide, which published a lengthy piece about Disney Research last week. The article also includes a highly recommended audio interview with Dr. Markus Gross, the director of Disney Research Zurich.
Dr. Markus Gross