Mercator Foundation Switzerland supported the build-up and start-up phase of GRC from 2011 to 2015 with a total of 3.6 million Swiss francs. The foundation has a particular objective to engage in the sponsorship of early career researchers and innovative approaches for the institutional development of universities. The concept for the GRC was discussed and further developed in June 2010 in the context of an international colloquium of experts organized by Mercator Foundation Switzerland. The contractual agreements made mid-March 2011 between the former President of the University Andreas Fischer and Albert Kesseli of Mercator Foundation Switzerland paved the way for GRC.
Mercator Foundation Switzerland advocates an engaged and globally-minded society which is environmentally responsible and offers excellent educational opportunities for children and youth in Switzerland. To this aim it initiates projects and supports initiatives which pursue the same aims. The Foundation enables academic and practical projects, strengthens the development of organizations and ensures that experiences and insights are diseminated. At the core of their work is the promotion of young people in Switzerland.