The DIAS Foundation was founded in 1995 by the DidenheimStrat Financial Group. At the time DIAS stood for DidenheimStrat Innovation in the Arts and Sciences Foundation. Until 2002 they were active as a charity, providing opportunities for younger academics and creatives, supporting them during their education and/or early careers. After 2002 the focus shifted to specifically the arts, where an annual selection was made of one or two artists that would be supported financially in the form of a stipend. In 2007 it was decided that, instead of funding artists for a set amount of time, they should fund them for the duration of a project. This allowed artists to execute large-scale projects that would otherwise be outside their scope.