24 Aug 2018 – The Werner Siemens Foundation has donated 10.7 million francs to the UZH Foundation to be used to further develop the Entrepreneur Fellowship Program in the area of medical technology. This funding instrument supports young UZH researchers in translating their scientific findings and technology into commercial ventures.

Michael Hengartner, President of the UZH and Hubert Keiber, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Werner Siemens Foundation (©Frank Brüderli)

In addition to its core tasks of teaching and research, UZH also systematically promotes innovation. For that reason the University supports its young researchers in converting their scientific findings and ideas into useful products or services. However, successful researchers do not automatically make successful entrepreneurs and often lack the necessary business acumen to make their ideas a commercially successful reality. That’s exactly where the new UZH Entrepreneur Fellowship Programs come in.

BioEntrepreneur Fellowships already launched

The aim of these funding instruments is to provide targeted assistance to outstanding PhD candidates and postdocs when setting up spin-off companies. One program has already been launched, the UZH BioEntrepreneur Fellowship, aimed at junior researchers in the fields of biomedicine and life sciences.

Initiative expanded thanks to Werner Siemens Foundation

The generous support of the Werner Siemens Foundation of around 10.7 million francs means a second program in the area of medical technology can now be established. “With this donation we can establish the MedTech Entrepreneur Fellowship and provide it with annual support of over a million francs for the next ten years,” enthuses UZH President Michael Hengartner. The donation will also be used to provide new laboratories at the Schlieren Campus.

First business decisions

The future medtech fellows will receive training in business skills, access to first-class research infrastructure, contacts with industry, and money: 150,000 francs for 18 months. The fellows are free to decide how to use the funding – whether it’s for their own salaries, to employ assistants, or to buy equipment. This represents the first of their business decisions for which they must also bear the consequences.

The young entrepreneurs will carry out their research and development work in a shared medtech and biotech entrepreneur lab space at Schlieren Campus, which will also give them the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with each other. In addition, the fellows will receive support in areas such as intellectual property rights, licensing and contract management from the technology transfer organization Unitectra.

Further Informationen
BioEntrepreuneurship & Innovation
The next call for applications for the fellowship program is planned for April 2019

Werner Siemens Foundation


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