Zurich – The University of Zurich is supporting junior researchers in adapting scholarly findings and technologies for commercial use. Thanks to a donation from the Werner Siemens Foundation, it is now able to expand the programme, which focuses on the medtech sector.

With its new BioEntrepreneur Fellowships, the University of Zurich (UZH) supports junior researchers and helps them translate scholarly findings so as to generate commercially successful products. This commitment is well worth the effort: over 100 spin-off companies have been founded based on findings made at the UZH. It also has more than 300 active patents.

The Werner Siemens Foundation will now be supporting the UZH for the next decade with a donation of 10.7 million Swiss francs, as was reported in a press release. These funds will be used to further develop the UZH fellowship programme in the area of medical technology. They have been dedicated to financing grants as well as to equipping the laboratory at the University’s Schlieren Campus.

Several promising UZH projects in the medtech segment are already well on their way to market maturity. These include OxyPrem, a project developing an innovative oximeter that is able to make high-precision measurements of oxygen levels in body tissue, which is an especially important factor in gauging the oxygen supply in the brains of premature babies. This device allows medical staff to react immediately to an undersupply of oxygen and consequently plays a vital role in the prevention of possible brain damage.

“With funding partnerships like this, we can expand existing areas of specialization while also developing new fields of research or setting new research priorities,” says UZH President Michael Hengartner. In 2017, the UZH Foundation received donations worth a total of 27.5 million francs and funds received from third-parties have almost doubled since 2010. 

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