ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich receive USD 120 million donation
The University of Zurich and ETH Zurich have received a donation of USD 120 Mio by Synthes-founder Dr. h.c. mult. Hansjörg Wyss. The donation will be used by the two universities to establish and finance the new Wyss Translational Center Zurich (WTZ) whose aim it is to promote the development and innovations in fields such as regenerative medicine and robotics.
Hansjörg Wyss received a Master of Science degree in Civil and Structural Engineering from ETH Zurich in 1959 and attended the Harvard University Graduate School of Business from 1963 to 1965. Before Dr. Wyss founded Synthes USA in 1974, he worked in different positions in the textile industry in various countries. The entrepreneur already supported scientific research in the past: in 2007 he donated USD 125 Mio to found the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University; five years later, the Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-engineering in Geneva was financed by his donation.
The translational technology platforms for regenerative medicine and robotics will be linked in the WTZ and unite researchers across various disciplines such as stem cell research, robotics, medicine and materials science. On the basis of the two translational technology platforms, the WTZ will start operations in 2015 and initially launches four translational projects: Zurich Life Matrix, Zurich Heart/Ventricular Assist Devices, Zurich Liver and Zurich Eye. More innovative projects will follow later on.
The USD 120 Mio donation is an endowment to establish and operate the WTZ for the first seven years; the infrastructure and personnel will be provided by the two universities. The center is led by Professors Roland Siegwart (ETH Zurich) and Simon P. Hoerstrup (University of Zurich).