The Wyss Zurich Model
Who We Are
The Wyss Zurich is a joint accelerator of the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich), which was made possible by a generous donation from the Swiss entrepreneur and philanthropist Dr. h.c. mult. Hansjörg Wyss. It was established to foster translational research focused on developing treatment protocols and clinical therapies, as well as novel technologies and intelligent systems, in the emerging fields of Regenerative Medicine and Robotics, and hybrid technologies thereof.
Wyss Zurich unites world-leading experts from both institutions in multidisciplinary teams, pooling their knowledge and expertise.
Our mission is to drive the translation of outstanding scientific discoveries into new therapies for patients and breakthrough innovations in the fields of Regenerative Medicine and Robotics.
Switzerland holds a leading global position in basic research, but there is a long latency period between scientific discovery and its widespread application. Many research scientific discoveries do not get translated into practical applications because industry/investors typically prefer to invest in riper technologies. Due to lack of funding, early stage developments get stuck in what is called the “Valley of Death”. Swiss entrepreneur and philanthropist Dr. h.c. mult. Hansjörg Wyss wants to change this: “Breakthrough discoveries in medical and technological fields have to be made available as soon as possible for the benefit of mankind,” he says, “I want to help accelerate the translation process and build a bridge between basic research and application.” To attain this goal, Hansjörg Wyss asked ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich to join forces and made a USD 120 million donation in December 2014 to launch the joint Wyss Zurich. The accelerator began operations in March 2015.
Scope of Activities
In the field of Regenerative Medicine, a particular focus is given to the translation of medical innovations in first-in-man studies through the financing of the production of clinical grade material (GMP) as well as clinical trials (GCP), emphasizing the “from bench to bedside” approach.
In the field of Robotics technologies, the focus lies on the successful conversion of promising scientific results in the area of robotics and intelligent systems into products, emphasizing the “from invention to commercial product” approach.
The paramount objective/read-out is the commercialization/clinical application through spin-offs, out-licensing deals and trade sales.
In a unique all-in-one approach, Wyss Zurich provides its members with:
- funding to cover personnel expenses and translational R&D, notably early phase clinical trials
- access to world-class infrastructures, including a dedicated facility to produce compounds that can be used in humans
- support in the design, analysis and business strategy of the projects by subject-matter experts
By integrating projects from multiple disciplines and giving access to world-class resources, we translate science into life improvements and foster entrepreneurship.