Swiss entrepreneur makes record donation to Harvard
Hansjörg Wyss, a Swiss-born entrepreneur, has pledged $125m (£72m) to Harvard University to create the Hansjörg Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.
Wyss’s gift, which is the largest individual gift in Harvard’s history, will provide funds for seven faculty positions and support the institute’s operations.
The institute aims to develop understanding of nature’s engineering principles and use this knowledge to create technologies to address medical needs. It will be a collaborative enterprise bringing together experts in engineering, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer science, robotics, medicine, and surgery.
“I am humbled to have the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to efforts that I firmly believe will change the future course of science and medicine,” Wyss said. “Little did I dream when I began my career in engineering that we would reach a point where engineers and biologists would be using nature’s templates to create solutions to our medical and environmental challenges.”
Wyss, the second richest man in Switzerland, is the owner of Synthes, a Swiss-based medical instruments, implants and bio-materials company. He earned an MBA from Harvard in 1965.