The Bertarelli Foundation, building upon its Serono heritage, has partnered with some of the world’s most important scientific institutions to initiate life science research with the aim of producing life-changing outcomes.
The Foundation has a long-standing relationship with the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). The Foundation sponsored two of the six Chairs at the university’s Center for Neuroprostheses, launched in 2008. The Chairs that the Foundation is sponsoring are those dedicated more particularly to “Neuroengineering and neuroprosthetics” and “Neurophysiology and coding of cochlear implants”.
In May 2013, the Bertarelli Family announced that the two Chairs at the Center for Neuroprostheses would be transferred to the new Campus Biotech initiative. Formed by a consortium led by Ernesto Bertarelli and including Hansjörg Wyss, the Wyss Foundation, EPFL and the University of Geneva, Campus Biotech has acquired the former Serono site in Geneva, which was put up for sale by Merck Serono in 2012. Campus Biotech will convert the site into a multi-development facility that will become a centre of excellence in healthcare and life science research. The Bertarelli Foundation will also be sponsoring two Chairs at the new Wyss Centre for Bio- and Neuro-Engineering, which will be housed on the site. In October 2013 it was announced that the Human Brain Project and Blue Brain Project would be moving to Campus, with researchers due to arrive early in 2014.
Together with Harvard Medical School, a joint research and education programme – the Bertarelli Program in Translational Neuroscience and Neuroengineering – has been established with the aim of improving the quality of life or people with neurological disabilities. The Foundation has also endowed the Bertarelli Professorship in Translational Medical Science, while a Bertarelli Grant Program was founded to encourage collaboration between students and scientists from Harvard and EPFL who are at the forefront of research in Neuroscience and Neuroengineering.