Opening of the Conference

Wednesday, 14. September 2011 | 10:30 Uhr


Klaus Hug


President of the Academia Engelberg


Dr. Klaus Hug, President of the Academia Engelberg Foundation, welcomed over 150 personalities from science, industry, culture, politics and society from all over the world to the conference in the Baroque Hall of the Benedictine Abbey of Engelberg. He took a glance back at the 10 years’ history of the Academia Engelberg Foundation. At the same time, he reminded the participants of the fact that 10 years is not a long time when it comes to the challenges for science and the developments taking place on our planet. Klaus Hug underlined that every progress in science entails positive as well as negative issues. The foundation’s task is to discuss advantages and disadvantages of progress during the annual meetings held in Engelberg.

For this year’s conference, the topic of personalized medicine has been chosen as it is an issue that raises far more questions and implications than others. For every human being, a special pill? Are the costs not exorbitant? How much should we pay to extend human life for a few weeks? What are the societal questions to be answered? The Academia Engelberg Foundation’s objective was to offer a platform to discuss these and other critical questions.

In his words of welcome, Abbot Christian Meyer wished the participants a lot of energy and fantasy to ponder on personalized medicine as well as many nice and positive encounters that strengthen and enrich the participants. He gave a warm welcome to everybody in the Abbey of Engelberg.

Niklaus Bleiker, Counsellor of the Canton of Obwalden also welcomed the participants. He recalled the fact that the Academia Engelberg Foundation was established by the Cantonal Governments of Central Switzerland, the municipality of Engelberg and Swiss Re ten years ago. Ten years later, one can proudly recognize that the foundation fulfils its ambitious goals. Niklaus Bleiker congratulated the organizers for the tenth anniversary and conveyed his thanks to the programme committee and the Foundation Council for their outstanding work and their commitment.

Klaus Hug

Klaus Hug was born in 1940. After receiving his undergraduate and doctoral degrees at the department of law in Zurich in 1970, he was granted the right to practise law in 1971. Between 1972 and 1976 (and also 1980 and 1984) he was Secretary of the Central Swiss Association of Employers in Zurich. Between 1976 and 1979 he was personal secretary to MP Kurt Furgler, and from 1984 to 1991 he was Director of the Department of Industry, Trade and Employment (BIGA).

Since summer 1991 has worked as a lawyer and economic consultant in Berne and Zurich. As of 1992 he is the Executive President of the Swiss Association for Department Stores, known today as the Swiss Retail Federation; diverse government commissions; a member of the Federal Commission for Competition; consultant to the legal practice of Bär & Karrer in Zurich.

Since 1992, he has held the office of President of the Swiss Technology Assessment Committee (for the Swiss Department of Science and Technology). Klaus Hug is also President of the governing board of the Institute of Intellectual Ownership (IGE) in Berne.

Donators and Partners

The ETH Board is responsible for the strategic leadership of the ETH domain and assumes the supervision of its institutions. Its close relationship with the ETH Council has contributed to the successful continuation of Academia Engelberg Foundation since 2000.

The Foundation promotes research into the connecting human fundamentals of science. Academia Engelberg Foundation and the Foundation for Basic Research in Human Sciences have entered into a cooperation agreement for the period 2011 to 2015.

Helvetia is a quality-oriented comprehensive insurance company with over 150 years of experience. Academia Engelberg Foundation is convinced it will be able to use important synergies from the partnership starting in 2015.

A partnership with the University of Lucerne has existed since summer 2013. Since 2016 we have also a parthership with the Faculty of Economics and Management of the University of Lucerne. Through these partnerships, synergies are used and joint projects are tested and realized. The University of Lucerne currently consists of three faculties: the faculties for Theology, Culture and Social Sciences, and Law.