Socio-political Responsibility

Kühne Foundation

The non-profit Kühne Foundation was established by the Kühne family in Switzerland in 1976. Today it is renowned for its initiatives to support academic and further education as well as research in the fields of logistics and supply chain management. The Kühne Foundation is also strongly involved in medical, cultural and humanitarian projects. It is an operative foundation, which develops almost all of its projects itself. Through its extensive funding projects, the Kühne Foundation and its donor Klaus-Michael Kühne exercise their socio-political responsibility.


Key Figures

70 projects worldwide
50 countries form the radius of action
380 people are working for the Kühne Foundation and its institutions
400 students are enrolled at Kühne Logistics University
Approx. 30 million CHF funding volume

Funding Area Logistics

The Kühne Foundation pursues the goal of supporting and developing logistics as an academic field. Logistics plays a cross-sectional function in the global economy and is currently facing major challenges – one clear example being the coronavirus crisis. Digitalisation, along with the call for climate and environment protection are leading to transformations that require innovative approaches.

The Kühne Foundation connects research institutions that provide scientific monitoring of new developments and supports training of the current and upcoming generation of managers. The Kühne Logistics University (KLU), founded in Hamburg in 2010, promotes pioneering research and practice-oriented teaching amongst others in its key competence areas “Digital Transformation”, “Value Creation” and “Sustainability”.
HELP Logistics AG, a subsidiary of the Kühne Foundation, advises and trains government bodies as well as international aid organisations in developing and emerging countries to improve their expertise in logistics and thereby enhance the effectiveness of aid measures. In addition to its headquarters in Switzerland, HELP has regional offices in Amman, Dakar, Nairobi and Singapore. Most of its training is offered online and, during the Coronavirus pandemic, especially focussed on the healthcare sector.

While the offerings of the Kühne Logistics University and the chairs funded by the Foundation aim to provide qualifications for an international logistics elite, the Kühne Foundation is providing sustainable education programmes with its projects in developing and emerging countries. It supports institutes of higher education, particularly in Africa, to develop courses of study in logistics and supply chain management at an international level. In this area, the Kühne Foundation also collaborates with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Global Fund.

Funding Area Medicine

The Kühne Foundation has established a major centre for medical activities on the premises of the Hochgebirgsklinik Davos, which was taken over several years ago, and has been self-managed since then. Hospital management, research and medical training together form a unit called the “Davos Medicine Campus”. As one of Switzerland’s leading rehabilitation clinics, the Hochgebirgsklinik Davos has faced particular challenges when dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Despite this, a number of building projects have been initiated to expand and modernise the hospital.

The Christine Kühne – Centre for Allergy Research and Education (CK-CARE), a Kühne Foundation initiative dedicated to allergy research and treatment as well as education, has been based on the campus since 2009. A professorship in allergology, appointed in conjunction with the University of Zurich, is a highly effective addition to CK-CARE’s research. A key institution, the extensive biobank and database, provides a range of new findings on allergic diseases. The results are made available to the pharmaceutical industry via the Davos BioSciences AG, a company specially created for this purpose, and to support the development of new medicines.  

The Cardio-CARE programme marks a new focus in the Foundation’s commitment to fund medicine projects, and represents the largest research programme on whole genome sequencing to date in the German-speaking countries. The aim of the cooperation between the Kühne Foundation, University Hospital Zurich and the UKE Hamburg-Eppendorf is to obtain a better understanding of the causes of cardiovascular disease to allow new diagnostic and treatment options to be developed.

Funding Area Culture

The Kühne Foundation in particular funds outstanding projects in classical music in cooperation with a range of music festivals, opera houses and concert halls. It is a main sponsor of the Salzburg Festival and the Lucerne Festival, as well as a major sponsor of the Hamburg International Music Festival at the Elbphilharmonie. The Philharmonic State Orchestra at the Hamburg State Opera is also the beneficiary of a significant multi-year donation.

The coronavirus crisis meant that a large number of cultural events had to be cancelled or held in smaller formats in 2020. In July 2020, it was announced that the Kühne Foundation would be providing a major grant to support the construction of a new concert hall for the Balearic Symphony Orchestra in Palma de Mallorca.


Further information at:

Kühne Foundation