Socio-political responsibility – the Kühne Foundation

Sustainable commitment

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 initiates almost all of its projects itself. Through its extensive funding projects, the Kühne Foundation and its donor Klaus-Michael Kühne also exercise their socio-political responsibility.



million CHF promotional funding


projects worldwide

Funding Area Logistics

The Kühne Foundation’s goal is to support and develop logistics as an academic field. In today’s business world, logistics is facing major challenges. Digitalisation and the call for climate protection are leading to profound 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 in its key competence areas “Digital Transformation”, “Value Creation” and “Sustainability”. In addition, the Kühne Foundation supports endowed chairs, centres of excellence and educational institutions at renowned universities and institutes of higher education. Since 2019, it has supported the “Global Trade” research project at the University of Zurich.

HELP Logistics AG, a subsidiary of the Kühne Foundation, advises and trains international aid organisations and governments on various continents to improve their expertise in logistics and thereby enhance the effectiveness of aid measures. HELP maintains regional offices for this purpose in Singapore for South-East Asia, in Amman for the Middle East as well as in Nairobi for East Africa. In 2019, it opened an additional regional office for West Africa in Dakar.

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 in developing and emerging countries. It fosters the development of study programmes in logistics and supply chain management at international level at universities particularly in Africa and South-East Asia. In this area, the Kühne Foundation also collaborates with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which pursues similar goals.

Funding Area Medicine

The Kühne Foundation is committed to developing a major centre for medical activities on the premises of the Hochgebirgsklinik Davos, a hospital that is over 100 years old. The Davos Medicine Campus is characterised by clinical operations, research and medical training. Since 2009, it has been the home of 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. In 2019, a professorship in allergology was appointed in conjunction with the University of Zurich to increase CK-CARE’s research profile. Furthermore, a new campus building was completed and serves as a research and training centre. At the end of September 2019, the Kühne Foundation extended its medicine activities with a second major research project: It has provided funding of around CHF 14 million for the largest research programme on genome sequencing to date in the German-speaking countries. The aim of the cooperation between the Kühne Foundation, the University Hospital Zurich and the UKE (University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf) is to obtain a better understanding of the causes of cardiovascular disease to allow new diagnostic and treatment options to be developed. The establishment of “Cardio-CARE AG” and a chair in biostatistics is a substantial addition to the Davos Medicine Campus. 

Funding Area Culture

The main cultural activities funded by the Kühne Foundation are music and literature. Throughout 2019, it once again supported many concerts, operas and festivals in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. These include the Salzburg Festival – of which the Kühne Foundation is a main sponsor as of 2019 – the Elbphilharmonie, the Hamburg State Opera, the Festival Hall Baden-Baden, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, the Zurich Opera House, the Lucerne Festival – in 2019, it was announced that the Kühne Foundation will belong to the main sponsors as of 2020 –, and the Music Summer at Lake Zurich. The Kühne Foundation has supported the Harbour Front Literature Festival in Hamburg since 2009.



Further information at:

Kühne Foundation