Science and education

We believe in the long-term impact of education to improve the lives of children, their families, and communities. In partnership with local institutions, we support education programmes designed to inspire children and youth from primary grades through university, in the developing world as well as in developed countries. We do this to accelerate science education and literacy.

Supporting youth in science

As a research-based healthcare company, science and technology are at the core of what we do. That is why we support international and local programmes to promote an interest in these disciplines among young people. By improving access to education and real-world science and biotech skills, we hope to help grow the next generation of innovators. A few examples of Roche-supported programs around the world:

  • International Swiss Talent Forum (ISTF): Roche is a founding partner of the ISTF, a think tank for young adults to address global and long-term challenges of our time founded in 2009. The ISTF is one of several national competitions and study weeks offered by Swiss Youth in Science, a foundation supported by Roche for over 50 years.

  • Science on the Move (SOTM): Started in 2011, SOTM is a nation-wide, bi-annual science competition for Swiss high school classes sponsored by Roche and run by the SimplyScience, a foundation of the scienceindustries business association. With the opportunity for the top-performing class to win a science week abroad, the objective of the competition is to identify the class with the greatest dedication and commitment in the subjects of biology and science. The competition challenges a broad range of skills including conducting classical biological and biochemical tasks in the laboratory, communicating the results through a scientific report or video as well as a creative presentation in front of an expert jury.

  • Genentech Futurelab: Futurelab is a science education programme developed in partnership with the South San Francisco Unified School District to support science education at every grade level, from elementary school to high school – impacting 9,000 students in South San Francisco. Futurelab supports teachers with professional development, students with field trips and access to scholarships, and classrooms with equipment and supplies teachers need for their curriculum. It also gives employees the chance to get involved through volunteering and mentoring. Since launch in 2015, over 65,000 employee volunteer hours are invested in Futurelab programmes that offer exciting science experiences for local students.

  • EXPERIO Roche: The EXPERIO Roche school laboratory opened in February 2015 in Kaiseraugst, Switzerland, under the sponsorship of the Roche Human Resources Apprenticeship department. This state-of-the-art laboratory has been designed to enable pupils in the region, from primary school to college, to experience the practical application of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects for themselves. The laboratory allows schoolchildren to experience a range of scientific activities including programming robots, soldering electronic circuits, and understanding fundamental chemical and biological processes. EXPERIO Roche reaches up to 2,500 students a year.

  • ICT Scouts / Campus: Instead of campaigning for new talents, ICT Scouts systematically screen entire middle-school classes for talents in the context of a specifically designed programming workshop. Once discovered talents are given the opportunity to participate in a continuous extracurricular foster program, the ICT Campus. Since 2020 Roche is supporting this Swiss initiative and collaborating with ICT Scouts / Campus in an Roche employee volunteering programme. https://ict-scouts.ch/

Access to education

In developing areas, we fund education programs that support talented students from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds.

  • In Côte d'Ivoire, through our foundation Roche Recherche en Afrique, we support 14 lab technician students through their three-year course at the Université Atlantique in order to increase the number of skilled medical laboratory technicians in the country. We also provide 8 pathologist scholarships at the Unité de formation et de recherche Sciences Médicales d'Abidjan.

  • In India, we support college/university scholarships for 10 students of the Kiran Children’s Village, a home and school for children – some of whom with disabilities – from very poor families.

  • In Indonesia, we are committed to strengthening the oncology nursing workforce by providing 30 nurses with basic oncology training and providing 20 oncology nursing scholarships in partnership with the Universitas Indonesia.

  • In Kenya, we started a partnership with Beyond Zero to provide scholarships at the Kenya Medical Training Centre to 124 nurses from the Arid region. Beyond Zero is committed to promoting quality maternal, child and neonatal health care services through universal healthcare. We are also supporting the training of 100 community health workers through our partnership with Amref, an NGO committed to improving health services in Africa. This initiative, made possible through the Roche Recherche en Afrique Foundation, aims to improve cervical and breast cancer diagnosis level by putting community members at the center of intervention.

  • In Ghana, we support 30 oncology nurse scholarships at the Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives. This initiative, made possible through the Roche Recherche en Afrique Foundation, will more than triple the number of oncology nurses in Ghana. Through the same foundation, we support AO Alliance to train 20 orthopedic technicians to support better outcomes for trauma injury patients.

  • We also support the New Horizon Special School in Ghana, providing education, vocational training and employment for adults who have intellectual disabilities. We support the training of four additional craft instructors for the Workshop Expansion Project to guarantee the enrolment of more students and ensure the development of each individual, irrespective of their disability, to their fullest potential.

  • In Latin America, we support Fundación Educación in Peru, Colombia, El Salvador and Guatemala and its goal to develop a middle class; we provide four-year scholarships for 34 students studying engineering or economics at leading colleges/universities.

  • In South Africa, we started a partnership with the Maharishi Institute university to cover the education costs of 50 students; additionally, Roche South Africa supports a health education wellness programme for students, career development and personal finance workshops, and has employed graduates on their ‘learnership’ programme. We also support the Christel House, a non-profit organisation committed to breaking the cycle of poverty by improving access to excellent education, with 30 scholarships (grades 10-12).

Mapping the paths of life - Roche Biochemical Pathways

First compiled by Dr. Gerhard Michal in 1965, the Biochemical Pathways Wall Charts are two integrated schematic diagrams that provide a graphical representation of the most important biochemical pathways in living organisms. Since then, the charts have become a worldwide standard reference for more than 50 years, and can be found hanging in nearly every research institute from Argentina to New Zealand. We believe that it is important to support scientists, teachers and students so that they have access to important scientific information to help their research and education. Today, Roche also provides the charts on an interactive online platform.

Read more about Roche Biochemical Pathways .

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