Science and education

Two Hong Kong secondary students conduct experiment at Roche laboratory

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.

Access to education

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

  • 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. The program aims to mitigate the shortage of human resources for health through production of a critical mass of enrolled community health nurses equipped with knowledge and skills to provide quality healthcare to mothers and children in their home areas.
  • 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.
  • 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 75 students studying engineering or economics at leading colleges/universities.
  • In India, we support college/university scholarships for 19 students of the Kiran Children’s Village, a home and school for children – some of whom with disabilities – from very poor families.
  • In Ghana, we support 26 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.
  • In Côte d'Ivoire, we support 6 lab technician students through their three-year course in order to increase the number of skilled medical laboratory technicians in the Ivory Coast.
  • 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.

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.

Tags: People, Society, Philanthropy