Socio-political Responsibility: the Kühne Foundation

million CHF promotional funding

projects worldwide

Sustainable commitment.

The Kühne Foundation was established in Switzerland by the Kühne family in 1976 and is today renowned for its initiatives to support academic teaching, further education, training and research in the fields of logistics and transport. It is also strongly involved in medical, cultural and humanitarian projects. The Kühne Foundation is an operative organisation which initiates most of its projects itself. Through its funding activities, the Kühne Foundation and its donor Klaus-Michael Kühne, majority shareholder of the Kuehne + Nagel Group, also exercise their socio-political responsibility.

Logistics projects

The Foundation’s goal is to support and develop logistics as an academic field. Logistics is facing major challenges: Digitalisation, globalisation and the call for more sustainability are creating new, complex interactions that require integrated thinking and proactive participation. The Kühne Foundation connects research institutions that provide scientific supervision of new developments and supports further education 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 transport, global logistics and supply chain management. In 2017, the KLU was granted the right to confer doctorate degrees by the Hamburg Senate – an important milestone in the development of the university. In addition, the Kühne Foundation supports academic chairs, competence and training centres at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich), at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, Vallendar, the Technical University of Berlin, the Tongji University in Shanghai, the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá and at the German Foreign Trade & Logistics Academy (DAV) in Bremen.
HELP Logistics AG, a subsidiary of the Kühne Foundation, advises and trains international aid organisations on various continents to improve their expertise in logistics and thereby enhance the effectiveness of aid measures. HELP regional offices were established for this purpose in Singapore for South-East Asia, in Amman for the Near and Middle East and in Nairobi for East Africa. The HELP organisation has 15 logistics experts with specialised expertise in consulting and training.

In 2018, the Kühne Foundation expanded its education and further training programme in logistics and supply chain management. While the offerings of the Kühne Logistics University and the chairs funded by the Foundation aim to provide qualifications for an international logistics elite, support for education projects in developing and emerging countries was also intensified. As part of HELP Logistics, institutes of higher education, particularly in Africa, are supported 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, which pursues similar goals.  


Medical Projects

Around the world, roughly one billion people are affected by allergic diseases and asthma. In Davos, Switzerland, the Christine Kühne-Center for Allergy Research and Education (CK-CARE), founded in 2009, is devoted to researching and treating allergic diseases. It also funds the training of both specialist and general practitioners. CK-CARE was conceived as an association of leading international scientists. In November 2018, the Kühne Foundation took over the Hochgebirgsklinik in Davos, with which it had established close links over the course of many years of collaboration. In addition to treating allergy patients, the hospital also has a rehabilitation centre for heart deseases.


Cultural projects

The main cultural activities supported by the Kühne Foundation are music and literature. Throughout 2018, 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 and the Hamburg State Opera, the Festival Hall Baden-Baden, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, the Zurich Opera House, the Lucerne Festival, the Music Summer on Lake Zurich and the Harbour Front Literature Festival in Hamburg.