Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development
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History of the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development

The Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development is not a new phenomenon – it has been one of the leading organizations in the private sector for international health for 35 years.

Starting out as a department within the company for relations with developing countries, then from 1979 known as the Ciba-Geigy Foundation for Cooperation with Developing Countries, we have been working for the sustainable improvement in the living conditions of poor people in developing countries since 1973.

Our humanitarian engagement goes back to the 60s, when the Basel companies Ciba, Geigy, Sandoz, Durand&Huguenin, Hoffmann-La Roche and Lonza founded the Basel Foundation for Developing Countries. The Basel Foundation, for example, supported the field laboratory of the Swiss Tropical Institute which had been in existence since 1957 (and is today the Ifakara Health and Development Research Center) and the Clinical Officers’ Training Center (today: Tanzanian Training Centre for International Health TTCIH) in Ifakara, Tanzania.

The founders of the Basel industrial foundations were convinced that large multinational companies could – and should – also make an important contribution beyond their normal business activities to combat worldwide poverty, hardship and disease. Even then, the initiators recognized the need as a more prosperous section of the world community to accept their share of social responsibility towards the people living in poverty in developing countries.


Publications (foundation / partner organizations)

Annual Report 2005, Chapter 3: History
The Determination to Play a Formative Role in Development Policy Runs Like a Thread Through the History of the Foundation.


Silver Jubilee of the Novartis Foundation, 1 December 2004
A Personal Review by Klaus M. Leisinger
Download > [de], [en] (PDF, 107.8 KB)


Mehr geben, weniger nehmen
Geschichte der Schweizer Entwicklungspolitik und der Novartis Stiftung für Nachhaltige Entwicklung
Download > [de], [en] (PDF, 107.8 KB)


Helping the Poorest to Overcome Poverty
Excerpts from the book "Mehr geben, weniger nehmen" by Jürg Bürgi and Al Imfeld
Download > [en] (PDF, 1.1 MB)


Annual report 2012

The annual report 2012 of the Novartis Foundation is now available.

Order a copy or download the electronic version

Archive >


Driving innovative approaches in the fight against leprosy

Driving innovative approaches in the fight against leprosy

Download >
[en] (PDF, 1.3 MB)

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