Local and regional impact report

12. November 2018

AO Foundation unveils report on local, regional impact at landmark Davos event

AO Foundation CEO Rolf Jeker

​The AO Foundation has unveiled an independent report on its local and regional impact in Davos and the Canton of Grisons at a landmark event on November 9, 2018.

The independent report was produced by a team of respected academics and researchers from the Institute for Systemic Management and Public Governance (IMP-HSG)​ at the University of St. Gallen. It examines the AO's tangible effects, such as monetary impact and added value, as well as its intangible effect, such as its global network, on the city of Davos and the Canton of Grisons for the period 1958-2018. It also looks at the impact of Synbone AG.

The report was commissioned as part of events to mark the AO Foundation's 60th anniversary. Founded in 1958, the AO Foundation promotes excellence in patient care and outcomes in trauma and musculoskeletal disorders. Millions of patients benefit daily worldwide from the new techniques delivered by AO trained surgeons, saving health care systems billions of Swiss Francs.

Co-authored by Simone Strauf (pictured right), Emamdeen Fohim, Matthias Mitterlechner from the University of St. Gallen, the report concluded that the AO Foundation plays a vital economic role in Davos both as an employer and as a company. The report highlighted the long-term, significant, positive, local and regional impact of the AO's flagship educational event, the AO Davos Courses, held each year at the Davos Congress Center since 1960. This is the city's second-largest annual event after the World Economic Forum.

"The AO Foundation is a central part of the research hub that has developed here in Davos and Grisons. Not only does it have a tangible economic effect on the city and the canton, it offers significant reputational boost to the region through it's wide-ranging, high-level, international cooperation," said Simone Strauf from the University of St. Gallen. "Its employees are well-integrated locally and very involved in the city's social and cultural life. The municipality of Davos and the AO Foundation have a mutually highly beneficial relationship and can continue to make a positive contribution to the future development of the region."

The economic impact of the AO in Davos and the Canton of Grisons was assessed as comprising direct economic effects such as the salaries paid, and the broader economic added-value that the AO Foundation offers. 

In addition to the organization’s direct tangible effects, the AO Foundation contributes also to the attractiveness of the location by its cooperation and memberships within the region and through its high-level international cooperation agreements. The AO is a vital part of Science City Davos, and central to the further expansion of Davos as a world-leading research hub.

The AO has specialty areas for trauma, spine, craniomaxillofacial, and veterinary surgery. These clinical divisions continually redefine the state-of-the-art in their fields, maintaining activities in research, development, clinical investigation, and education. 

AO Foundation CEO Rolf Jeker said "As the AO celebrates it's anniversary, this is an ideal moment to look at the impact it has had both locally and globally. The AO's mission remains rooted in the disruptive innovations developed here in Switzerland 60 years ago. The AO is proud to be a part of Davos' history, and proud to represent Switzerland on the world stage – as the gold-standard in education for health care professionals specializing in trauma and musculoskeletal disorders, and as the leading global association of orthopedic specialists. The AO has always had a very special relationship with Davos and the Canton of Grisons. It values this partnership, and looks forward to continued cooperation in the years to come."

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