AO 60th Anniversary event

15. November 2018

AO Foundation welcomes distinguished guests to 60 years event in Davos

AO Foundation founders Thomas Rüedi, Peter Matter, and Stephan Perren

The AO Foundation welcomed invited guests from Davos and the Canton of Grisons to an event at Davos Town Hall on November 9 in Davos to celebrate its 60th anniversary and unveil a report on its local and regional impact. During the event, special guest speakers addressed an invited audience comprising well-known figures from Davos' political, economic, and cultural life, current senior management from the AO Foundation, and surviving founders Peter Matter, Thomas Rüedi, and Stephan Perren. 

Davos Landamann Tarzisius Caviezel welcomed attendees and delivered an address on behalf of the Gemeinde Davos
Davos Landamann Tarzisius Caviezel welcomed the assembled guests and speakers with an introduction to the study and an overview​ of the role that the AO has played in Davos since it was founded in 1958. "Throughout its 60-year history, the AO Foundation has both responded to the challenges of globalization through achieving international growth, while remaining firmly grounded in Davos. The AO makes a massive contribution to the worldwide recognition of Davos as a center for science and research, we look forward to the continuation of this fruitful cooperation" Caviezel said.

AO Foundation past-president Nikolaus Renner painted a vivid picture of the journey that the AO had taken since it was founded, and the particular impact it has had on the medical community and patients over the past 60 years. 

The focal point of the event was the release of an independent report 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. "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. 

AO Foundation CEO Rolf Jeker said "As the AO celebrates its 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."​

Highlights include:
• In total, the AO Foundation and Synbone AG contributed around CHF 31.4 million to Graubünden in 2016, with CHF 25.3 million spent in Davos itself. These funds are chiefly the salaries and wages of employees, but also include money spent by participants, faculty, and exhibitors at the Davos Courses and other AO Foundation events. 
• The direct financial revenue added for the Canton of Grisons by the AO Foundation amounts to CHF 25.4 million, with 20.4 million or 80% for the city of Davos.
• Taxes are paid on sales and income generated. The AO Foundation and Synbone AG contribution the VAT revenue of the Swiss Confederation – due to taxes paid on sales and income – was almost CHF 2 million in 2016. 
• In total, the federal, cantonal and municipal authorities receive income tax estimated at CHF 2.8 - 3 million, of which about CHF 1.0 - 1.2 million are attributable to the municipality of Davos.


Icon Nikolaus Renner, AO Foundation, Past-President
Icon AO Foundation 60th anniversary event
Icon AO Foundation founder Stephan Perren (middle) in conversation with event attendees
Icon AO Foundation founders Thomas Rüedi, Peter Matter, and Stephan Perren discuss with AO Foundation Past-President Nikolaus Renner (second from right)