Published: 15-03-2011 00:00 | Updated: 08-07-2014 14:34

US venture capitalist donates USD 2 million to KI

The Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet has received a donation of USD 2 million from the Foundation of US venture capitalist William K. Bowes, Jr. for the establishment of an Accelerator Fund for Young Talented Scientists. With prestigious Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley and UCSF previously setting up accelerator funds supported by the William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation, Karolinska Institutet is now invited as the first university outside the US.

The aim of the Accelerator Fund is to support Karolinska Institutet´s recruitment of young talented scientists in the field of basic to clinical medicine and epidemiology.

"The international competition for talents puts pressure on all universities, on how to attract and to keep the best brains", says Professor Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson, President of Karolinska Institutet. "Through Mr Bowes´ generous donation Karolinska Institutet is now offered the necessary means for providing the very brightest young scientists a kick-start in their career."

The application for the fund will be pursued in open competition between young scientists, in Sweden and internationally, intending to pursue their research at Karolinska Institutet. In total four post docs will be granted funding, each for a period of five years.

"The importance of this kind of generous and long-term financing in the initial career of a young scientist cannot be emphasized enough", says Professor Martin Ingvar, Dean of research. "The funding keeps the researcher free from the need to obtain grant support or the distraction of teaching responsibilities. As a researcher you need this space in order to deliver the courageous and creative research that lies behind all major scientific breakthroughs."

The donation by the William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation to Karolinska Institutet has been mediated by the non-profit organization Friends of Karolinska Institutet in the US, of which Mr Bowes is a member of the board.

"For several years I have been engaged in various ways in Karolinska Institutet´s research. I am today truly pleased to further strengthen the bonds between this leading European medical university and the US", says William K. Bowes, Jr."Based on my positive experiences from Karolinska Institutet I have great expectations for the outcome of the Accelerator Fund."

About the Grantor

Venture capitalist William K. Bowes, Jr. began backing entrepreneurs in the 1950s as a hobby. In 1980, he met with lawyers in Palo Alto to draw up official incorporation papers for Applied Molecular Genetics Inc. Today, 18,000 Amgen staff members in 27 countries have built the company into a biotechnology leader, bringing forth therapeutics that have touched the lives of more than eight million patients. William K. Bowes founded U.S. Venture Partners in 1981 which has invested $1.8 billion in more than 370 companies, among those the computer company Sun Microsystems, that earlier this year was acquired by Oracle in a US$ 7.4 billion deal. William K. Bowes, Jr. holds a Bachelor of Arts/Science degree from Stanford University and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University. He has been a board member of the non-profit organization Friends of Karolinska Institutet in the US since 2007.

About Friends of Karolinska Institutet

The Friends of Karolinska Institutet (FKI) is a US non-profit organization, actively promoting Karolinska Institutet. FKI has actively supported Karolinska Institutet in building its major gifts program – Breakthroughs for Life. FKI has received recognition of its status as an organization exempt from federal income taxation under Section 501 © (3) of the international revenue code.