There are more children and young people today than at any other time in human history. Numbering 3.2 billion, they are the shapers and leaders of our global future. At the same time, they are also a demographic who have been historically overlooked, with little investment in their health and well-being.
The highest proportion of children and young people today, and the areas where population growth is highest, is in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where barriers to their development and wellbeing are also the highest.
Children and young people often lack access to the tools, information, and health services to prevent or mitigate disease and develop to their full potential. Much of these barriers are due to a lack of investment and unmet medical needs. Therefore, the need for biomedical and digital health research and its implementation to support vulnerable children and young people is more urgent than ever.
Fondation Botnar is supporting the BRCCH with CHF 100 million. This is divided equally between the University of Basel and the ETH Zurich, via its Foundation, and is being distributed over 10-year years starting from 2018. The BRCCH was awarded an additional CHF 15 million by Fondation Botnar in March 2020 to establish an emergency research call for projects to address the COVID-19 pandemic and its unprecedented global health challenges.
The BRCCH began operations in 2019 and has since brought together top scientists and clinical researchers from its partner institutions, as well as international collaborators, in multidisciplinary consortia. Research focuses on four areas: paediatric digital health; advanced bioengineering for paediatric medicine; essential paediatric medical devices; and ethics, policy, and implementation research in paediatric health. The Centre echoes the goals and legacy of the foundation and aims to promote the health and well-being of children and young people worldwide. The BRCCH has a clear vision to establish itself as a centre to address unmet medical needs in children and young people, especially those in LMICs.
The BRCCH is based in Basel and collaborates with research communities across institutional, regional and national borders to design, develop, translate and implement its research.
BRCCH’s operating institutions are the University of Basel, ETH Zurich, the University Children’s Hospital Basel (UKBB) and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH).