Dr Klaus Schönenberger worked on the creation of EssentialMed starting in 2009, and was appointed director of the foundation in 2010 when it was formally founded.
Klaus Schönenberger obtained an MSc in Microengineering and a PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) in 1996. After one year as a post-doctoral research fellow at the Medical Technology Program, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore (USA), he joined the medical devices industry where he then spent 10 years.
Dr Schönenberger started his industrial career as Project Manager at Compex Medical SA in Switzerland. During his tenure at Compex, he moved into leading management roles, overseeing worldwide R&D, Operations, Quality and Regulatory Affairs.
Dr Schönenberger has held various leading positions in larger medical devices companies like Global Vice-President of Research and Development at Rehabilicare Inc., Minneapolis ($100M in revenue, 500 employees) and Global Vice-president of Electrotherapy Innovation at Rable Therapeutics Inc. (global turnover $500M).
The role he held until he left industry to start the EssentialMed Foundation, was Global Vice-President of Research and Technology at DJO, LLC., Vista, California (Global turnover close to $1B. ~5000 employees). In that position he was responsible for creating a strategic vision for each core technology of the company (Technology Roadmapping) and he was a member of the company’s Business Development Team, in charge of the aspects related to technology.
In 2011 he joined EPFL to launch EssentialTech, a program directed at developing technologies and business models to fight poverty.