Peter J. Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
In December 2017, UConn announced the establishment of The Peter J. Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation after philanthropist and entrepreneur Peter J. Werth made a historic $22.5 million commitment to UConn. Under University leadership, the Institute will bring together student and faculty programs fostering entrepreneurship and innovation that potentially have commercial application and can be used to create new companies. In addition to nurturing innovation, the Institute will facilitate entrepreneurship speaker forums and host an entrepreneur-in-residence to instruct students.
The Werth Institute will serve the University of Connecticut through an interdisciplinary approach to entrepreneurship and innovation that is inclusive of existing and new programs. We will facilitate opportunities for all students, while continually driving to promote the University’s academic, co-curricular, and extracurricular programs. By facilitating partnerships and building relationships spanning schools, industries, and traditional fields of study, the Werth Institute will provide exceptional opportunities for students, faculty, and alumni.
David Noble is the Director of the Werth Institute. There are currently over 30 programs that are members of the Institute.
About Peter J. Werth
Peter J. Werth is a philanthropist and the founder, president, and CEO of ChemWerth, Inc. Werth earned his bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State University in Kansas and his master’s degree from Stanford University, beginning his professional career as an R&D scientist in the early 1960s. Working from a room above the garage in his Woodbridge, Connecticut home, he established ChemWerth Inc., a full-service generic drug development and supply company, in 1982.
Werth’s vision was to produce U.S. FDA-quality active pharmaceutical ingredients in China, which would make generic drugs more accessible and affordable. He immersed himself in the local Chinese market and worked alongside manufacturers to achieve the necessary quality of ingredients. Today, sourcing active pharmaceutical ingredients from China is an industry norm, providing a significant cost savings on medication for millions.
Werth’s dedication to improving the lives of people through affordable generic medicine is matched by his most generous philanthropic spirit. Werth’s previous commitment provided the lead gift for the Werth Family UConn Basketball Champions Center, a world-class facility for the UConn women’s and men’s basketball teams. In addition to his numerous charitable donations to UConn, he is the president of The Werth Family Foundation Inc., which was established in 2001 to support Connecticut communities, with a focus on higher education, children’s services, human services, the arts, and the environment. Werth is also a 2015 honorary Doctor of Science degree recipient from UConn.