Mission Statement “To Foster, Facilitate and Expand Bilateral Academic Networking between Australia and Switzerland" Australia and Switzerland are global players in science and technology, making an above average contribution relative to the size of their population. Similarly, Australia and Switzerland maintain strong economic links, with Switzerland’s influx of global direct investment into Australia in 2009 ranking 2nd among European countries and 6th globally. Both countries maintain world-class academic institutions of excellence, with several of their universities found among the global top-100 lists, and each country accounts for many Nobel Laureates. However, current bilateral arrangements are limited to a few agreements between individual Australian and Swiss universities, publicly and privately-funded research institutes, and government agencies. Accordingly, there is a need and opportunity to expand and strengthen the reciprocal academic exchange between the two countries on all levels. SAAN, created as an open and highly interactive “grass-root” organisation, is committed to identify, develop and improve networking opportunities between Swiss and Australian academics for the purpose of expanding collaborative research, increasing bilateral exchanges and lobbying government and industry in the two countries. SAAN aims to reciprocally raise awareness and profile of Australia and Switzerland throughout the academic, industrial and business sectors covering life sciences, engineering, humanities and the arts. SAAN has a track record of organising regular events and lectures that directly link industry, academia, and other stakeholders (including universities, governmental departments, research organisations and funding agencies), and SAAN has made a submission on this subject to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Innovation. SAAN is seeking to establish and maintain connections between leading academics in Australia and Switzerland, and hosts events and lectures to facilitate, expand and nurture strong ties within academia as well as to provide linking opportunities with industry. SAAN’s focus projects for 2011/12 include: -
To organise and initiate events such as lectures, symposia showcasing Swiss-Australian collaboration in higher education and research.
To finalise the negotiations of, and subsequently administer a bilateral agreement between the major Swiss universities and the Group of Eight (Go8) leading universities in Australia to establish and resource short-term exchange programmes for postgraduate academics.
To facilitate the creation of dedicated fellowships for the exchange of students and postdoctoral fellows between the two countries as part of reciprocal agreements between relevant national funding bodies.
To increase the representation of SAAN in Switzerland.
To extend communication among SAAN members and to effectively utilise the possibilities offered by the new interactive SAAN website (www.saan.id.au).
To monitor existing, and to forge new collaborations and between Australian and Swiss academics.
To initiate and support collaboration between Australian and Swiss universities and businesses. SWISS AUSTRALIAN ACADEMIC NETWORK - SAAN ABN 68 137 291 831 89 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000 www.saan.id.au
SAAN is a not-for-profit organisation, incorporated as a company limited by guarantee, and is promoted by the Embassy of Switzerland in Canberra, the Consulate-General of Switzerland in Sydney, the Australian Embassy for Switzerland in Berlin, Austrade in Frankfurt and Zurich, the Swiss Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) and swissnex Singapore. Although SAAN proudly acknowledges existing corporate sponsorship arrangements with industrial partners, there is an ongoing need to expand public and private financial support and sponsoring for SAAN to pursue its missions. Since its inception, originally as Swiss Academic Network Melbourne in 2004, SAAN has been growing steadily and today accounts in excess of 500 contacts, with approximately 400 residing in Australia and 120 in Switzerland. SAAN members comprise scientists, physicians, lawyers and other leaders from academia, industry, commerce and government. SAAN has representatives and promotes activities in all Australian States and Territories. Since SAAN strives to act as a resource hub across all professional sectors, membership is open to academics working in Australia or Switzerland and is free of charge.
SAAN EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Matthias Ernst, PhD – President A PhD graduate from ETH Zurich, Matthias has been working in the field of cancer research in the USA, Switzerland and Australia. He is the acting Director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research’s Melbourne Branch, a Senior Research Fellow of the NH&MRC and an Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne. Roland Stocker, PhD - Vice-President Roland studied at ETH in Zurich and ANU in Canberra and conducted post-doctoral research in the USA and Switzerland. Subsequently, he became a Principal Investigator at Sydney’s Heart Research Institute. Currently, Roland is a Senior Principal Research Fellow of the NH&MRC and Chair of Biochemistry in Vascular Medicine at the University of Sydney. Robert Medcalf, PhD - Secretary Born and educated in Melbourne, Robert spent seven years in Switzerland, studying cell and molecular biology at the University of Lausanne. In 1993 he took up a Research Fellowship at Monash University in Melbourne, where he is now a Senior Research Fellow of the NH&MRC and an Associate Professor working at the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases. Dr Christian Stocker, MD – Teaching/Education/Professional Development A physician graduated from the University of Berne, Christian is a specialist in Neonatal and Paediatric Intensive Care Medicine. He has been working for the Queensland Paediatric Intensive Care Service in Brisbane and has been appointed Senior Lecturer at the University of Queensland. He is now based at the Mater Children’s Hospital. Bruno Giger – Treasurer, Webmaster Bruno has a degree in Computer Science (Eidg. Dipl. Wirtschaftsinformatiker). With over 30 years IT Senior Management experience in the areas of project management, business analysis and process re-engineering within the European banking sector and leading global securities firms, he is now part-owner of several companies in the Australian IT market. Jean-Guy Schneider, PhD - Events Jean-Guy has completed a M.Sc. and Ph.D. degree in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at the University of Berne before moving to Australia in 2000. He now works as a Senior Lecturer in Software Engineering at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, and has a variety of teaching and research interests in computer science and software engineering. Boris Baer, PhD – Communication Boris studied at the University of Zurich and received his PhD from ETH Zurich in 2000. After a four year post-doc in Copenhagen, he was awarded a SNSF fellowship at the University of Western Australia receiving a prestigious ARC fellowship. Boris is the principle investigator of a cross-disciplinary research group (CIBER), studying honeybee reproduction, immunity and ecology. SAAN sponsored by