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Annual Report


OUR MISSION:

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SWISSNEX: A GLOBAL NETWORK

IS TO CONNECT THE DOTS BETWEEN SWITZERLAND AND THE WORLD IN SCIENCE, EDUCATION, ART AND INNOVATION. SWISSNEX IS A NETWORK WITH NODES IN THE WORLD’S MOST INNOVATIVE HUBS, WHERE THE FUTURE IS BEING SHAPED. WE TAKE AN ACTIVE ROLE IN STRENGTHENING SWITZERLAND’S LEADERSHIP AS A WORLD-CLASS LOCATION FOR SCIENCE, EDUCATION, RESEARCH AND INNOVATION.

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Initiative of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, SERI, managed in cooperation with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, FDFA. The swissnex network includes outposts in Boston, Brazil, China, India, San Francisco and Singapore.

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swissnex annual report 2014


CONTENTS MISSION STATEMENT

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LETTER FROM THE STATE SECRETARY

FINANCIALS, LEADERSHIP TEAM

DOTS CONNECTED IN 2014

BOSTON BRAZIL CHINA INDIA

14 18 22

26

SAN FRANCISCO SINGAPORE

30

34

SPONSORS AND PARTNERS

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8

38

6

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Letter From THE State Secretary Dear Reader, It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to the first joint Annual Report of the swissnex network. This report provides an overview of the activities and achievements of all six swissnex locations in 2014. For a more comprehensive overview of the many projects and successes in the swissnex network, I invite you to visit the newly redesigned swissnex.org. The swissnex network reached two important milestones over the past year: swissnex Singapore, the first swissnex established in Asia, celebrated a decade of connecting the dots between Switzerland and this Asian knowledge hub, in which a strong Swiss presence in the fields of science, education and innovation has been established. The network also welcomed its latest addition with the inauguration of swissnex Brazil in April 2014, presided over by Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann. Whilst at its origin, 15 years ago, swissnex began as an innovative experiment in Boston, today it has evolved into an established and well recognized network. Together with our 18 Science and Technology Counselors positioned in Swiss Embassies around the globe, the swissnexes offer a diversity of tailor-made services to support the internationalization of our partners’ projects and organizations and, by consequence, of Switzerland’s education, research and innovation landscape. It remains nonetheless necessary for each swissnex to continue to reinvent itself, to be innovative in the development of partnerships, to explore new opportunities and to adapt to local cultures, in order to remain successful in meeting its stated objectives. Such dynamism relies heavily on ensuring a collaborative approach with our partners; one that is based on confidence and which builds on harnessing mutual creativity and expertise. For your trust in swissnex and in the people behind the dots, I would like to warmly thank you. I remain enthusiastic about the emerging partnerships that will come to fruition in 2015 and beyond. Yours sincerely,

Mauro Dell’Ambrogio State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation

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swissnex annual report 2014


FINANCIALS OVERALL SWISSNEX FUNDING The overall funding covers all expenses, such as operations, salaries, infrastructure, projects and travel.

5,890,000 SERI 2,990,000 PARTNER CONTRIBUTIONS

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880,000 SERI 1,450,000 PARTNER CONTRIBUTIONS (CASH) 8,880,000 TOTAL FUNDING

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swissnex annual report 2014

PARTNER CONTRIBUTIONS (IN KIND)


DOTS CONNECTED in 2014

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180+

STARTUPS EMPOWERED

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EVENTS ORGANISED

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DELEGATIONS AND STUDY TRIPS LED

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swissnex annual report 2014


BOSTON 95 events organised 32 startups empowered - 7 visiting startups - 3 through webinars and consultation - 22 startup delegations 42 delegations and study tours led

BRAZIL 41 events organised 15 startups empowered - 4 through webinars and consultation - 11 startup delegations 5 delegations and study tours led

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CHINA 53 events organised 29 startups empowered - 10 visiting startups - 9 through webinars and consultations - 10 startup delegations

INDIA

35 delegations and study tours led

68 events organised 40 startups empowered - 11 visiting startups - 20 through webinars and consultation - 9 startup delegations 20 delegations and study tours led

SINGAPORE 59 events organised 12 Startups empowered - 5 visiting startups - 7 through webinars and consultation 11 delegations and study tours led

SAN FRANCISCO 78 events organised 59 startups empowered - 9 visiting startups - 50 through webinars and consultation 11 delegations and study tours led

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swissnex annual report 2014


Felix Moesner,

CEO, Consul

2014 was a fantastic year for swissnex Boston. Our 14th year was marked by many highlights, culminating with the Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days held in July. Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard joined us to kickoff this special series, which included the premiere of the Watt d’Or exhibition. In early 2014, EPFL President Patrick Aebischer, the Harvard Wyss Institute’s founder Hansjörg Wyss and world-renowned entrepreneur Ernesto Bertarelli gathered at swissnex Boston to present the Campus Biotech Geneva for the first time to an audience. We also brought the Excellent Swiss Design exhibition to Boston, showcasing the best in Swiss contemporary design. In October, we celebrated 60 Years of CERN with a month-long program on the world’s largest particle physics laboratory at Harvard University. The Venture Leaders Boston boot camp enjoyed its own milestone with an expansion of the program to include New York City. Finally, our continued collaboration with the Office of Science, Technology and Higher Education at the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington D.C. allowed us to jointly highlight one of our country’s most important strengths: its vocational education and training / apprenticeship system – a model that attracted significant interest and attention on this side of the Atlantic. With 95 events, delegations and high-profile visitors, we’ve truly achieved new benchmarks in ‘connecting the dots’ and raising Switzerland’s profile abroad. As we enter our 15th year, I invite you to learn more about these initiatives, and to discover why Boston – a city poised to compete as the US’ bid for the 2024 Olympics – matters, and why swissnex Boston is at the forefront of education, research and innovation here. Stay tuned: Success in progress!

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BOSTON

REACHING NEW HEIGHTS

Watt d’Or Opening Ceremony

The First Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days In July, swissnex Boston partnered with the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) to host the Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days (SUEID). This series brought together over 30 organizations and hundreds of experts from Switzerland and the US for a mutual dialogue into the future of energy innovation. Hosted at Northeastern University, the program invited a number of energy innovation experts, including our Energy Minister, Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard, and a delegation of 80 Swiss executives from the academic, research, governmental, and corporate sectors. The Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days offered a broad perspective and rich

“The SFOE highly valued the collaboration with swissnex Boston in terms of efficiency and providing an excellent platform to present Swiss

discussion on the current challenges and opportunities in energy innovation. The SUEID included the world premiere of Watt d’Or, a traveling exhibition showcasing

Energy Innovation to the

Switzerland’s most innovative energy projects.

US. The Swiss participants

The SUEID proved critical for Switzerland because they afforded the Swiss delegation the rare opportunity to have strategic meetings with key leaders in energy innovation in Boston, including the Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick and the Mayor of Boston, Martin J. Walsh. The delegation was also able to engage with leaders from Boston’s top academic & research institutions: Harvard University, MIT, and Northeastern University. As part of the agenda, ETH Zurich and MIT signed an agreement to enable an exchange of students, as well as greater collaboration in the field of energy.

were very pleased with the achieved results and the full pipeline of follow-ups ensures a prosperous partnership with the US in the future.” Dr. Walter Steinmann, Director of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy and State

swissnex Boston also coordinated exclusive visits to some of Boston’s top innovation

Secretary for Energy

centres: MassChallenge, Greentown Labs, the Wind Testing Technology Center of Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), and EnerNOC.

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swissnex annual report 2014


Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days

Impact: The SUEID proved to be fruitful, and continue to add value for Switzerland. At the end of 2014, the SFOE and MassCEC signed a collaborative agreement as a direct tangible outcome. In 2015, MIT and ETH Zurich will hold their first two-day energy symposium in Monte Verita in Switzerland, and the second edition of the SUEID will take place in August 2015 in Zurich. In addition, the world’s largest startup accelerator, MassChallenge, is already working with partners in Switzerland. Finally, Federal Councillor Leuthard, who rode in a Tesla while in Boston, is the world’s first Energy Minister with an official electric car. The SUEID were the catalyst for building

“The Watt d’Or Grand Opening Ceremony exhibition event at Northeastern University’s International Village was a tremendous demonstration of what is possible when the

partnerships and continued conversations at various fronts.

Excellent Swiss Design This past fall, swissnex Boston partnered with Design Preis Schweiz, and the Massachusetts College of Art to bring the Excellent Swiss Design exhibition to Boston. Designed to showcase highlights from the selection of winners and nominees of the Design Prize Switzerland award, the exhibition and program of events offered Boston designers and design aficionados alike a rare glimpse into contemporary Swiss design, and an opportunity to engage in dialogue on design methodology with

finest Swiss minds set out to tackle engineering problems, resulting in some truly inspiring and groundbreaking feats in energy efficiency. The work on display sets new standards in achievement across a range

the Swiss designers.

New York Outpost Set up in August 2013, the New York Outpost’s first year has been a positive one that has allowed our office to leverage New York’s strong startup ecosystem for the benefit of Swiss entrepreneurs. The swissnex Boston New York Outpost hosted the Venture Leaders for the first time, and co-organized the Zero Power Smart Fashion exhibition and symposium on wearable tech and smart clothing during New York’s Fashion Week in September.

of industries, from building renovation and modeling to manufacturing processes.” Chad O’ Connor, Lecturer, Northeastern University

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WHAT SETS BOSTON APART EDUCATION is the most Boston is the world’s most dense innovation hub with an abundance of research, creativity, funding and talent. A remarkable 5.67% of its GDP (2011) was invested in R&D.

significant resource in Boston, with over 300 colleges, universities and research institutions within a 90-minute drive. The intellectual powerhouse Boston attracts more than

350,000 college

students from around the world, who contribute more than $4.8 billion annually to the region’s economy.

Sustainability: For the fourth year in a

Economy: A global city, Boston is placed among the world’s top 30 most economically powerful cities. Encompassing $363 billion, the Greater Boston metropolitan area has the sixth-largest economy in the US, all within a 25-km radius.

Innovation Ecosystem: Boston has the top life sciences cluster in the US and is home to a large number of startups and high-tech companies. The world’s largest startup accelerator, MassChallenge, is based in Boston. Venture Capital Investment per Capita in Boston is one of the second highest in the nation at $693.60, only a close second to California at $699.74 in 2014.

row, Boston continues to top the list of the Most Energy Efficient City among America’s 34 largest cities by the American Council for an EnergyEfficient Economy. Always on the forefront of sustainability, the City of Boston has a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020, and by 80% by 2050.

New York City

Economic Powerhouse: The economy of New York City is the largest regional economy in the United States. Its GDP alone is similar to that of Australia. Fashionable New York is also the second strongest venture capital market in the US, having surpassed Massachusetts in 2014.

Washington DC

Policy: Washington, D.C. is the science & innovation policy capital of the United States and sets world-wide trends.

Campus Biotech Geneva: First Public Presentation

swissnex Boston Team with New York Outpost

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swissnex annual report 2014


Gioia Deucher,

CEO, Consul

Forty-one, eight, seven, five and one are the numbers that mark swissnex Brazil’s first year of existence. In forty-one events in our eight months of activity, we built ourselves a niche in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo’s busy event schedules, connecting Swiss and Brazilian scientists, innovators and artists. With our fabulous new team of seven swissnexers from a variety of backgrounds, we hosted five delegations as they explored Brazil’s leading innovation institutions. All of this was kick-started in one memorable inauguration ceremony in April 2014. For swissnex Brazil, this first year has been marked by a tremendously steep learning curve, new spaces built, processes invented, knowledge gained, a culture created, friendships made, dots connected. It is thanks to the trust and support we experienced from you, our partners, that we look back on an exciting year of discovery and creation. We’re now ready to go full-steam into our second year of activity and look forward to gaining new friends and partners as we continue exploring the swissnex network’s latest frontier in the Southern hemisphere.

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BRAZIL

Up... and running!

swissnex Brazil Team

“The swissnex Brazil inauguration was very original and offered an excellent opportunity for the Science and Economy

2014 started on the fly for swissnex Brazil: two first interns joined our small team of two, just as we moved into our new office space in Rio de Janeiro, and were soon followed by our first collaborator in the São Paulo satellite office. In a first exercise of impressive teamwork, our brand new lobby with its first digital art installation, a two-day urbanism seminar, an architectural exhibition and other festivities were ready on time to celebrate swissnex Brazil’s inauguration on the memorable date 4/4/2014!

Delegation to create new In the presence of Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann and a

and interesting contacts in a pleasant environment.”

46-person delegation from business, science and the media, swissnex Brazil’s opening was celebrated in a series of events spanning two days.

Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann

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swissnex annual report 2014


Under the symbolic theme of “Juntos Construímos” (Together, We Build), experts and thought leaders from Brazil and Switzerland discussed best practices around urban planning and social housing - a theme taken up by an exhibition in the swissnex offices, portraying outstanding Swiss-Brazilian architectural projects conceived by ETH Zurich in collaboration with local partners.

In the lobby of Casa da Suíça, which hosts swissnex, the Consulate General and a Swiss restaurant, video artists from HEAD Geneva set a playful ambiance with an interactive installation taking visitors on a virtual tour of Switzerland. Against this backdrop and in the presence of some 270 guests, Federal Councilor solemnly announced the signature of bilateral agreement between the SNSF and Rio de Janeiro’s science foundation FAPERJ, marking the beginning of a new era of scientific collaboration underpinned by the opening of swissnex Brazil.

Celebrations reached their peak with a relaxed party on the breathtaking swissnex Brazil terrace facing Rio’s eminent landmark, the Sugarloaf. Over Raclette and Swiss wine from the Ecole de Changins, paired with the

Academia Industry Training (AIT) Camp

light tunes of live Bossa Nova music, new Swiss-Brazilian friendships were made and dots got connected.

In order to provide them with the tools to

Leaving Switzerland’s first days of winter

kickstart their own venture, participants

for Rio’s sunny summer, each of the six

Barely inaugurated, swissnex Brazil took on

attended hands-on workshops on

selected researchers from Switzerland

a variety of projects touching on science,

company creation, business modeling and

brought along a promising idea for

education, art and innovation. The Academia

fundraising, just to name a few.

applying their research in the marketplace.

Industry Training, or AIT, held in November

In an intense week of learning and working,

Along with five local peers joining the

2014, represents an innovative element of

the Swiss and Brazilian researchers

training from four cities across Brazil, they

Swiss-Brazilian cooperation in science.

exchanged knowhow, inspired one another

came to acquire new knowledge, identify

and created lasting bonds. And the good

partners and discover opportunities in the

In collaboration with the EPFL Leading

news is that the AIT is not quite over yet:

local health sector. In a week-long series

House, swissnex India and countless

in April 2015, the eleven participants will

of workshops, lectures, company visits

local partners, the program launched with

reunite again in Switzerland to build on

and networking events, the participants

an ambitious goal: to connect high-level

insights and tools acquired, this time with a

learned what it takes to enter the Brazilian

scientists from Switzerland with their peers

perspective on the Swiss health market.

market, familiarizing themselves with the

in India and Brazil, and inspire them to bring

peculiarities of the country’s scientific and

their research to market.

business landscapes.

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“In these first two days I already learned much more than I could possibly imagine.” Leonardo Chicaybam Ph.D. student at INCA and Technologist at FIOCRUZ

WHAT SETS BRAZIL APART BRAZIL

A creative melting pot

A country full of opportunities

Rio attracts great minds in the creative industry spanning from music to design. We bridged creative minds and fostered collaborations through events such as Act Like You Mean It, Poetic Sunset Churrasco, Movie Nights and the HEAD’s Swiss View.

As the powerhouse of Latin America and with São Paulo as the hub for innovation and economic growth, we opened doors to the Brazilian business world through study tours and delegations.

Niches of

Excellence

In the last 20 years Brazil’s output in scientific publications has risen by a factor of 5 making it Latin America’s largest producer of scientific publications. Brazil leads pioneering research and innovations in agriculture, IT and sustainability. We provide guidance for Swiss partners through Brazil’s lesser-known scientific and research landscape.

Opportunities abound due to non-saturation of the market:

A hunger for internationalization “I learned exactly what I needed to know what to do with my company, to keep it going and to seek partnerships, not only with

The Brazilian government’s “Science Without Borders” program sends 100,000 students abroad each year. We supported this urge to internationalize by facilitating the signature of a Letter of Intent for bilateral research collaboration between science promotion agencies in Switzerland and Brazil (SNSF and FAPERJ).

Brazilian but also with Swiss

Brazil is a “new” window of opportunity in a globalized economy. We introduced Swiss researcherentrepreneurs to Brazilian market opportunities through the Academia Industry Training.

The focus of the world

companies.”

With the World Cup and the Olympics, the eyes of the world are on Brazil. We presented Swiss science and innovation to visitors and sports fans at the House of Switzerland / Baixo Suíça during the FIFA World Cup 2014.

Patricia Pelegrini, Founder and Partner at Diagene Molecular Diagnosis

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swissnex annual report 2014


Pascal Marmier,

CEO, Vice Consul General

Looking back to 2014, we are very happy that we could help a lot of innovators and entrepreneurs ďŹ nd collaborations, projects or fresh ideas in China. Thanks to venturelab, 10 tech entrepreneurs came to Shanghai and Beijing with the majority of them going home with contracts, investments proposals or many follow up opportunities. Lift China gathered together a large representation of makers from Europe and China who started collaborating from the ďŹ rst time they met. We are also excited about some of the further interest of many stakeholders in our activities. Swiss universities of Applied Sciences are in discussion with their counterparts in China to launch a major collaborative effort following an ofďŹ cial discussion in Beijing. Our CTI-sponsored Market Entry Camp also got a big boost as Swiss startups became more active in looking for partners, customers or manufacturers. In China, we feel that swissnex has a unique position to use its important status as part of the Swiss government combined with its entrepreneurial spirit to achieve its goals. For this, the team is key and I am thrilled about the excellence and diversity of each person that has worked at swissnex China during the year. In 2015, we will continue our exploration with new formats and programs with new partners!

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CHINA

HERE COMES THE NEW ERA OF INNOVATION

2014 marked a year full of new activities and achievements. We are proud to say that we have engaged and connected the Swiss and Chinese innovative communities more deeply. Many new ideas were born through these connections and many more collaborations are expected in the future.

The first edition of Lift China is a perfect example. By co-organising this conference and bringing together Shanghai’s local makers and interaction design community, swissnex China created a stage where the local pioneers could share how they are shaping the country’s open innovation ecosystem from a bottom-up approach. With the makers tour, the creative minds from Europe brought their knowledge to Shenzhen, which eventually led to the creation of China’s first Biohackspace.

Lift China 2014

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swissnex annual report 2014


swissnex China was also thrilled to collaborate with venturelab for the first edition of venture leaders China. The selected ten Swiss startups had an intensive program from Beijing to Shanghai during ten days, with a variety of activities including coaching, networking, pitching and business development. Local experts were invited to share their expertise on a variety of topics: legal aspects of entrepreneurship, fundraising, deal negotiation, social media and PR, business culture and market opportunities. The experience was very intense but extremely helpful as few of the startups got venture leaders pitching against local entrepreneurs

in touch with VC in China and are now in the midst of due diligence with multimillion investment in discussion. For swissnex, this program also led to the establishment of a partnership with Tsinghua University Science Park (TusPark) allowing startups to

“swissnex China has

better access the rich tech ecosystem around this world-class university.

accompanied us, since our first In education, there were many reasons to celebrate the strengthening of the Sino -

steps into Chinese market, with its enthusiasm and efficiency. From its highly competent team with an interesting background

Swiss relations. Universities of Applied Sciences, in particular, continued to expand their network through various programs ranging from sabbaticals, student exchanges and joint degrees. The Canton of Vaud launched new summer schools in design, nursing, business and engineering. We also welcomed close to 40 academic groups of all disciplines that came on learning trips to China. On the more official side, the team in Beijing was instrumental in gathering experts from the two countries to

mixture, as a technology

discuss collaboration in vocational training and UAS governance.

startup, we have been helped in almost all the aspects of

swissnex China continues to evolve as a platform of connection, discovery and actionoriented collaboration. We like to “make it happen” and we are ready for the coming

market development.”

challenges in this fast-moving country. We will put a lot of effort to also increase the number of Swiss students who come to discover China!

Yun Luo, CEO & Founder of Plus MAT AG

Beijing

the capital city, the nation’s cultural and educational centre: • direct dialogue with the Minister of Education

Shanghai, the commercial

and financial centre:

• bring Swiss entrepreneurs to local investors

Our impact including:

Three locations in China, with a population of 24+, 23+, 17+ millions, where Switzerland is perceived as a leading nation in science and technology

WHAT SETS CHINA APART

• access to best universities

• good connection with local makers group

Guangzhou, the global

manufacturing hubs:

• close relationship with manufacturing industries

24 • outreach to Shenzhen, China’s Sillicon Valley of Hardware


swissnex China team in Guangzhao

swissnex China team in Shanghai

“What swissnex China has been offering me is priceless professional insights to Chinese business culture and institutional context, active support for the summer university and fast connection with local networks. I cannot be more satisfied.” Anna Lupina-Wegener, Professor in Haute École d’Ingénierie et de Gestion du Canton de Vaud, School of Business and Engineering Vaud

swissnex China team in Beijing

Our ‘1st time’ achievements in 2014

We engage Swiss startups with:

30+ 10+

experts in ICT, Engineering, Cleantech, Healthcare, Legal and Investment from Shanghai & Beijing

• 1st time: first contact between KFH and Association

local and international startup

of Universities of Applied Sciences in China AUAS

incubators/accelerators

• 1st time: Lift Conference in China • 1st time: bring Swiss national startup team to

关系

Beijing and Shanghai

We have solid “Guanxi” network, you will have prior access to

• Support from local government • Contacts within Chinese creative and innovative community

• Strong connection with other Swiss organisations and 700+ Swiss university alumni

We connected Swiss universities and research institutes to 50+ top local universities, educational institutes, labs and research centres.

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swissnex annual report 2014


Balz Strasser

CEO, Consul General

“Come and see!” - probably the words I have used most in 2014 while in touch with colleagues from the Swiss academic and innovation community. Those who came did not take long to realize the huge potential of the Indian subcontinent that’s rich in colours, cultures, contradictions, and above all, of visionary and talented youth. By bringing together Swiss and Indian colleagues under one roof, swissnex India is turning into an important hub for the exchange of ideas and dreams, for leveraging capabilities and last but not least establishing meaningful partnerships with a long term vision. With our teams in Bangalore and Delhi we will further assist Switzerland to strengthen its ties with India which is changing its perception from an “outsourcing” hub to a flourishing base for academic exchange, R&D activities and innovation. Also in 2015 we will re-invent ourselves and remain “permanently under construction”... Please join us in our journey to build more bridges between Switzerland and India.

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INDIA

A year of many firsts “I made a great first step of market validation and

2014 has been a significant year for swissnex India, marked by a number of groundbreaking firsts. A year of new discoveries and new milestones, many concrete steps were taken to further connect the dots between Switzerland and India.

gained very useful insights. I say excellent and I would recommend it to everyone.”

Entrepreneurship and innovation at swissnex India empowered over 40 Swiss startups through various innovative platforms, among which the Startup Tour Bangalore 2014 and Academia Industry Training (AIT) were the prominent ones. Through the Startup Tour, swissnex India hosted 8 Swiss startups who underwent

Carlos Ruiz (CEO, flatev AG)

the four-day-long intensive immersion and hands on market validation program.

Startup Tour Bangalore 2014

27 swissnex annual report 2014


Bangalore owned its very first TEDx chapter in 2014. As the Swiss Innovation partner at TEDxBangalore, India’s largest TEDx event with over 1,500 guests, swissnex India showcased two visionary Swiss startups - GovFaces and dizmo. TEDx served as the ideal platform for these startups to present their ideas and products to the wider Indian public and use their stay as a starting point for validating the Indian market.

swissnex India also conducted the Academia Industry Training (AIT) in November 2014, in association with EPFL, venture leaders, and the Robert Bosch Centre. The programme hosted 14 researchers from India and Switzerland for one-week-long, hands-on immersion and training program to learn how to bring their research and innovation to Indian market in the future. Gaming Jam at Swissnex India 2014 Academia also saw many firsts, amongst which facilitating the MoU between the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in India and the Swiss

“We are amazed by the diverse options thrown at us by the Indian culture - the diversity in colors,

Tropical and Public Health Institute, was a significant milestone. The partnership includes an agenda of interdisciplinary public and global health research, training

products, people, buying patterns and customer experiences ”

and capacity building, media and mental health events, and capacity development.

Maike Thies and Alain Bellet, mentors to the design students

A first-of-its-kind Gaming Jam was held in November, allowing Swiss design students to draw inspiration from India. Students from Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and University of Art and Design Lausanne (ECAL) collaborated with with Indian game designers in this unique social experiment that turned into a deep exploration of the cultural aspects of India, and how they inspire vibrant games that can travel the world.

In 2014 we widened our horizons to themes such as rock art conservation and Indian subcultures. In June, we collaborated with Martin Vernier, one of the three founding

Academia Industry Training (AIT) Camp 2014

members of TEDAHL, (Team for the Exploration and Documentation of the Archaeology and History of Ladakh - a non-profit group registered in Switzerland) to conduct a workshop to sensitise the local population on preserving the rock art of Ladakh, in Jammu and Kashmir.

Martin Vernier in Ladakh

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swissnex India Team in Bangalore

expats working in India

120+

Technology Incubators

2600+

venture capitalists and angel investors

1000+ startups every year

The Higher Education system comprises 700+ universities and 35,000 colleges that includes 13 IIMs (Indian Institute of Management) and 17 IITs (Indian Institute of Technology); featured among the Top 100 institutes for management and engineering studies in the world.

Home to a diverse set of domains: ICT, Med Tech, Clean Tech, Social Impact, Design, Bio Tech, Healthcare, Culinary and more!

Among the 3000+ MNCs in India, Bangalore alone hosts 150+ MNCs, 30+ Swiss companies, and has a presence of 50% of the world’s SEI CMM Level 5 certified companies.

India, in particular Bangalore

100,000

WHAT SETS INDIA APART

Over

An English-speaking, highly-educated

125+

R&D centres in the field of core engineering, information technology, basic and applied sciences, aerospace etc.

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swissnex annual report 2014

workforce with diverse skillsets.


Christian Simm,

Founder and CEO

In our 2013 report, we promised to develop meaningful, user-centric, actionable, and online programs and initiatives in pursuit of our mission. We delivered in 2014 with MEANINGFUL projects like the earthquake resilience hackathon with ETH Zurich, aimed at making cities more responsive after disaster. We held series on urban design and how to feed growing populations through seed science, urban gardens, and aquaponics. swissnex San Francisco also took the lead role in transforming the swissnex network’s online presence—a new website that puts USERS first. We developed the Data Canvas in 2014, which takes off in 2015 with partners including the Lift Conference, the entire swissnex network, and citizens around the world building environmental sensors and releasing the data ONLINE for everyone to use and make ACTIONABLE. We’re proud of our role in strengthening Switzerland in science, education, art, and innovation, and we’ll continue to scan the future and connect the dots.

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SAN FRANCISCO

FUTURE FORWARD “swissnex was a great platform

BIRDLY

to host our project. With their

swissnex San Francisco invited the creators of the artistic and inspirational Birdly full

support we immediately made connections with people from the local universities, companies, investors, designers, artists, and

body virtual reality flight simulator to bring their machine to the Bay Area. It drew attention from numerous media outlets (Wired, Vice, etc.) during its public exhibit at swissnex, and inspired thousands of virtual fliers when it touched down at NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences and After Dark at the Exploratorium before soaring to success in Vancouver, B.C., taking top prize in the Augmented/Virtual Reality Contest at SIGGRAPH 2014.

media. Further, we could show our work at their space and use

Birdly, a full-body vritual reality flight simulator created by Max Rheiner, touches down at swissnex San Francisco.

their infrastructure to plan future collaborations with the contacts we gain from the Bay Area.� Max Rheiner, Zurich University of the Arts and the mastermind behind Birdly

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swissnex annual report 2014


Rheiner and team formed solid connections to leaders at Google, Oculus, and Logitech during their North American tour, and in the months since have launched a company, dominated the VR press, and stolen the show at New Frontier, an exhibit at the Sundance Film Festival (one of the largest independent festivals in the US), to which they were invited. Truly the stuff of dreams!

Digital Disruption Author William Gibson said, “The future is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed.” This is why, in 2014, swissnex San Francisco connected Switzerland to emerging digital trends we suspect will

Visitors to an event on 3D mapping

revolutionize the way we live, work, learn, and play.

Our Book Lab exhibit traveled to Switzerland to ask: What will books become in the digital era? The Planet Mapping event and PLACEMAKERS exhibit examined the science and art of digital and 3D maps. Spatial Stories exposed the coming wave (now here) of virtual reality in the gaming industry.

Digital is also shaking up traditional communications. We received groups from Swiss radio, TV, and print in 2014 seeking inspiration and a preview of changes to come. Our Digital Campus program offered webinars, consulting sessions, and study tours to empower Swiss higher education to leverage social media and new technology for branding and

Presentation during the Future of Money study tour

community-building.

We also conceived and carried out a study tour about the Future of Money that investigated what virtual currencies, digital wallets, and mobile payments might mean for the financial sector.

PLACEMAKERS exhibition at swissnex San Francisco

“I discovered that what matters [in Silicon Valley] is not the technology or the execution but the user experience” Patrice Crisinel, Former Chief of Staff for NorInvest Participant - Future of Money study tour

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RESEARCH DRIVEN

EDUCATION EXCELLENCE

WHAT SETS SF APART

The largest number of top-ten ranked graduate programs in business, law, medicine, and engineering in the nation

The nation’s largest concentration of national laboratories, corporate and independent research laboratories, and leading research universities

Business Hub More Fortune 500 companies than any U.S. region except New York, the sixth highest concentration of Fortune Global 500 companies in the world (after New York, London, Tokyo, Seoul, and Beijing), and a much larger proportion of small businesses than other metropolitan regions

TOP GLOBAL INNOVATION CENTRE

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

STARTUP ECOSYSTEM

+50

The highest density of venture capital firms in the world, with more than one

Highest concentration of

third of total U.S. venture capital

innovation-related jobs in the U.S.

incubators/accelerators in the Silicon Valley

funding invested in the region.

swissnex San Francisco Team

“I’m taking home the idea to think big, go beyond, and then work in reality. I learned visiting Stanford and UC Berkeley to say ‘let’s do it, let’s do it quick, and we can do it.” Philipp Funk, online-manager at the school for health professions, Zurich University of Applied Sciences Participant - Digital Campus study tour

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swissnex annual report 2014


Suzanne Hraba-Renevey,

CEO

2014 marked the 10th anniversary of swissnex Singapore. In ten years our outreach has grown substantially, gauged by the variety of academic and corporate partners, the domains of scientific and academic excellence and the repertoire of activities within the innovation sector. The anniversary was an opportunity to look back, to thank our partners, celebrate and embrace the future in an inspiring environment. The relationship between Swiss and Singaporean communities has evolved in complexity, based on strategic exchange of knowledge and leading to joint research programs as well as local hubs, exemplified by the Singapore ETH Centre and the St Gallen Institute of Management in Asia. Today, cooperation takes place not only at the level of higher education, but also at the dual education and apprenticeship level, a flagship of Swiss know-how. Furthermore, a growing number of lean Swiss startups explore Singapore as a springboard to the region, leveraging programs supporting entrepreneurial activities. In 2015, we look forward to engaging our existing and new partners through conducive platforms at the edge of disruptive innovation and fuel new avenues of collaboration!

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SINGAPORE

10th Anniversary Celebrations

10th Anniversary Celebrations

“Congratulations on 10 years of inspiring work. Best wishes for the next 10!”

swissnex Singapore Team

To mark this milestone, swissnex Singapore, supported by numerous partners, hosted celebrations under the slogan “Engaging the Future through Innovation”, graced by State Secretary Mauro Dell’Ambrogio and his delegation. This event enabled the swissnex stakeholders to showcase various facets of interdisciplinary innovation via presentations, performances, panel discussions, musical and culinary interventions, as well as design-

Prof. Peter Edwards, Director,

driven innovation stations.

Singapore ETH Centre

With a session “Enabling Social Entrepreneurship through Impact Investing“, supported by Lombard Odier and experts across corporate, research and entrepreneurship backgrounds, swissnex Singapore paved the way for an intensified engagement into social innovation. Supported by Nestlé, the second session “Integrating Food, Health and Sustainability” engaged experts from the perspective of individual and public health, security, consumer behaviour, ageing and sustainability. The session “Engaging the Future through Innovation”, supported by Luther, was tackled by Parag Khanna, a renowned global strategist, in the format of an interactive debate.

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swissnex annual report 2014


In parallel to the three sessions, innovation stations showcased excellence in science, technology, and the arts – a melting pot of interdisciplinary collaborations by Swiss stakeholders and their Singapore partners: ECAL and its Computer Orchestra as well as Food Design Exhibition in collaboration with the National University of Singapore, water-related innovative technologies presented by Creaholic and musical performances under the umbrella of the Canton of Vaud Summer Universities. Adding to the food for thought, a festive menu and live stations by awarded Chefs from Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, ensured a conducive networking and outstanding celebration.

CELEBRATING SPACE EXPLORATION The swissnex Singapore End of Year Celebration 2014, gave the floor to key Swiss players and their local partners, while thanking supporters and engaging communities. The highlight of the evening was Switzerland’s one and only astronaut, Claude Nicollier, who shared his multiple experiences in space. Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD) further explored the theme by a glimpse in the future of digital media and arts focusing on interactive visualisation, as an inspiring bridge between art and science. Drone interludes showcased by undergraduates from Singapore University of Technology and Arts, as well as impromptu acting performances by Lasalle College of the Arts alumni enthralled the audience. The combination of interactive animations, presentations, performances in a festive environment favoured interactions and engaging discussions about collaborative projects for the forthcoming year.

Experience sharing on Space Exploration by Prof. Claude Nicollier

36


“swissnex was fantastic during all the time I spent in Singapore and organized for me the best and most relevant meetings I could expect.” Jean-Pierre Greff, Director, Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD)

10th Anniversary Celebrations

WHAT SETS SINGAPORE APART Perfect for a soft landing

• Competitive and innovation-Driven

of entrepreneurs willing

• Business-friendly

to use Singapore as a test

• Intellectual property-protective

bed and springboard to the region

• Tech savvy and early adaptor • Multicultural • Numerous incentives for startups • Regional hub in the heart of South-East Asia

Great opportunity for Swiss institutions of higher learning and research institutes to build strategic

• Political and financial commitment in education and research. • Hosting global players in competitive research. • State-of-the-art infrastructure

alliances and implement regional hubs

Artists active at the edge of science and technologies welcome in this open and curiosity driven environment

• Recent focus on Culture and Arts • Substantial funding available • Willingness to explore new synergies between science and art

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swissnex annual report 2014


SPONSORS AND PARTNERS

38


swissnex’s mission couldn’t be achieved without the support of many local partners. Have a look at the individual swissnex websites for the list of local partners.

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swissnex annual report 2014

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swissnex annual report 2014


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swissnex annual report 2014  

Explore the swissnex Annual Report 2014, offering for the first time an overview of the activities of the entire swissnex network in one pub...

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