Café des Sciences: Looking Beyond the Horizon

Science Talk & Startup Pitch: Francophonie Special Edition. Scientists and startups from Belgium, Canada, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland are invited to present their research and pitch their projects, followed by a social networking apéro.

Event Language: French

To celebrate the Francophonie month of March, our next Café des Sciences Lecture will be a special edition co-organized with other French speaking countries and regions. Scientists and startups from Belgium, Canada, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland are invited to present their research and pitch their projects.

Creative design, sustainable energy, botanical science and various other topics will be discovered and explored through the lecture. Audience will also have a chance to interact with the speakers and enjoy the social networking Apéro.





18:30 – 19:00            Registration


19:00 – 19:10             Welcome & Introduction


19:10 – 20:00            Pitching Session (10’ for each speaker)
Belgium – The consumer product design platform by Arthur Limpens, Founder at DesignNest

Canada/Québec – Soil phytoremediation and wastewater treatment by Prof. Gilles Vincent, Special advisor to the Executive President, Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden

France – When traceability meets blockchain by Pierre Angot, Co-Founder at ProtectorChain

Luxembourg – Vision for self-driving cars by Prof. Laurent Kneip, Tenure-Track Assistant Professor, Shanghai Tech University

Switzerland – Next-gen rooftop solar panels with record efficiency by Laurent Coulot, Co-Founder & CEO at Insolight


20:00 – 20:30 – Q&A Session


20:30 – 21:30 – Social Networking Apéro






Arthur Limpens

Founder at Allocacoc DesignNest



Arthur Limpens is a Belgian industrial designer. He is also an experienced Co-Founder of Allocacoc DesignNest with a demonstrated history of working in the consumer goods industry. He received his Master of Science in Industrial Design and Strategic Product Design from Delft University of Technology. He has been living in Shanghai since 2015.

DesignNest is a crowdsourcing platform that supports product designers with funding but also beyond that. Once a project is funded on DesignNest, the DesignNest Team will provide free support with manufacturing and distribution. DesignNest is also a subsidiary from Allocacoc which provides the design knowledge, sourcing, production and assembly, distribution and sales as well as seed funding through its platform.



Gilles Vincent

Special Advisor of the Executive President, Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden

Gilles Vincent was appointed as the Special Advisor of the Executive President of Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden by the Shanghai Landscape & City Appearance Bureau of the City of Shanghai in 2014. He received the Master of Science in Botany from the University of Montréal in 1983. He was appointed as the Director of the Montreal Botanical Garden in 1997.

Gilles Vincent is a renowned specialist in biotechnology, specifically in the use of aquatic plants for wastewater treatment. As director of the Garden, a position that has allowed him to combine his solid background in botany with his management skills, he has initiated and contributed to numerous special events and projects. He also led a research group in phytotechnology, especially in constructed wetland and soil rehabilitation. He has 30 publications in peer-reviewed journals.



Pierre Angot

Co-Founder, ProtectorChain



Pierre Angot is an entrepreneur formerly trained as a data science engineer. He started a tele-health company in 2016 that got acquired later on and then worked as an AI consultant. He is now focusing on Blockchain and, together with his international associates, runs ProtectorChain, a comprehensive solution for supply chain traceability using blockchain.

ProtectorChain is a Shanghai based blockchain startup that enables supply chain participants to share information securely in order to provide end-to-end traceability and anti-counterfeiting services along the supply chain. They use open source blockchain technology as well as proprietary methodology to integrate seamlessly with existing supply chains along with collecting and interpreting complex data sets in order to provide our clients and their customers with actionable insights.



Laurent Kneip

SIST, Shanghai Tech University

Laurent Kneip obtained a Dipl.-Ing. degree in mechatronics from Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg in 2009. He owns a PhD degree from ETH Zurich. He was granted a Discovery Early-Career Researcher Award from the Australian Research Council and became a senior researcher at the Australian National University after his PhD.  Since 2017, he is an Assistant Professor tenure-track within the School of Information Science and Technology at ShanghaiTech University, where he founded and directs the Mobile Perception Lab.

Laurent Kneip is an expert in computer vision and try to enable autonomous systems and mobile applications to use cameras for real-time 3D perception of the environment.  He was a member of the ARC Center of Excellence for Robotic Vision. The group follows up on his continued research efforts around vision for intelligent vehicles, a journey that started as a member of the V-Charge project in 2013. In 2017, Laurent Kneip was awarded the Marr Prize best paper award (honourable mention).



Laurent Coulot

Co-founder & CEO, Insolight



Laurent Coulot is co-founder and CEO of Insolight, a startup based at the EPFL Innovation Park in Lausanne, Switzerland. He obtained his Master in Micro and Nanosystems at EPFL in 2012 during which he developed a strong interest in solar energy. He co-founded Insolight in 2015 with the goal of developing highly efficient solar modules.

Insolight brings the most efficient rooftop solar panels to the market and combines its own patented planar intelligent optical system and space grade photovoltaic cells – typically used in satellites. This combination allows for efficiency approaching 30% compared with an average of 17-19% for current standard silicon products.




Café des Sciences

Shanghai | Every third Thursday each month 2019

Café des Sciences is a new format at Swissnex in China offering a monthly platform for Swiss Spotlight Scientists and Start-ups to present their projects and connect with the local community. The lectures will offer a casual setting in which speakers can present their work and engage with the attendees during a Q&A period. The audience is welcome to enjoy the networking reception with Swiss flavour after the talk. The lecture is scheduled to take place every third Thursday each month at Swissnex in China or our partner spaces.


Café des Sciences – Francophonie special edition, is co-organized with Consulate General of Belgium, Consulate General of Canada, Consulate General of France and Consulate General of Luxembourg.