26th Swissnex Annual Meeting 2024

What a week we had!

Our Swissnex HQ team with colleagues from the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) hosted our Swissnex Annual Meeting 2024 from 22 to 26 May. During the joint week, our Swissnex network colleagues reconnected, shared ideas, scouted trends, and forged new collaborations with each other and with partners.

Day 1 - Kick-off of the Swissnex Annual Meeting 2024

It was pleasure to welcome our global colleagues in Bern. After the welcome remarks from State Secretary Martina Hirayama and a presentation by our Head of Division Jacques Ducrest, we shared the latest updates, outlined key priorities, exchanged ideas, and discussed plans for the future. Our colleagues then had an internal workshop to brainstorm and present innovative project ideas under our new initiative “Swissnex for the Planet.”

Day 2 - ZHAW Visit & Individual Meetings

We visited the Proof of Concept Lab and exchanged with ZHAW colleagues who shared their latest research and activities in enterpreneurship and sustaibability, followed by a tour of the RUNWAY Startup Incubator. We also enjoyed guided lab tours at the ZHAW – School of Health Science and explored further collaboration opportunities.

At the same time, some of our colleagues participated in individual meetings and parallel events that took place during the day, including the Swiss Biotech Day at the Congress Center in Basel and the S-GE International Trade Forum in Zurich.

Day 3 - Swissnex Day

On the third day, we hosted our signature event, the Swissnex Day 2024, at the Gurten in Bern. Our event’s topic of planetary thinking played a vital role in fostering discussions and in shaping our upcoming activities under our new initiative “Swissnex for the Planet”.

The welcome remarks by our Deputy Head of the International Relations Division at SERI, Maria Peyro Voeffray, were followed by a keynote presentation from Prof. Thomas Stocker from University of Bern, and a virtual presentation by Prof. Adil Najam, the President of WWF. Our Swissnex CEOs, Benjamin Bollmann, Emilia Pasquier,  Felix Moesner, Jonas Brunschwig, Malin Borg, and Philippe Roesle, took the stage and shared insights from their locations worldwide on the topic of planetary diplomacy, including their planned activities to further explore human and non-human interactions. Up next were the lightning talks of two invited startup founders, Josephine Graf (rrreefs) and Cameron Dowd (Inverto Earth), two researchers, Prof. Chinwe Speranza from the University of Bern and Prof. Christine Brombach from ZHAW, and two artists, Khalil Berro and Lithic Alliance. Finally, a networking apéro took place, providing the opportunity for the participants to interact with the speakers and our Swissnex network.

Day 4 - Bluefactory Visit

We were welcomed by the Fribourg Development Agency FDA, and learned more about the local education, research, and innovation landscape, with presentations from the Innovation Boosters Swiss Food Ecosystems & Future Food Farming, the Smart Living Lab, the University of Fribourg, the School of Management Fribourg (HEG-FR), and the iPrint Institute.

Day 5 - CSEM & EPFL Visit / S-GE & Swissnex Workshop

Our day started by visiting CSEM and being introduced to the top-level research that is being conducted there. Next, our team visited three EPFL labs: the Center for Artificial Muscles (CAM), the AQUA, and Instant-Lab. We spent the second part of the day with the Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) team. Our colleagues participated in a joint internal workshop, exploring synergies, and discussing possible collaborations between our organizations. We finalized the week with the S-GE & Swissnex Award Ceremony, where innovative project ideas co-created by both organizations were presented, with the focus on finding connection points and emphasizing innovative services for our common stakeholders.

Swissnex Annual Meeting 2024

This year's Swissnex Annual Meeting put the spotlight on planetary thinking, through internal and external interactions with researchers, innovators, and artists who are unveiling new ways of looking at the relationship between humans and the planet.