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Previous editions

swissnexDay’19 Earth’s Guardian: Using Space Tech for a Sustainable Future December 11, 2019, SwissTech Convention Center Switzerland is a space nation and has been a crucial partner in European and global space adventures since their beginnings: It contributed to all Apollo missions, pioneered the field of exoplanet research, and is a founding member of the European Space Agency (ESA). Since then, technological and scientific revolutions led us to crucial questions today: How can space technologies like satellite Earth observation, communication and navigation or microgravity research benefit life on Earth, create market opportunities and foster economic development? How to deal with -while the potential of space applications is enormous- serious obstacles, in particular the issue of space debris? These issues were addressed in the keynotes from Minoo Rathnasabapathy (MIT Media Lab), an expert in advancing justice in Earth’s complex systems using designs enabled by space, and Moriba Jah (University of Austin), a world-recognized researcher in astrodynamics-based space domain awareness sciences and technologies. Moreover, Minoo Rathnasabapathy and Moriba Jah were joined on stage for a panel discussion by the following subject matter experts and space entrepreneurs: Susmita Mohanty from Earth2Orbit, Muriel Richard-Noca from EPFL and ClearSpace and Nicolas Thomas from the University of Bern.
swissnexDay’18 Connecting the Blocks, Unchaining the Blockchain December 11, 2018, University of Zurich/ETH Zurich, Careum Auditorium swissnex’Day brought together Swiss and international experts, aimed to give a better understanding of the global challenges posed by blockchain and of its impacts on Switzerland. It offered a broad overview of the various applications of this technology, ranging from the fight against climate change to fintech and training. In a panel discussion, moderated by CNNMoney Switzerland, international blockchain experts from a number of disciplines discussed their opinions and current national and international trends. Finally, regulatory aspects were addressed by FINMA, following the example of what is being done in Switzerland. The event was organised in partnership with the University of Zurich (UZH), which has a centre dedicated to this technology – the UZH Blockchain Center – ETHZ and the Crypto Valley Association, based in Zug.
swissnexDay’17 How Mobility Fosters Innovation December 13, 2017, University of Neuchâtel As a small country in the heart of Europe and with no natural resources, Switzerland needs to be innovative in order to stay competitive and to be able to face the many challenges of digitalisation. In recent years, Switzerland has regularly appeared at the top of international innovation rankings, not least thanks to considerable investment in R&D activities. At the same time, innovation needs mobility, since international exchange fosters creativity and competitiveness. Switzerland has a strong international research community, a key factor in providing a fruitful environment for innovation. Hosted by the University of Neuchâtel, the swissnexDay’17 was inaugurated by State Secretary Mauro Dell’Ambrogio. It explored the strong links between the mobility of researchers and a country’s innovative capability. Leaflet of the swissnexDay’17  
swissnexDay’16 The Future of Ageing December 15, 2016, University of Basel, Kollegienhaus, Aula 033 According to the WHO, the number of people aged 60 and over is expected to double between 2000 and 2050. By then, projections estimate that the combined senior and geriatric population will have reached 2 billion. It is a fact: we are not getting any younger and neither are our societies! Almost every country in the world is – or will soon be – facing the situation of a “greying society”. This topic relates to many aspects of the Education, Research and Innovation system and challenges are manifold in this regard, from the training of health care personnel to neurosciences research. However, this societal evolution also offers many opportunities: in the USA for example, the ageing baby-boomers’ generation is seen as one of the biggest market opportunities for start-ups. How will new technologies impact on the way we age? Is Switzerland investing enough into research and development to face the challenges? These questions were discussed among a panel of distinguished experts, such as Ambassador Tania Dussey-Cavassini of the Federal Office of Public Health, Nicolas Henchoz, Director of EPFL+ECAL Lab, Prof. Dr. med. Thomas D. Szucs, Professor of Pharmaceutical Medicine and Director of the European Center of Pharmaceutical Medicine at the University of Basel and Dr. Markus Zürcher, Secretary General of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences, and through interactive breakout sessions covering a variety of related topics.

The keynote speakers of the swissnexDay’16: Prof. Dr. Andrea Schenker-Wicki, President of the University of Basel, State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation Mauro Dell’Ambrogio and Dr. med. Guy Morin, President of the Executive Council of the Canton of Basel-Stadt, with Amb. Mauro Moruzzi, SERI (left).

swissnexDay’15 Big Data for Smart Ideas December 15, 2015, University of Fribourg, Site Perolles II, Salle Joseph Deiss As witnesses to the digital revolution, every year we produce the equivalent amount of data as that produced over the course of the entire human history. While some consider Big Data to be akin to the discovery of oil, its value is in its ability to extract meaning from raw data and transform it into knowledge and innovation. Against this backdrop, governments and businesses around the world are investing heavily in this new field to remain competitive. Where does Switzerland stand in this regard? Are we seizing all available opportunities? Beyond the question of how Big Data fuels innovation and impacts our society, new data technology also challenges the traditional scientific method. Does “data-driven science” equate to a scientific method void of theoretical models and hypothesis? Such questions have been explored through a discussion led by a panel of distinguished experts, such as Marianne Janik, CEO Microsoft Switzerland, Ioannis Xenarios, Swiss Institute for Bioinformatics, Prof. Philippe Cudre-Mauroux, University of Fribourg and Ursula Widmer, Widmer & Partner / University of Bern. Leaflet of the swissnexDay’15
swissnexDay’14 Different Faces of Innovation in Asia March 26, 2014, Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz FHNW Campus Olten, Auditorium, Von Roll-Strasse 10 The relationship between level of innovation and GDP continues to drive national policies around the world. While countries like the US and Switzerland commercialize their research results with much success other regions of the world are evolving fast and building their own innovation systems. The swissnexDay’14 offered a unique opportunity to discover a few examples of new projects and innovative ideas in three Asian countries (India, China, and Singapore). Asia is a dynamic continent with a mix of mature and emerging economies featuring growing markets and strong scientific potential. Besides technological innovation, there is a lot to be learned about current developments in social innovation or frugal innovation as entrepreneurs and executives work hard to use local resources to the benefit of society. Rather than covering economic data or figures, the keynote speakers shared what drives them, what they learned what they observed in each of the three countries.

Group photo at the swissnexDay’14

swissnexDay’12 Brain Circulation November 12, 2012, University of Bern Switzerland has to compete globally for the best minds. It needs to promote it-self abroad as an attractive location for education, research and innovation. Federal Research Minister Alain Berset spoke on the topic of brain circulation. Other speakers included State Secretary Mauro Dell’Ambrogio, Prof. Martin Tauber, Vice Chancellor of the University of Bern, Dr. Rudolf Minsch of economiesuissse, Prof. Michael Pepper of the University of Pretoria and University of Geneva, Prof. Martin Vetterli, of EPF Lausanne, Prof. Stefan Wolter of the Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education, and Pascal Marmier, director of swissnex China in Shanghai.  
swissnexDay’11 Future Cities November 11, 2011, ETH Zurich In 2035, five out of every eight human beings on Earth will live in a city. Global issues have become part of our daily lives. Urbanization, climate change, energy shortage, and the development of new information and communication technologies are leading us to rethink the concept of future cities. The five outposts of the swissnex network have contributed to the interdisciplinary exchange of knowledge among countries through a wide range of projects and contacts. Whether it be in research on urban design, architecture, clean technologies or sustainability, Switzerland plays an international role in the transition towards smarter cities.

Group photo at the swissnexDay’11