Field Re-mediations: Carbon

Contributed by Karolina Sobecka and Jamie Allen, Swiss-based artists-researchers behind the Field Remediations: Carbon project

  Image: Carbon Collextion at CAC

Image: Carbon Collextion at CAC

Field Remediations: Carbon explores human and technological interactions with the carbon cycle, sampling the spectrum of material practices, opportunities and challenges associated with development of remission and Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs). The goal is to align the science-fiction of carbon capture with the science-fact of its current research and implementations. The fieldwork conducted in Switzerland, Canada and in Shanghai also populated the CARBON Collection of the Field Remediations Library, which was installed for the Machines are not alone exhibition at Chronus Art Center.

The project was enabled by generous strategic support from swissnex. Our enormous thanks go to Felix and Rahel for providing us in the last minute with a means of transport for our group and a fantastic driver who expertly delivered us to every fieldwork location (a task not to be taken for granted in Shanghai). The project couldn’t have happened without it, plus we got to meet the wonderful swissnex team.

One of the highlights of our field visits in Shanghai was a visit to Professor Zhu Xinguang’s lab, and the Plant Systems Biology Group at the Chinese Science Academy, where we learned about their efforts to engineer more ‘efficient’ rice. These and related bioengineering initiatives are designed to significantly increase agricultural crop yields, making them into ‘better’ carbon sinks. Dr. Xinguang is involved in a number of international collaborative research projects, in the works for years, that are showing promising, ifn tendentious, results. If we were to similarly engineer all industrial and large scale crops, they could create a global drawdown of carbon that would sequester much more atmospheric CO2 than currently, transforming the climate and its changes.

While in Shanghai our team also visited Shanghai Baosteel, one of the largest steel enterprises in the world, which is working to lower its CO2 emissions. Because of the chemical processes at the heart of steelmaking, the plant cannot completely cut its emissions, so it faces a dilemma that we all face on a planetary scale. In order for the plant to be ‘carbon neutral’, and in order for global CO2 emissions to reach net zero negative emission technologies are a necessity.

One less controversial negative emission technology is a technique developed by a Swiss startup Climeworks, which we visited before our trip to China. The technique they use is known as Direct Air Capture (DAC), which is the extraction of CO2 from ambient air. Carbon dioxide in the air is very dilute (there are only around 400 molecules of CO2 in a million molecules of air), so extracting it was thought too costly to make these kinds of DAC techniques realistic. Today, several demonstration plants are in operation, and Climeworks is expecting to commercialize the technology, aiming to capture 1% of global carbon emissions by 2025.

We visited a coal-fired power plant with one of the first Carbon Capture demonstration plants. We learned about the carbon markets from the designers of Chinese carbon market standards, and from ‘carbon accountants’ who are working to develop emissions inventories. At the Carbon Capture and Storage Research Center at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University we learned about the recently opened Low Carbon College, which centers its education on low-carbon industry on three directions, low carbon engineering, carbon policy and carbon finance. This interdisciplinary approach follows from understanding of the technology as a complex sociotechnical system, which is exciting to see and learn from this experiment in structuring truly interdisciplinary, problem-led, technical education.

Our next phases include organizing, activating and expanding all the fascinating material collected, relationships developed and paths forged for new ways of thinking about the carbon cycle, with Chinese partners, and in China.

  Image: Professor Zhu gave us a tour of his lab and discussed the benefits of engineering C4 into rice. One way he sees his work is as a kind of deep-time realignment of the of plants with the environment. Most earthly plants evolved when atmospheric conditions were very different, and we can now design a more optimal photosynthesis machine for today’s environment. The demand for crop productivity is projected against continuous population growth and changes in diet. “We need 50% more productivity,” he says. This is a promise that has purchase with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other funding agencies. The project is a multinational collaboration developed spanning the last 10 years and funded by both private and state funds.

Image: Professor Zhu gave us a tour of his lab and discussed the benefits of engineering C4 into rice. One way he sees his work is as a kind of deep-time realignment of the of plants with the environment. Most earthly plants evolved when atmospheric conditions were very different, and we can now design a more optimal photosynthesis machine for today’s environment. The demand for crop productivity is projected against continuous population growth and changes in diet. “We need 50% more productivity,” he says. This is a promise that has purchase with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other funding agencies. The project is a multinational collaboration developed spanning the last 10 years and funded by both private and state funds.

  Image: The lab is trying to genetically engineer a C4 metabolic pathway into C3 plants, beginning with rice as a pilot plant species.

Image: The lab is trying to genetically engineer a C4 metabolic pathway into C3 plants, beginning with rice as a pilot plant species.

  Image: On the lab’s farm outside Shanghai, the different tests can be scaled up to field experiments.

Image: On the lab’s farm outside Shanghai, the different tests can be scaled up to field experiments.

  Image: Climeworks collectors in Switzerland, atop Hinwil waste recovery plant in Zurich.

Image: Climeworks collectors in Switzerland, atop Hinwil waste recovery plant in Zurich.

  Image: Lab setup at SJTU, Jiao Tong University, demonstrating three different mechanics of isolating CO2 form emission stream. The valve is our collection was part of this complicated setup that the PhD students were putting together.

Image: Lab setup at SJTU, Jiao Tong University, demonstrating three different mechanics of isolating CO2 form emission stream. The valve is our collection was part of this complicated setup that the PhD students were putting together.

  Image: Dr Zhang Yongjie of Boasteel’s research division, describing a heat recovery prototype, one of the 7 approaches in which the plant can reduce its energy use. With its Paris Agreement commitment to lowering emissions, China started putting in place policies that put pressure on the industry to make improvements in efficiency. Baosteel’s average total CO2 emissions are 35.83 million ton/year. Its current mandate is to reduce emissions to 90% of this number by 2020.

Image: Dr Zhang Yongjie of Boasteel’s research division, describing a heat recovery prototype, one of the 7 approaches in which the plant can reduce its energy use. With its Paris Agreement commitment to lowering emissions, China started putting in place policies that put pressure on the industry to make improvements in efficiency. Baosteel’s average total CO2 emissions are 35.83 million ton/year. Its current mandate is to reduce emissions to 90% of this number by 2020.

  Image: The entrance to the Baosteel power plant, north of Shanghai.

Image: The entrance to the Baosteel power plant, north of Shanghai.

  Image: The CO2 captured at the Baosteel site is ‘food grade’ quality, which means over 99% pure CO2. It is reused in the beverage industry - pumped into soda drinks that are bottled in Shanghai and sold all over Asia.

Image: The CO2 captured at the Baosteel site is ‘food grade’ quality, which means over 99% pure CO2. It is reused in the beverage industry - pumped into soda drinks that are bottled in Shanghai and sold all over Asia.

World Premiere of Birdly®'s Flying Through Dinosaurs

By Haley Jiamin LU, Junior Project Manager PR & Events and Quentin Gigon, Junior Project Manager Innovation & Entrepreneurship

To invent an airplane is nothing. To build one is something. But to fly is everything.
— Otto Lilienthal

Whether it be in ancient Greek mythology or recent super hero movies, flying always seems to have been an obsession for humans. While we may have achieved the dream of flying with airplanes, some would point out that we are disconnected from the real experience of flight, as we are operating a machine, instead of truly flying ourselves and flapping our own wings. With recent developments in VR, Max Rheiner, a professor at the ZHAW in Zurich, sought out to create an immersive flying machine to truly provide humans with the emotions and sensations of flying like a bird. And Birdly was born.

On August 30, swissnex China co-organized a lecture under the topic of ‘Interfacing with Extended Realities’ in Shanghai as well as the world premiere of the experience ‘Jurassic Flight’. LIU Zhejun, Professor of Tongji University, Max Rheiner, CEO of Somniacs, LU Min, COO of VR Times, and Salar Shahna, CEO of World VR Forum, provided valuable insights.  For instance, Max told the story of how Birdly came about and discussed other past and future projects with the audience.

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The public can try the flying experience at the exhibition venue. For more information regarding tickets, please check onsite.

Opening time & address: 10am-10pm, 31st August – 2nd September 2018, S107, 1F, HKRI Taikoo Hui, 789 West Nanjing Road, Shanghai.

 

“Connect, Grow, Achieve”: Young Swiss Thriving in China

By Quentin Gigon, Junior Project Manager Innovation & Entrepreneurship


“Connect, Grow, Achieve”: These were the keywords of the evening of Thursday August 9, 2018, as the Young Swiss in China came together for a special evening with presentations examining various China-related topics from four speakers, including Iwan Wuelser, CEO of LeapRight Consulting, Didier Quarroz, founder of Shateso, Jessica Li, CEO Assistant of SIGG Outdoors, and Quentin Gigon, Junior Project Manager at swissnex China.

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The evening was marked by an especially large audience, as ICL is organizing its annual program whereby young Swiss people get the opportunity to spend a summer in China in various professional functions. In addition to the presence of almost 30 of these beneficiaries of ICL’s support, there was also a special delegation of four high school students from the Canton of Neuchatel, which sponsors a China Discovery Program every year.

With fresh insights into topics such as cultural adaptation in Shanghai from a Swiss perspective, launching a startup in China, as well as a reinventing a classic Swiss brand, the night was enriching and provided a great platform for networking among this unusually large crowd of young Swiss people. It was with pleasure that swissnex China contributed to the night through both the presence of several of its representatives as well as through a presentation about the Innovation Landscape in China.


A warm thank you to Fabien Abbet, Pascaline Salvi, and Noémie Nussbaum for the organization of this great evening.

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UBS Seminar @ Swiss Innovation Week

On July 4, swissnex China CEO Dr. Felix Moesner was invited to deliver the first keynote speech at the UBS Seminar at Swiss Innovation Week. He addressed the latest trends and developments in Swiss Innovation, highlighting Swiss Excellence in education, research and innovation, while setting the tone for the exchange of Sino-Swiss perspectives.

Ms. Zhang Qiong, Head of Wealth Management at UBS China Limited, and His Excellency Dr. Jean-Jacques de Dardel, Swiss Ambassador to China, delivered the Welcome and Opening Remarks for the exclusive event at the Embassy of Switzerland in China. Mr. Constantin Overlack, Founder of Aeris Cleantec AG, Mr. Marco Jaggi, CEO of Generis (Beijing) International Business Consulting Co., Ltd., and Dr. Yifan Hu, Managing Director of UBS AG, also shared their own respective special insights.

swissnex China Briefs IFZ Delegation on Chinese FinTech

On August 3, a delegation from Institut für Finanzdienstleistungen Zug (IFZ), organized by Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, together with the Swiss Private Equity & Corporate Finance Association (SECA), visited Shanghai on a study tour to explore and assess the prospect of further inclusion of Chinese banking and finance markets in the global markets. Dr. Felix Moesner, CEO of swissnex China and Science Consul, warmly welcomed the delegation and briefed the delegates on swissnex China’s FinTech activities and beyond.

 Dr. Felix Moesner warmly welcomed the delegation and briefed them on the prospects of FinTech in China.

Dr. Felix Moesner warmly welcomed the delegation and briefed them on the prospects of FinTech in China.

The 27 participants were headed by Prof. Maurice Richard H. Pedergnana, and are currently enrolled in a post-graduate program in Banking & Finance. The group of Swiss Bankers and Investors including Prof. Thomas Ankenbrand (who participated as panelist at swissnex China's 3rd edition of Future of Money: Blockchain in Finance in July 2018) were inspired by the tremendous importance of China in the world economy. The tour concluded with a relaxing networking session on the venue's rooftop bar.

 

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The group was guided by Emmanuelle and Noémie from Swiss Centers China. Our heartfelt appreciation for the great collaboration!

Birdly® - The Ultimate Dream of Flying

By Sébastien Quadri, Junior Project Leader

Have you ever dreamed of flying?

The Birdly® virtual reality simulator was a centerpiece throughout the Swiss Innovation Week. Described as one of the best VR experience in the world, Birdly® generates a lively full-body experience in which mechanics and computer codes hidden behind this spectacular apparatus quickly disappear.

 State Secretary of Switzerland Dr. Mauro Dell' Ambrogio trying out the Birdly® VR flight simulator.

State Secretary of Switzerland Dr. Mauro Dell' Ambrogio trying out the Birdly® VR flight simulator.

During the week, more than 300 lucky and enthusiastic guests had the opportunity to experience the freedom of a bird and travel above the clouds with this immersive and interactive innovation!

Funny fact (or not so funny for the late-arrivals): On Friday, the queuing time was approximately 8 hours, as the VIP crowd was rushing towards this central attraction. The room was filled with joy, good vibes, and with some random loudly “Ahhhh” or “Whaoooo” coming from the surprised first-time-bird-riders.   

 At one point the queue for Birdly® was approx. 8 hours, so popular was the attraction.

At one point the queue for Birdly® was approx. 8 hours, so popular was the attraction.

A big “Thank you” to SOMNIACS and in particular Mr. Samuel Keller, mechanical engineer at Somniacs, who came all the way to Beijing for this incredible experience. SOMNIACS is a Swiss startup which founded the Birdly® project at the world-renowned Zurich Art School ZHdK.

Birdly®, we look forward to seeing you soon again in Shanghai (To be announced, August 2018…)!

 From left to right: Ms. Haley Jiamin Lu (swissnex), Ms. Priska Furrer (swissnex), Ms. Lijun Zhang, Dr. Béatrice Ferrari (SERI), Dr. Mauro Dell' Ambrogio (State Secretary of Switzerland), Dr. Felix Moesner (CEO swissnex), Mr. Sébastien Quadri (swissnex)

From left to right: Ms. Haley Jiamin Lu (swissnex), Ms. Priska Furrer (swissnex), Ms. Lijun Zhang, Dr. Béatrice Ferrari (SERI), Dr. Mauro Dell' Ambrogio (State Secretary of Switzerland), Dr. Felix Moesner (CEO swissnex), Mr. Sébastien Quadri (swissnex)

 

Testimonials

Incredible, unique, I never had something like this!
— State Secretary of Switzerland Dr. Mauro Dell' Ambrogio
It’s very [impressive]! Even it’s my third time flying, I feel it’s very new and inspiring. It gives me an incredible experience to be able to fly. It’s definitely worth for everyone to try!
— Ms. Lijun Zhang, Project Leader Innovation and Entrepreneurship at swissnex China
The first time you tilt over, it feels like falling, as soon as you got the hang of it you feel like actualy flying. Gliding between some skyscrapers or flying high above them, it doesn t matter what you do, the immersive experience is immense and all fun, until you bump into the first obstacle and you re realise, it is just a simulation.
— Franz Buehlmann

Blockchain in FinTech: another Grand Success in the Future of Money series

By Sébastien Quadri, Junior Project Leader

swissnex China was proud to organize the third edition of the Future of Money series, “Blockchain in FinTech” at the Embassy of Switzerland, as part of the Swiss Innovation Week on July 6.

Blockchain, such a hot topic nowadays! This disruptive technology is often compared to the Internet revolution and trigger interests among both professionals and curious people. With a wealth of experts and the proliferation of blockchain startups across the FinTech space, Switzerland has quickly become a major blockchain hub of the world. A very supportive government, a dynamic environment and high motivation are important drivers of Swiss innovation. On the other hand, China’s investments in this technology are unmatched by any others. In 2017, more than half of the Blockchain patents in the world were published by Chinese organizations.

Under such circumstances, 250+ guests including executives, VCs & policymakers were welcomed by his Excellency Dr. Jean-Jacques de Dardel, Swiss Ambassador in China and our CEO Dr. Felix Moesner to attend the panel discussion.

  His Excellency Dr. Jean-Jacques de Dardel welcoming the audience.

His Excellency Dr. Jean-Jacques de Dardel welcoming the audience.

 A fascinated audience: the venue was fully packed with 250+ people.

A fascinated audience: the venue was fully packed with 250+ people.

With a very impressive panel consisting of Mr. Liwei Wang, senior reporter at Caixin media, Prof. Elaine Shi, the very first Scientist to talk about and teach smart contract, Prof. Dr. Ben Shenglin, Founder and Dean of the Academy of Internet Finance of Zhejiang University, Mr. Daniel Haudenschild, CEO of Swisscom Blockchain and Dr. Thomas Ankenbrand, Researcher and Lecturer at the Luzern University of Applied Sciences and Arts and expert on the Swiss FinTech landscape, the bar was set very high.

 The panelists discussed topics revolving the application of blockchain technology in Switzerland and in China.

The panelists discussed topics revolving the application of blockchain technology in Switzerland and in China.

The talk addressed diverse trendy subjects such as the applications of blockchain technology and endeavors in Switzerland and in China, the supportiveness of their governments and policies, the technical capabilities and challenges of the blockchain technology at this stage and moving forward as well as its tricky relationship to Cryptocurrency in the blockchain's development. Both the promise and pitfall from a longer-term perspective were mentioned and the panelists were delighted to shared their opinions.

Blockchain or, more precisely, Distributed Ledger Technology offers new opportunities on three levels. First, on the technology or database level, secure, immutable applications without a central operator are made possible. Second, cryptocurrencies offer an efficient crowdfunding possibility for innovative projects. Third, token economies can be built for disruptive new business models. The current situation in the blockchain space reveals parallels to the internet space twenty years ago: There are great opportunities but also high risks.
— Dr. Thomas Ankenbrand
 Many participants were eager to ask questions to the panelists both during and after the event.

Many participants were eager to ask questions to the panelists both during and after the event.

In the end, expectation were more than fulfilled and the only challenge consisted of the constant flow of astute questions from the audience, who were waited for the Grand Reception Opening.

In three words: A Grand Success!

 

Testimonials

It was a successful event held last Friday. We are very glad that both Dean Shenglin and myself are involved.
— Ruidong Zhang, Director of the Blockchain Labs at Academy of Internet Finance, Zhejiang University
High quality discussion and diverse audience.
— Mr. Lars Hoffmann,  Community Standing Committee of Elastos Foundation
Great event with insights from China and Switzerland on blockchain tech advances and outlook into the immediate future.
— Mr. Fabian Knopf, Commercial manager of TMF Group

 

Thanks to our partners and sponsors

This third edition of the Future of Money series would not have been possible without the generous contribution of our sponsors. A big thanks to:

·      ThunderCore™ is an EVM-compatible public blockchain developed by leading experts, characterized by:

o   Compatibility: Ethereum smart contracts fully supported. Migrate DApps to ThunderCore and immediately increase their performance.

o   Scalability: Process thousands of transactions in a second—nothing is left pending.

o   Fastness: Get your transactions confirmed instantly in less than a second.

o   Security: Enjoy mathematically grounded security guarantees. We are as secure as existing blockchains but with vastly improved speed and efficiency.

https://www.thundercore.com

A special thank you to our keynote speaker Mrs. Elaine Shi, Blockchain Scientist and Professor.

·      TrustSquare With blockchain technology as the common denominator, TrustSquare brings together entrepreneurs, businesses, investors as well as academics and researchers in an open and diverse environment.

https://www.trustsquare.ch

·      Swisscom Blockchain Swisscom Blockchain provides solutions to implement blockchain technology quickly and successfully for your company.

https://blockchain.swisscom.com

·      Presence Switzerland: Presence Switzerland is competent for the image of Switzerland abroad and implements the strategy of the Federal Council on Switzerland’s communication abroad

https://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/das_eda/organisation_deseda/generalsekretariat/praesenz_schweiz.html

·      The Embassy of Switzerland in China

https://www.eda.admin.ch/beijing

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swissnex Dome: Where Art meets Science!

By Haley Lu, Junior Project Leader PR & Events

With more than 1500 visitors, 80 shows and 100 guests queuing at one time for a screening, the swissnex Dome was a great success during the Swiss Innovation Week. The swissnex Dome is a full-dome structure that allows a 360° spatialization of images and sounds, taking the audience on a fully immersive and unique experience. As the centerpiece of the Swiss Innovation Week, taking place from July 2 to July 6, 2018 and hosted by the Embassy of Switzerland in China (Beijing), the swissnex Dome particularly gained attraction with its dazzling outfit and put big smiles on the audience’s faces with the audiovisual experience presented inside.

 The swissnex Dome held its premiere night on July 2 during the Swiss Innovation Week’s welcoming cocktail event. Both the Ambassador of Switzerland as well as the Ambassador of Peru enjoyed the 360° cinematic spectacle away from the summer heat of Beijing.   

The swissnex Dome held its premiere night on July 2 during the Swiss Innovation Week’s welcoming cocktail event. Both the Ambassador of Switzerland as well as the Ambassador of Peru enjoyed the 360° cinematic spectacle away from the summer heat of Beijing.   

 The temporary dome theater took two days to be set up by two engineers and six helpers.

The temporary dome theater took two days to be set up by two engineers and six helpers.

The film content proved to be innovative, entertaining and diverse: During the week-long event, two selected films from Geneva International Film Festival (GIFF), four works of students from the College of Art and Media of Tongji University, a special 360° flight footage from SOLAR IMPULSE, as well as the latest masterpiece of renowned Swiss film director Prof. Juerg Neuenschwander were featured in the swissnex Dome.

 We had the special pleasure and privilege of welcoming Swiss State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation Dr. Mauro Dell'Ambrogio, movie actor Wang Xuebing amongst other high-profile visitors.

We had the special pleasure and privilege of welcoming Swiss State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation Dr. Mauro Dell'Ambrogio, movie actor Wang Xuebing amongst other high-profile visitors.

Corinne Sutter, a prominent Swiss artist who presented a live painting show during the Swiss Innovation Week, also appreciated the diverse Swiss and Chinese creations in the swissnex Dome.

The experience was great! I was amazed and astonished by the combination. I liked it a lot from a technical point of view and also that you are allowed to entertain.
— Corinne Sutter, Swiss speed painter
 The swissnex team with Swiss State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation Dr. Mauro Dell'Ambrogio, joined by Dr. Beatrice Ferrari, Mr. Jonas Thürig and Mr. Laurent Feuz.

The swissnex team with Swiss State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation Dr. Mauro Dell'Ambrogio, joined by Dr. Beatrice Ferrari, Mr. Jonas Thürig and Mr. Laurent Feuz.

A Chinese group thought the screenings to be ‘a very interesting and unique experience’.  It was their first time to watch this kind of film in China: ‘We watched two films, they both were made up by simple lines, however they have a very strong stereoscopic effect.’

 The swissnex Dome was the most visited event during the Swiss Innovation Week and more than 1500 visitors enjoyed the films inside the Dome. During the Grand Reception on the final night on July 6, the waiting line for the swissnex Dome counted more than 100 guests.

The swissnex Dome was the most visited event during the Swiss Innovation Week and more than 1500 visitors enjoyed the films inside the Dome. During the Grand Reception on the final night on July 6, the waiting line for the swissnex Dome counted more than 100 guests.

The presence of the Dome and the Birdly has contributed significantly to the success of not only the Grand Finale, but also the Swiss Innovation Week. We needed magnets and entertainment, and the two features were just right!
— Alain Gaschen, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Switzerland in China

It was truly an honor to have organized the swissnex Dome, and even more rewarding when we hear the guests say ‘Thank you! It’s so cool!’ and see them leave with satisfaction. swissnex China will keep working on bringing interesting projects to the international audience with a combination of the latest innovations, science and technology. Our special thanks to swissnex Boston for their close collaboration and support for this project, and to Fulldome.Pro for the dome support. Please stay in touch and see you at our next event!

Action-Packed Pitching during the Innokick Business Plan Competition

The pitching event marked the end of the Innokick Summer Academy in China, which took place on July 14, 2018. The solutions of the teams of nine students were judged based on their choice of problem to solve, the innovativeness and market validation of user-interaction model and business model. Next to our swissnex CEO Dr. Felix Moesner, the judges included Prof. Hanming Fang Dean, School of Entrepreneurship and Management, ShanghaiTech University; Prof. Lifeng Yang Associate Professor, School of Entrepreneurship and Management, ShanghaiTech University; Mr. Jianrong Xiao, Shanghai Haier Zhongzhifang Maker Space; Prof. Lanfang Wang, Assistant Professor, School of Accountancy of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics; Mr. Zhenhua Yang, Director of Education Department, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Dale Chen, General Manager, Plug and Play. 

The solutions presented to the judges tackle problems in following fields and with new technologies: Food Safety, Health, Heavy Metals, Home Care, Wristband, Antipollution, P95 Filter, Fragrance, Stress, Depression, Sport Mask, Health Care, Machine Learning, Mobility, Elderly Care, Walking Assistance, Office Chair for Naps.

The Master HES-SO (University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland) in Integrated Innovation for Product and Business Development (MSc Innokick), initiated by the HES-SO and Canton de Vaud, is the first interdisciplinary master’s program in Switzerland that brings together students from Business, Engineering and Design. MSc Innokick is a full-time degree, lasting over 3 semesters (90 ECTS credits). It includes also a two-week field trip in China and swissnex China was facilitating the contacts between the partners as well as organizing the logistics. 

Swiss Innovation a Hot Topic at Elite Zhejiang University Blockchain & FinTech Summit

On July 12, 2018, our CEO Dr. Felix Moesner was invited to deliver a talk to 250 top graduate students on "Switzerland's Practice in Blockchain and FinTech" at Zhejiang University, an elite higher education institution in China that is ranked 3rd nationally (ShanghaiRanking Consultancy, 2018). The warm reception to Dr. Moesner's speech was astounding: the spacious lecture room was fully-packed, with many in the audience even standing in the back for an opportunity to gain special insight into Switzerland's cutting-edge innovations in blockchain and FinTech. With a wealth of experts and the proliferation of blockchain startups across the FinTech space, Switzerland has quickly become a world-leading blockchain hub. A very supportive government, a dynamic ecosystem and high motivation are important drivers of Swiss innovation. The "Blockchain and Digital Economy" summit by the Academy of Internet Finance at the School of Management was organized by Dean Ben Shenglin and Prof. Zhang Ruidong.

 swissnex China CEO Dr. Felix Moesner was warmly received at the "Blockchain and Digital Economy" summit at Zhejiang University.

swissnex China CEO Dr. Felix Moesner was warmly received at the "Blockchain and Digital Economy" summit at Zhejiang University.

Zhejiang University is one of the oldest, most selective and most prestigious institutions of higher education in China. The university's mission is to "seek truth and pursue innovation", backed up by a total research funding of $638.2 million in 2017 and being home to one of China's largest academic libraries. It is situated in Hangzhou, the city that is now synonymous with China's tech capital from where the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba also hails. The halo effect from the the city's flourishing e-commerce activities has transformed it into one of China's main FinTech hubs.

 Dr. Moesner spoke at length about Switzerland's cutting-edge innovations in blockchain and FinTech.

Dr. Moesner spoke at length about Switzerland's cutting-edge innovations in blockchain and FinTech.

 The spacious lecture room was fully packed, with many amongst the audience standing in the back.

The spacious lecture room was fully packed, with many amongst the audience standing in the back.

 Zhejiang University is one of the oldest, most selective and most prestigious institutions of higher education in China.

Zhejiang University is one of the oldest, most selective and most prestigious institutions of higher education in China.

AI and Robotics: Discerning between Hype and Reality

On June 26, swissnex China invited the world-renowned roboticist and futurist, Dr. Rolf Pfeifer, to share his profound insights in the field of artificial intelligence, robotics and automation. Dr. Pfeifer is currently Visiting Chair Professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, and he is a scientific consultant for “Living with Robots” Ltd. Moreover, he is co-founder of the National Robotics Center in Switzerland. 

 Dr. Pfeifer shared his deep insights on AI and robotics with the audience at our Living with Robots event on June 26, 2018.

Dr. Pfeifer shared his deep insights on AI and robotics with the audience at our Living with Robots event on June 26, 2018.

Our CEO Dr. Felix Moesner opened the lecture by warmly welcoming Dr. Pfeifer and a full-house audience, which included representatives from top academic institutions, blue-chip companies and venture capitalists. Dr. Pfeifer took the stage and underlined the importance of bridging the gap between the academia and the public, especially with the rampant "Robotic Hype" in public media. The sheer scale of AI and Robotics-related projects has been astounding, backed up by substantial investments from leading institutions, organizations and nations. 

Dr. Pfeifer then presented the history and design process of social and service robots, illustrating his points with his Roboy project as an example. He argued that the AI Hype largely concerns so-called “deep neural networks”, or deep learning, exemplified by AlphaGo’s spectacular wins over the world champion Lee Sedol in 2016. In passing, Dr. Pfeifer also stressed the importance of materials in robotics, using the "Thimbles-Experiment" as an example.

 The audience was mesmerized by Dr. Pfeifer's deep insights throughout his eloquent lecture.

The audience was mesmerized by Dr. Pfeifer's deep insights throughout his eloquent lecture.

Last but least, Dr. Pfeifer presented to the audience his innovative new ROBOLOUNGE project, which is a conceptual café / lounge where robots rather than human staff look after the clients. The venue will allow customers to have a unique futuristic experience where one can expect to have a tactile close encounter with robots. In closing, Dr. Pfeifer reiterated the challenges of pitching robotics-related projects given the gap between public expectation and reality, and offered some special advice and insight on the topic.

Dr. Pfeifer's presentation clearly affirms the image that “Switzerland is the Silicon Valley of Robotics” as stated by Chris Anderson, former editor at WIRED magazine in 2017. The audience, mesmerized by his poignant lecture, were keen to pepper him with questions in the Q&A session and connect with him after the event. 


We would like to express our special thanks to Dr. Pfeifer for sharing with us his deep insight on AI and robotics and for bringing his passionate fervor on the subject to our lively evening event. His impressive talk was punctuated by spontaneous applauses. We are also grateful to SwissCham China Shanghai's Digital Committee (Gianna Abegg), the University of Zurich Alumni Shanghai Chapter, and the ETH Zurich Alumni Shanghai Chapter for their collaboration for the event.

Sino-Swiss Dialogue Pushes the Boundaries of Evidence Science Innovation

By Priska Furrer, Junior Project Leader

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On the evening of June 28, 2018, swissnex China was delighted to invite prominent speakers, cutting-edge technology providers and outstanding peers from China and Switzerland to discuss and compare key innovations and the latest developments in judicial civilization through a collaborative international approach to Evidence Science. Prof. Dr. Baosheng Zhang (China University of Political Science and Law, CUPL) opened the session with his speech dedicated to the well-established and long-lasting relationship between CUPL and School of Criminal Justice (ESC) at University de Lausanne (UNIL).

 Prof. Dr. Baosheng Zhang highlighted the long-established relationship between CUPL and UNIL.

Prof. Dr. Baosheng Zhang highlighted the long-established relationship between CUPL and UNIL.

Secondly, Mr. Bo Li, International Department Manager at Dalian Everspry Sci & Tech Co.,Ltd, and his colleague Wentao Ma, introduced in an interactive hands-on presentation the cutting-edge footwear mark technology of their company.

 Mr. Bo Li presented their product: an innovative solution to identify the footwear mark.

Mr. Bo Li presented their product: an innovative solution to identify the footwear mark.

 The audience were invited to participate in the interactive session and were very impressed by the cutting-edge technology.

The audience were invited to participate in the interactive session and were very impressed by the cutting-edge technology.

Lastly, Prof. Dr. Christophe Champod introduced the new Massive Open Online Course on “Challenging Forensic Science” that was developed at UNIL.

 Prof. Dr. Christophe Champod gave deep insights into the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the School of Criminal Justice (ESC) of the University of Lausanne (UNIL).

Prof. Dr. Christophe Champod gave deep insights into the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the School of Criminal Justice (ESC) of the University of Lausanne (UNIL).

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We would also like to thank Prof. Dr. Alex Biedermann from UNIL who was one of the main organizers of this event. He summarized the key outcomes of the event:

“I think there are two benefits. First, our Chinese colleagues from CUPL (China University of Political Science and Law) highly appreciated the fact that they were the first and privileged audience to which we displayed the trailer of our forthcoming course. This confirmed their strong interest to be involved in a Chinese translation of our course, and hence helping to distribute/promote our course throughout China, which represents a huge audience of prospective course participants.

Second, our colleague from University of Adelaide (Law School), Australia, Mr. David Caruso, was also highly excited to see our course. He, too, will plan to promote this course among his students; using this course as a basic introduction will then help us develop more focused, interactive face-to-face seminars with (law) students, to deepen their understanding of the various topics.

In both ways, we can distribute teaching approaches from Lausanne internationally and, at the same time, receive international feedback to help us develop continuously our own teaching here in Lausanne.”

CES Asia 2018: a resounding success for Swiss startups

By Quentin Gigon, Junior Project Leader Innovation & Entrepreneurship

 Meet the incredible team behind the Swiss Startups Pavilion at CES Asia 2018.

Meet the incredible team behind the Swiss Startups Pavilion at CES Asia 2018.

To say Swiss Startups made a strong impression during the three days at CES Asia 2018 would undeniably constitute an understatement. For the 2018 edition of the premier event for the consumer technology industry in China and Asia, 3 out of the 7 startups of the swissnex China Swiss Startup Pavilion exceeded all expectations by walking away with 4 prizes, including Best Health Startup (Kenzen), Best Vehicle Technology Startup (SoFlow), as well as 2 innovation awards (Biowatch in Wearables Category, Kenzen in Sports and Fitness Category). Not only are these distinctions a testament to the quality of Switzerland’s strong startup ecosystem, but also a reminder of Switzerland’s ranking as the most innovative country in the world for the last six consecutive years. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg of what took place in the last few days both during and before CES Asia.

 Biowatch: Innovation Awards Honoree (Wearables Category).

Biowatch: Innovation Awards Honoree (Wearables Category).

 Kenzen: Best Health Startup and Innovation Awards Honoree (Sports & Fitness Category).

Kenzen: Best Health Startup and Innovation Awards Honoree (Sports & Fitness Category).

 SoFlow: Best Vehicle Technology Startup.

SoFlow: Best Vehicle Technology Startup.


The startups came to CES Asia as part of a selection and invitation process organized and coordinated by swissnex China. The aim was to host a Swiss Startups Pavilion at CES Asia in Shanghai, in order to not only showcase the disruptive technologies being developed by top Swiss Startups in Asia but also, and especially, to provide this selection of startups with the unique opportunity to gain visibility and connect with a network of potential local partners to facilitate market entry ambitions. To achieve this last point, swissnex China additionally organized a pre-CES exclusive pitching event, to which over 30 key players of the startup ecosystem in Shanghai were invited. This event allowed the seven startups to pitch to a targeted Chinese audience, as well as establish informal ties with a local network of potential partners.

 Pre-CES Swiss Startups Pitching Event allowed the startups to establish informal ties with a local network of partners.

Pre-CES Swiss Startups Pitching Event allowed the startups to establish informal ties with a local network of partners.


Beyond the awards and the pitching event, CES Asia enabled the delegation of Swiss Startups to benefit from the attention of an audience of over 40,000 attendees and over 1,200 media present at the event. For some of the startup representatives, it was their first time to come to China, and they were excited to meet and talk with investors and potential customers alike, with one of the companies even discussing a multi-million CHF VC investment within its booth! Many startups pointed to the fact that if it were not for swissnex China’s help, they would never have come to China in the first place. These empowering testimonials provide ever more justification for swissnex China to pursue its mission of connecting the dots between Switzerland and China. While the immediate repercussions of such a sudden surge in visibility for swiss startups in China is not directly visible shortly after the event, it is certain that these 7 startups have gained valuable knowledge of the Chinese market, unparalleled exposure, as well as strong local ties to support their future market entry ambitions, which is a substantial added value not just for the startups and for swissnex, but also for Switzerland both at home and abroad. Swissnex China looks forward to an even more successful CES Asia 2019… stay tuned!

 The attendees were very impressed with the cutting-edge Swiss technology & innovation.

The attendees were very impressed with the cutting-edge Swiss technology & innovation.

 Many were enquiring about the mission and services of swissnex China.

Many were enquiring about the mission and services of swissnex China.

Testimonials:

Matthias Vanoni, Co-founder and CEO of Biowatch: “We are happy to see big traction of the Chinese market for our technology and these 2 days at CES Asia have exceeded our expectations as we have secured very strong relationships that hopefully will result in further investment. A big thanks to swissnex for this opportunity.”

Edith Schmid, COO of Kenzen: “We had no idea what would await us here at CES Asia. It’s actually our first time in China and we won 2 awards. We are absolutely overwhelmed and we’re definitely coming back.”

Stephan Slunitschek, VP, Sales & Business Development of Myotest: “We’re really happy to be here at CES. We have had very good meetings here with various companies like pharmaceuticals, sports and wearables companies. We are very grateful for the exposure this event has provided us with and we are now looking forward to discussing future partnerships in China.”

Andrea Beck, In charge of operations, on-boarding, customer support, and customer success at Scantrust:  “Our expectations for CES Asia have been surpassed. We had quite a few promising discussions with potential clients, so we look forward to seeing what will happen next. The coordination and the support of swissnex was very helpful.“

Zif Giang, Co-Founder & VP of Production of SoFlow: “CES Asia was a great opportunity for us to represent our product. We can interact with our customers, so they really can try and feel the product and see how it works.  We met a lot of potential buyers and customers and, surprisingly, we won an award for top startup in vehicle technology!”

Gauthier Dubruel, Co-Founder & Business Director of Ubisim: “CES has been very good for us because we have been working on our China strategy and we have been able to put the product in the hands of a lot of potential partners and, surprisingly, investors. So far, the feedback has been very good, so for us it’s a great way to get tangible feedback about what we do from a China perspective. We are grateful not only for the invitation of swissnex to join CES, but also for the activities on the side which have allowed us to connect with others from the startup ecosystem, such as investors and other startups.”

Roman Gaus, Founder & CEO of Urbanfarmers: “CES was an opportunity for us to interact with existing targets, so it acted as a follow up with what we’ve already done in China in the past. However, we also connected with a number of new visitors and new leads from a variety of IT industries, as it’s always good to connect with new potential suppliers and partners.”

swissnex China Takes Part in EU-China S&T and Innovation Seminar 2018

swissnex China was pleased to participate in the EU-China S&T and Innovation Seminar 2018. The Shanghai Science and Technology Exchange Center (SSTEC) organized this seminar to contribute for the development of science and technology, economy, and society of Shanghai. Over 40 stakeholders attended the seminar.

 Our CEO Dr. Felix Moesner presenting Swiss innovation during the seminar.

Our CEO Dr. Felix Moesner presenting Swiss innovation during the seminar.

swissnex China presented the research and innovation landscape in Switzerland and potentials for collaboration with partners in Shanghai and beyond.  Exchange and cooperation of a wide have been launched by SSTEC to nurture exchanges in main areas with key countries, regions, organizations, universities and industries.

 Delegates from 20 countries attended the seminar, including Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Singapore, UK, and the US.

Delegates from 20 countries attended the seminar, including Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Singapore, UK, and the US.

The 20 key countries and regions include Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Singapore, UK, and the US. SSTEC is closely following the mission of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology.

We would like to express our special thanks to Zhu Junhao, Director as well as Yvonne Zhang, Project Manager of SSTEC for hosting the event.

Visit to Huawei R&D Center with the S&T Diplomatic Circle

swissnex China joined its peers from the S&T Diplomatic Circle on a memorable visit to the Huawei Technologies Shanghai R&D Center to gain in-depth insight into Huawei’s R&D strategy. Founded in 1987 with its headquarters in Shenzhen, Huawei Technology saw its rapid ascension into a leading Chinese multinational information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider in recent years. The company became the largest worldwide telecommunications equipment manufacturer in 2012, and takes a very proactive stance on innovation with its 14 research centers and 80,000 employees worldwide dedicated to R&D, with an annual US$13.8B invested in R&D which accounts for 10% of the company's revenues.

 swissnex China joins its peers from the S&T Diplomatic Circle for a memorable tour of the Huawei R&D Center in Shanghai.

swissnex China joins its peers from the S&T Diplomatic Circle for a memorable tour of the Huawei R&D Center in Shanghai.

The Shanghai Center in particular has given birth to some of the most successful solutions in the history of Huawei, including distributed base stations, SingleRAN and the brand's flagship smartphone. The institute gathers high-profile experts of the highest calibre, and is one of the most sophisticated research labs in the world.

 S&TDC Meeting with Jack Li, Vice President of the Research Center.

S&TDC Meeting with Jack Li, Vice President of the Research Center.

 Huawei demoing enterprise drone technology operating on 5g network.

Huawei demoing enterprise drone technology operating on 5g network.

One of the fundamental cornerstones of Huawei's strategy revolves around the development of proliferation up of the 5G ecosystem. In this domain, we were presented with five interesting use cases: connected drones, connected vehicles, VR with cloud processing, connected healthcare and wireless robotics. The 5g network allows for low-latency massive connections, which in the case of the drones enables them to send high-definition, real-time data to the cloud.

Huawei also showcased its developments in rural network construction, presenting solutions such as RuralStar and TubeStar which target emerging markets to help reduce customers’ total cost of ownership (TCO) while increasing their return on investment.

 Huawei's Smart Lamp Post solution plays an important part in the mass-deployment of IoT solutions.

Huawei's Smart Lamp Post solution plays an important part in the mass-deployment of IoT solutions.

 With cloudified VR, logical computing and image rendering are processed via the cloud, improving user experience and reducing the cost of terminals.

With cloudified VR, logical computing and image rendering are processed via the cloud, improving user experience and reducing the cost of terminals.

On the consumer side, Huawei presented the newly-launched P20 Pro which features a three-lens camera optimized with AI. The phone is equipped with the world’s first smartphone SoC chipset Kirin 970 with dedicated Neural-network Processor Unit (NPU).

We were delighted to have participated in the visit with 20 peers from 15 countries, and would like to express our special thanks to Ms. Anna Romsicka (Consulate General of Poland) and Ms. Einat Lev (Consulate General of Israel) for their great work in coordinating this visit.

Visit to the Alibaba Headquarters

By Valentin Beuchat and Sébastien Quadri, Junior Project Leaders

On May 25, swissnex China joined SwissCham in visiting the headquarter of Alibaba in Hangzhou which gathers more than 16’000 employees!

It was a great opportunity to learn more about the most well-known Chinese success story, with deep insights and impressive figures.

 

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Data is the new natural resource

Just to name a few examples, Alibaba Cloud is the backbone of their operational activities with large amounts of data being received and processed through the numerous platforms (e.g. Toabao, Alipay, Yokou, etc.).

During the single-day shopping festival that occurs each year on 11.11, cloud records demonstrate highest peaks of 325,000 orders and 256,000 payment transactions in one second. In only 1 day, Alibaba sees more sales volume and revenue than the entire USA during the black Friday!

Originally founded in Hangzhou, Alibaba is also improving its hometown with its innovative program dubbed “Hangzhou City Brain”. With the extensive network of CCTVs in town, the Alibaba Cloud can monitor and analyze various traffic parameters (e.g. traffic jam, car’s speed, plate, etc.), predict the traffic and then optimize the traffic lights to smooth the traffic.

This ever-growing flow of data is used by Alibaba to build an entire ecosystem around its products. On a B2C level for instance, Alipay is not only a financial services provider, but also a social platform; a life- and city-services provider; a guide to restaurants, leisure activities, travel destinations, and shopping experiences, etc.

 

Alipay goes international

As more and more Chinese travel abroad, Alipay follows them during their entire journey by having its own booking agency, then by recommending shops and restaurants that accept Alipay at the destination, by offering some coupons and special offers, by making the VAT refund process smoother (everything is done in the Alipay app), and by updating consumer profile and further recommendations based on the data acquired.

In Switzerland for example, the holiday resort Davos now has many businesses (restaurants, hotels, shops) accepting Alipay for Chinese tourists (for more information, see https://technode.com/2018/01/29/davos-alipay/)

 

An “H&H” vision

An interesting culture of “Health and Happiness” can quickly be noticed on the campus. Jack Ma, perceived as a great leader, implemented various creative ways to enjoy the working time and to give a “family feeling” to the employees.

Thanks to Alibaba for the invitation, SwissCham for the organization, and Quintus Dienst for the great presentation!

Artificial Intelligence in WealthTech – Great success for the 2nd edition of the Future of Money Series by swissnex China

By Valentin Beuchat, Junior Project Leader

swissnex China launched the second edition of the “Future of Money” series in China.

【 Click to Play the Video 】


The disruptive force of new algorithms and big data seems to reach the financial world and is forcing the latter to innovate, primarily as a response to the 2008 global financial crisis. Switzerland is at the cutting edge of FinTech and has gained interest around the world, including China. Combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI), the potential is enormous, and swissnex China has set itself the goal to put the spotlight on the Swiss FinTech scene. So stay tuned to find out the swissnex China story about AI in WealthTech and how we connect the dots between Switzerland and China and continues to build an active community to discuss the future trends in FinTech.

 Picture        SEQ Picture \* ARABIC     1       : Shanghai, April 9

Picture 1 : Shanghai, April 9

 Picture 2 : Shanghai, April 9

Picture 2 : Shanghai, April 9

AI is the power of a machine capable of replicating an intelligent human behavior and can then learn and make predictions based on data. This automation process is used to assess client risk profiles and allocate and rebalance portfolios. Not only can AI monitor the risks, but it can also mitigate them at an early stage. Moreover, AI technology allows a dynamic segmentation of clients based on parameters such as behavior or risk aversion, identifies product opportunities, provides portfolio decisions and personalized client dashboards with performance analysis, and delivers tailored reports, news, and alerts to mention few examples. This new core technology lowers fees, enables real-time portfolio rebalancing and portfolio transparency with easily understood products, and minimizes - and even possibly removes – human intervention. All these disruptive FinTech features is a way to serve and acquire investors of today and tomorrow, in other words, the millennial investors.

What does this imply for the traditional banking system? What are the scientific underpinnings of this innovation of “FinTech”? How is crowd and data intelligence going to change the relationship between financial institutions and customer? Are traditional portfolio management, decision making, and risk taking replaced by artificial intelligence?

These and many other key questions about the future of this innovation were the focus of a panel discussion of both Swiss and Chinese academics and opinion leaders in the framework of the second edition of the Future of Money series, which took place from April 9-11 in Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong.

 Picture        SEQ Picture \* ARABIC     3       : Shanghai, April 9

Picture 3 : Shanghai, April 9

The Swiss expert panelists included Dr. Thomas Puschmann, Founder and Head of the Swiss FinTech Innovation Lab at the University of Zurich, and Alexandre Gaillard, CEO and Founder of InvestGlass and General Secretary of the Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce Geneva. Dr. Puschmann gave the audience a taste of the origin of both artificial intelligence and FinTech topics and where the research is standing nowadays with its leads for the future. On the other hand, Mr. Gaillard shared exciting insights and comparisons about the traditional wealth management industry, as he is a former private banker, and the new technology-driven bank services, as an entrepreneur with his startup. Having perspectives from the public and private sector were enriching, as opportunities and challenges are not the same, but overall both experts highlighted the Swiss FinTech landscape for its dynamism and innovation, and that Switzerland is perceived as a leading nation when talking about finance.

 Picture        SEQ Picture \* ARABIC     4       : Shanghai, April 9

Picture 4 : Shanghai, April 9

In addition to the two Swiss speakers who participated in the three megalopolis conferences in Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong, several more experts and opinions leaders joined the panel in each city. In Shanghai, Frank Wang, Managing Director of CreditEase Wealth Management, and Dr. Ming Liao, Adjunct Professor of Business & Economics at NYU Shanghai, explained where China stands in the field and gave concrete examples based on their own working experience. The panel was moderated by Jerome Eger, Managing Director China of Ginmon, a financial service company providing automatically managed ETF portfolio.

The next day in Beijing, Tao Lei, CEO & Founder of BeagleData, and Ling Huang, Adjunct Professor in Tsinghua University and CEO & Founder of AHI Fintech Inc., joined the panel discussion. They shared and interacted with the audience about topics such as the dilemma between the quantity and quality of data gathered by AI machines and the data security for customers. The moderation was greatly done by our Swiss expert Alexandre Gaillard.

 Picture        SEQ Picture \* ARABIC     5       : Beijing, April 10

Picture 5 : Beijing, April 10

 Picture        SEQ Picture \* ARABIC     6       : Hong Kong, April 11

Picture 6 : Hong Kong, April 11

The last stage in Hong Kong welcomed Cat Rüst, Head of Innovation Technologies at UBS Wealth Management Greater China, Gerardo Salandra, CEO of Rocketbots and co-chair of the AI society of Hong Kong, and the moderator Desmond Marshall, country MD for The Floor in Asia. The panel discussion was oriented towards topics including, but were not limited to, the requirements of WealthTech developments in Switzerland and Asia, the significant differences and similarities, the decision-making power of machines, the integration process of AI for financial institutions and its challenges, and of course the customer needs and its role within the whole investing process.

Many interesting and sometimes challenging interrogations were raised during the three events from the 379 highly-focused audience: how will traditional portfolio management, decision making, and risk taking be replaced by AI? Does the customer need that much of AI to handle its wealth? Am I not the best person to make decisions on my own? Does this technology help me making a decision or does it make one for me? What will happen in 5 years? Is AI technology a game changer and will it be mass-adopted in the finance industry?

In the framework of these events, it is also an excellent opportunity for various institutions representatives to connect, exchange, and build some potential partnerships for the future. At least one company is seriously considering setting up its activities in Switzerland, the main reason being its attractive and stable regulatory system regarding the FinTech scene. This story would be a tangible example of how swissnex China contributes to the creation of value in Switzerland and abroad by connecting the right people at the right place when organizing these kinds of events.

Overall, AI in WealthTech is still at an early stage, but rapid improvements are transforming the financial services landscape, which implies opportunities but also challenges. Key players have already identified the emergence of the trend, and new business models are being developed to integrate this cutting-edge technology.

 Picture          SEQ Picture \* ARABIC       7       : Hong Kong, April 11

Picture 7 : Hong Kong, April 11

Testimonials

“It was a great honor to be invited by swissnex China, as a speaker on Artificial Intelligence in WealthTech. Great interest from a huge crowd from different countries.” Frank Wang, Managing Director of CreditEase Wealth Management

“Today I’m very excited actually to have the opportunity to learn a lot more about AI regarding Wealthtech in Switzerland and what is new there.” Jerome Eger, Managing Director China of Ginmon.

“Many thanks to swissnex to meet with Chinese investors, business owners, and bankers.” Alexandre Gaillard, CEO and Founder of InvestGlass and General Secretary of the Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce Geneva

“I’m excited to be here to discuss with some representatives from Shanghai and also from Switzerland and to draw comparisons and find similarities among two countries.” Dr. Thomas Puschmann, Founder and Head of the Swiss FinTech Innovation Lab at the University of Zurich

“Very excited to be able to be talking to other people from Switzerland and have participants from all types of nationalities to really address where the trend is going and what we could benefit from.” Cat Rüst, Head of Innovation Technologies at UBS Wealth Management Greater China

“Great to be around here because we’re talking about AI in WealthTech, which is definitely the next trend in terms of FinTech.” Desmond Marshall, country MD for The Floor in Asia

Sponsors

This second edition of the Future of Money series would not have been possible without the generous contribution of our sponsors. Many thanks to them and please find some more information below:

Presence Switzerland: Presence Switzerland is competent for the image of Switzerland abroad and implements the strategy of the Federal Council on Switzerland’s communication abroad >> website.

Greater Zurich Area: As the international contact partner for promotion and marketing of the Greater Zurich area economic region, Greater Zurich Area AG (GZA) acts as a liaison between international companies looking to settle in the area and local interests and requirements >> website.

SF Innovation Center: SF Innovation Center is an industrial transformation and upgrading demonstration base and international innovation enterprise center established by SF Group - one of China’s leading comprehensive service providers of express logistics. It integrates the Commercialization Center of Research Findings, Innovation Incubation Center, Brand & Hi-tech Experience Center, Supply-chain Finance Center, E-commerce Advanced Business Park HQ Base and Enterprise Innovation Service Platform. SF Innovation Center is dedicated to linking global industrial innovation Resources to promote industrial development >> website.

Synpulse: Synpulse is an established, globally active management consulting company and a valued partner to renowned international financial services companies >> website.

Squirro: Squirro is a modern cognitive insights engine that uses predictive analytics, machine learning and more to enable you to turn even unstructured data into actions >> website.

CryptoEasy: CryptoEasy is your personal crypto advisor to cover your entire investment journey as a due-diligent investor >> website.

Shanghai is trying to position as innovation hub for startups

Shanghai innovation and entrepreneur center, which is under the Shanghai Science and Technology Committee (STCSM), is responsible for scientific and technological development of the city as well as supporting startups from home and abroad by offering incentive policies and services.

To echo the Mass innovation & entrepreneurship move from central government, “overseas startup gateway programme”, a platform to coordinate and access to local resources for overseas startups has been initiated since 2016, with first 18 accelerators, co-working spaces selected as members to join the platform to offer soft landing services. Such as Station F mainly for French startups in China, Landing Pad for Australia startups, Xnode with Netherlands’ project HighTechXL, etc. The recruitment criteria is based on level and scale of the internationalization such as partners, joint projects, funding etc.

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By end of 2017, there’re 378 international events & workshops has been organized by these members, with over 200 leads developed for overseas collaboration. During the annual summary event of Gateway programme on Dec 19th, a series of Top 10 rewards have been granted to members to appreciate their contribution and achievement.

Meanwhile, a list of international projects also are announced such as Sino-Germany clean water innovation center initiated by Germany association for water, wastewater and waste ( DWA) and Tongji University, Saint-Gobain from France with Caohe Jing Hightech Park, Belgium healthcare park Biowin with Juke science park, private incubator TechCode with Russian science park etc.

More info about Gateway program, please click here.

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Blockchain in Fintech, the successful launch of the Future of Money series in Hong Kong and Shanghai by swissnex China

By Martin Stürchler, Junior Project Leader

In case you have not heard of the blockchain technology, blockchain gives the internet user the possibility to transfer a piece of digital property to another internet user. The Blockchain guarantees the transfer to be safe and secure. Due to the fact that the blockchain is transparent everyone knows that the transfer has taken place and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer.

Switzerland as a leader in innovation and with crypto valley Zug on the rise in the Blockchain scene has gained curiosity around the world including China.

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On November 20 & 21, swissnex China successfully launched its first “Future of Money” series’ event themed “Blockchain in Fintech” with a great exceptional panel of Swiss and Chinese Blockchain & Fintech experts. The topics that have been discussed are the revolutionizing technology of Blockchain in Fintech and the future outlook of how cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger have the potential to affect different industries and shape the world of tomorrow.

The panel was moderated by the FinTech expert Zennon Kapron, Director of Kapron ASIA. In the panel seven Blockchain experts joined: Da HongFei, Founder of NEO the largest Blockchain project in China, gave interesting insights how digital identity can digitalize assets, to automate the management of digital assets using smart contracts aiming to create a “smart economy”. Furthermore from Hong Kong we welcomed Arthur Hayes, CEO of BitMEX who explained the next generation of Bitcoin derivates. Ms. Qijun Wang a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of crypto asset management startup Queschain representing the voice for women in the industry. Last but not least we had Mr. Rong Chen, co-founder of Elastos Foundation who works on a smart-web powered by Blockchain,  and Mr. Jason Inch who shared with us his most recent insights of his book “China 4.0” and his latest Blockchain project Genaro.

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Switzerland was represented by Dr. Thomas Bocek, Head of P2P and distributed systems CSG of the University of Zurich and Manuel Stagars, movie maker of the documentary “Blockchain and Us”. Mr. Bocek gave the audience a taste of the technological background on peer-to-peer, distributed systems, including Bitcoins and Blockchain. On the other hand Mr. Stagars, due to his documentary movie and many interviews with key players in Switzerland, shared interesting insights of the Swiss Fintech landscape and its opportunities and challenges for the Blockchain technology.

Many interesting questions were discussed during the two events: Is Blockchain technology a game changer? Which industries will the Blockchain in particular influence? Is Switzerland going to play a key player in this Fintech industry? How long does it takes for mass adoption? What are the opportunities and threats of Blockchain technology?

The panelists actively replied to questions throughout the conference. The conclusion was that blockchain technology is still at the beginning of a revolution, which will have the power to change our everyday life.

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Testimonials

“I have to say this has been one of the greatest events I have had and I appreciate the invite from swissnex and the opportunity to share the stage to learn from my fellow panelists so much.” Ms. QJ (Qijun) Wang - CEO and Founder, Queschain Capital

“swissnex Future of Money event, industry sharing is comprehensive, audience is great, Q&A communication is fantastic.” Johnson Zhao Chen - Head of Business Development and Operations at NEO 

“The event was great. For the future, let us plan some Fintech events together, I think that would work great.” Johan Uddman - General Manager & Investor at JadeValue Fintech

“First of all thank you for this great event! It was impressed about the organization and the event itself. Keep going!” Celina Eisenring - Consulate General of Switzerland in Shanghai 

“Many thanks for putting on a great event and fantastic to meet you all.” Manuel Stagars - Founder of Blockchain & Us

“Thanks for the superb organization!” Dr. Thomas Bocek - Head of P2P and distributed systems at the CSG of the University of Zurich

 

To get more information please find the detailed list of the panelist below:

Dr. Thomas Bocek, Head of P2P and distributed systems at the CSG of the University of Zurich, Dr. Thomas Bocek is mainly interested in communication systems and networks, especially focusing on peer-to-peer, distributed systems, including Bitcoins and blockchains. Thomas has published several papers on these topics and his PhD topic has a strong focus on Peer-to-Peer and distributed systems.

Manuel Stagars, Founder of Blockchain & Us, Manuel Stagars is an author, film director, economist, and serial entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in consulting and startups in Switzerland, the United States, Japan, and Singapore. His documentary films focus on technological innovations and their potential to improve the lives of people.

Qijun Wang, Founder and CEO of Queschain, Co-Founder of several blockchain startups, open-source blockchain projects such as MakerDAO, community education initiatives, and charity programs with a focus of connecting China and the rest of the world.

Da Hongfei, Founder of NEO & CEO of Onchain, Da Hongfei came across Bitcoin in 2011, and worked fulltime in the industry since 2013. In 2014, he founded NEO, a blockchain to register, transfer, and exchange digital assets, and led the startup to become the benchmark in the Chinese blockchain community.

Arthur Hayes, CEO of BitMEX, In January 2014, BitMEX – Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange was formed. BitMEX is a trading platform that gives retail investors access to the global financial markets using Bitcoin, the Blockchain, and financial derivatives. BitMEX through the use of Bitcoin as collateral, allows anyone anywhere to trade any type of financial asset.

Jason Inch, Serial Entrepreneur & Author of China 4.0, Jason is also an accomplished writer with several books about China’s economy. His most recent book is called China 4.0 and he is also the founder of the China Business Events meetup community.

Rong Chen, Co-Founder of Elastos Foundation, Rong believes that a smart-web powered by the blockchain technology is the future for Elastos to create the scarcity of digital contents. He established the Elastos Foundation with his partners in June of 2017.