Visit to the University of Zurich

The swissnex annual meeting was held from 11-15 December 2017, various meetings and visits on topics of research, education and innovation were organized during the week, among which the visit to UZH on 14 December to learn about the latest research development there. 



UZH is known for its stand at the forefront of cutting-edge researches, and the visit highlighted its efforts on digital society. Welcomed by Prof. Christian Schwarzenegger, Vice President of UZH, the delegation had the pleasure to learn about the following nine research projects that are currently being conducted by different researchers at UZH: 

Prof. Michael Baudis, “Life Sciences Data” 

Prof. Baudis’s research focus is on the analysis of structural variations in cancer genomes by computational genomics, including bioinformatics and systems biology methods. His work centers around their collection of genomic tumor data, assembled from copy number screening experiments in cancer. More details: 

Prof. Patricia Schlagenhauf, “ITIT-Illness tracking in travelers” 

Patricia Schlagenhauf is a Scientist and Professor at the University of Zürich, WHO Collaborating Centre for Travel Medicine, Switzerland and is active in research, teaching and travel clinic duties. She explained how digital tool can be used to collect data about illness and disease among travelers. More details:

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Prof. Anita Gohdes, “Politics in the Digital Age” 

Prof. Gohdes’s research focuses on political violence, state repression and the measurement of human rights. Her research project theoretically and empirically investigates how governments use digital communication technology to inform their strategies of violent repression. More details: 

Dr. Amani Said, Science matters (UZH Startup) 

“Stories can wait, science cannot” - Being aware of the difficulties that scientist have been facing when publish articles, instead of publishing stories, Matters and Matters select publish single, validated observations, thus highlighting the fundamental unit of scientific progress – the observation. More details: 

Prof. Abraham Bernstein, “digital Society Initiative” 

The digitalization is fundamentally changing science and society. This process challenges existing paradigms, enables novel approaches for research and teaching, and requires new competences in a rapidly changing societal reality. The Digital Society Initiative provides an academic platform for promoting critical, interdisciplinary reflection and innovation on all aspects of the digitalization of society and the sciences.

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Swiss startup rqmicro participated in IPIEC

IPIEC(International Property innovation and enterpreneruship contest)was initiated since 2015 to facilitate and promote domestic innovation and entrepreneurship, and improve the awareness of the general public, academics, investors and entrepreneurs on technology trend and IP concepts. This year it’s third edition in China with a group of 30 teams, coming from different countries around the world, such as Germany, Israel, South Korea, UK, US and of course Switzerland.

Rqmicro from Switzerland recommended by swissnex China applied and successfully had been selected to join the semi-final pitching to local investors and entrepreneurs.

Rqmicro has developed a new technology that can separate and detects the microbiology in water and food related industry that delivers actual result in less than 1 hour. China is an important market with huge potential, rqmicro has applied and joined CTI China Market entry CAMP with ambition to entry. 


IPIEC gives rqmicro a platform to pitch to potential market customers and partners by offering one-week coaching workshop and meetings with investors and Chinese companies. It helps rqmicro gained a deeper insight into the Chinese market, such as what technologies are needed in daily production and application of local industry; what questions foreign start-ups would typically face when coming to the Chinese market; etc. Another highlight was the Mars Summit in Shenzhen, where we met Sophia, the first robot to receive citizenship of any country.

There it’s also observed how IT industry blossomed in China and how this influenced our everyday life. The contest is ongoing, with voting by public, the final champion will be rewarded $100,000.


Visiting Shantou University and Promoting Swiss Education and Innovation

On Nov 15th, the Ambassador, H. E. Mr. Jean-Jacques DE DARDEL, Mr. Didier Boschung, Consul General of Switzerland in Guangzhou, Mr. Rene Baenziger Deputy Consul General of Switzerland in Guangzhou, Dr. Felix Moesner, CEO of swissnex China visited Shantou University.

Shantou University, a key comprehensive university under the provincial Project 211 program in Guangdong, was founded in 1981 with the approval of the State Council. It is the only public university that receives funding from the Li Ka Shing Foundation. Furthermore, Shantou University holds some “swissness” since it was designed by renown Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, the joint designer of the famous Beijing National Stadium in Beijing, also known as the “Bird’s Nest”.

Under the auspice of the Li Ka Shing Foundation, STU has become one of the few universities in Mainland China that awards full scholarships to overseas exchange students. The university has established close academic ties with nearly 20 universities. Shantou University wished to spread information through swissenx to establish cooperation on student exchange, dual degree and internship. 


Swiss-Chinese Friendship Day in Shantou

On November 15th and 16th, the Consulate General of Switzerland in Guangzhou, together with swissnex China, Switzerland Global Enterprise Beijing, Switzerland Tourism Beijing/Hong Kong organized a Swiss Day to celebrate Swiss-Chinese Friendship Day in Shantou, see the whole series events in CG Guangzhou official WeChat account.

As partner of the event, swissnex China held an “Innovation and education” seminar. Switzerland has enjoyed for a long time a strong reputation as a unique tourist destination, however, the world is discovering the country's world class education, innovation and creativity. This seminar introduces Switzerland in general and examples of innovation, then share experience how education could facilitate the innovation and how it remains a driver for innovation and creativity in Switzerland.

The Ambassador, H. E. Mr. Jean-Jacques DE DARDEL went to seminar room and deliver a welcome address. Dr. Felix Moesner, CEO of swissnex China intruded Swiss strength in innovation and Swissnex as the Swiss global network connecting the dots in education, research, and innovation. Shi Bodong, project manager embedded in Consulate General of Switzerland in Guangzhou introduced Switzerland in general and Swiss education system. Mr. Didier Boschung, Consul General of Switzerland in Guangzhou also attended the seminar.  


Made in Swiss, Drug discovery seminar

Based on an innovative strategic partnership agreed between the Chinese President and the President of the Swiss Confederation in 2016, Swiss innovation gets traction among Chinese investors and companies. 

As leading country in drug discovery, Switzerland embraces the academic and industry collaboration and keen to have Chinese healthcare companies carry out research collaboration with universities and research institutes in Switzerland. 

On Dec 5th,  “Made in Switzerland Drug Discovery “seminar was held in Novartis Shanghai center with over 80 participants from healthcare industry in China.  Keynote speakers from university of Zurich Prof Christoph Hock and Prof Michael Hennig from university of Basel shared Swiss advantage in new drug discovery especially early stage by leveraging the research sources and talent power which are unparalleled in the world.

Panelists discussed the key pain in exploratory  and optimization stages in drug discovery in China. To shape the future of drug discovery, partnering with Swiss research power for scientific collaboration and  sending staff  to Switzerland in proximity to research institutes would be an idea win-win method.  Such healthcare hub and research  powers as Basel, university of Zurich, Paul Scherrer Institute etc. have strong know-how and leading in drug discovery science and technology development. 

Reimagining Shell Structures: Philippe Block’s keynote at Tongji University

On 1 Dec. 2017, Prof. Philippe Block, Director of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication gave a keynote speech at the IStructE Asia-Pacific Forum at Tongji University.

With the research focus on equilibrium design methods and computational form finding and fabrication of curved surface structures, Prof. Block shared his learning from the structural principles that the master builders developed throughout history and also his research on shell structures with the attendants.

Prof. Philippe Block giving a lecture at Tongji University

Prof. Philippe Block giving a lecture at Tongji University

Prof. Philippe Block giving a lecture at Tongji University

Prof. Philippe Block giving a lecture at Tongji University

Drawing from a revival of forgotten principles combined with the latest advances in the design, engineering, fabrication and construction of doubly-curved shell structures, Prof. Block’s lecture reveals the foundations upon which the award-winning “Beyond Bending” exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016 and the thin, flexibly formed concrete shell of the NEST HiLo project were based.

Armadillo Vault, Venice, Italy, photo by Iwan Bann

Armadillo Vault, Venice, Italy, photo by Iwan Bann

*Full-scale construction prototype of the NEST HiLo shell roof, photo by Michael Lyrenmann

*Full-scale construction prototype of the NEST HiLo shell roof, photo by Michael Lyrenmann

Prof. Philippe Block, is currently teaching at the Institute of Technology in Architecture at ETH Zurich. He has studied architecture and structural engineering at the VUB in Belgium and at MIT in USA. The Block Research Group focuses on equilibrium design methods and computational form finding and fabrication of curved surface structures. Prof. Block is also the director of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication.