Fireside Chat: Survive, Embrace & Go Beyond with Bertran Sennwald

By Percy Chen, Junior Project Manager Art-Science

On September 27, the fourth Fireside Chat: Survive, Embrace, & Go Beyond took place at the swissnex China office. Mr. Bertran Sennwald, the Design Director at Shanghai Design Development, not only elaborated on his growth experience in Shanghai, but also introduced many of his intricate architectural projects. Among them are the unique facede design of Shanghai Yuanshen Financial Tower in Pudong Lujiazui; the future development of huge high-rise building projects in Wuhan; an innovative design product inspired by space concept, which has already been granted two patents in China; as well as a novel 3D chess system, Einsteinmill, designed to facilitate children’s critical thinking skill.

Mr. Sennwald making the introduction

Mr. Sennwald making the introduction

Mr. Sennwald going over his architectural projects in chronological order.

Mr. Sennwald going over his architectural projects in chronological order.

Mr. Sennwald’s Shanghai Yuanshen Road Project

Mr. Sennwald’s Shanghai Yuanshen Road Project

Einsteinmill concept image

Einsteinmill concept image

For more photographs of the event, please click here.

We would like to thank Mr. Bertran Sennwald and all the attendances again for their passionate discussions that night. Our next event Café des Sciences: Lives in Our Water will be on October 17. Stay tuned!

Meeting the Future – a collaboration between Tongji, Qingdao, HEAD Genève, and SxV Moma

By Percy Chen, Junior Project Manager Art-Science

On October 5, the Meeting the Future exhibition officially launched at Qingdao SxV MoMA. The opening entailed a round table discussion with Professor Sun Jie from Tongji University, Professor Elizabeth Fischer from Geneva School of Art and Design (HEAD), Professor Bogki Min from Seoul National University College of Fine Arts, new media artist Mr. Tian Xiao Lei, and Ms. Huan from London Fashion Museum — five exceptionally talented individuals from different cultures and regions of the world shared their opinions on art globalization as well as sustainability within the art space. 

Percy Chen, Junior Project Manager at swissnex China, signing for the event.

Percy Chen, Junior Project Manager at swissnex China, signing for the event.

From left to right: Prof. Sun, Prof. Fischer, Prof. Min, Ms. Huan, Mr. Tian

From left to right: Prof. Sun, Prof. Fischer, Prof. Min, Ms. Huan, Mr. Tian

An audience asking Mr. Tian about his inspirations and their connection to Vaporwave, a microgenre from the early 2010s.

An audience asking Mr. Tian about his inspirations and their connection to Vaporwave, a microgenre from the early 2010s.

The Meeting the Future exhibition has three chapters with each hosting a distinct time period of artworks.

  • The first chapter is “Meeting the classics - from Pablo Picasso to Andy Warhol”, consisting of multiple originals from world renowned artists.

  • The second is “Meeting the present - from art, design, to fashion”. This chapter displays contemporary works from current artists all over the globe: Ted Noten,Bogki Min, Zhuang Dongdong, Juju Wang, Shang Liang, Ryuta Suzuki, and so on.

  • Last but not least, the third chapter is, of course, “Meeting the future - when art meets technology”. Artists XiaoYan Tian, Wuzi Yang, and Miu Ni present art pieces that inspire people to ponder on the relationships between human and technology.

Meeting the classics - from Pablo Picasso to Andy Warhol

Meeting the classics - from Pablo Picasso to Andy Warhol

Meeting the present - from art, design, to fashion

Meeting the present - from art, design, to fashion

Meeting the future - when art meets technology

Meeting the future - when art meets technology

Finally, we would like to thank Prof. Sun, Prof. Fischer, SxV MoMA, as well as all those who were involved in the building of this exceptional exhibition. Qingdao has been on its trajectory to become one of the centers for the Asian fashion space. We here at swissnex will fully encourage and support future Sino-Swiss projects in this new city.

China’s Green Revolution – an ESG round trip: Guest Blog by Dr. Jan-Alexander Posth

By Dr. Jan-Alexander Posth, Senior Lecturer at the ZHAW School of Management and Law

“Environmental, Social and Governance” (ESG) compliant investment has a long-standing history, dating back to the 1960-ties in the US.

With developments like climate change now being a certainty and global pollution not only endangering health but also negatively affecting productivity, ESG has experienced an even greater renaissance: It is now increasingly recognized that ESG-compliant investing and policy design has the potential to creatively reshape whole industries and to positively influence the development of economies as well as societies.

China, too, has realized this and embarked on an epic undertaking to transform its economy. After rushing through its industrial revolution and now in the final stage of its 12th Five-Year-Plan, China today faces an economic slowdown as well as natural resources scarcity, industrial pollution and corruption, all hampering further economic growth and social development. In order to countermand this trend, the Chinese government has initiated a set of reforms, aiming to, again, rapidly transform its economy – this time along ESG criteria.

ZHAW SML is consistently exploring the opportunities associated with ESG, impact investing, and green finance. With the ongoing shift of focus towards this new research field, it is essential to understand the implications on a broader, international and global scale – climate change and pollution being a global problem. China being a major and still emerging driver, plays an important role in global economic development as well as in green finance and it is thus of immense importance to understand the implications of China’s development and its action taken with regard to ESG policy, green finance, and the overall transformation of its economy.

Therefore, for me it was a great opportunity and an honour to be invited to China by swissnex China and ZHAW Resort Internationales this summer. My ESG investigation round trip to China started in Shanghai with a tight agenda consisting of valuable on-site visits and two talks given, one at the office of swissnex China and one at ShanghaiTech University. I then transferred to Beijing by high-speed train where the program continued with high-ranking visits and highly interesting meetings and discussions, covering a wide variety of ESG related topics. Again, swissnex China did an incredible job at linking me up with important ESG stakeholders and at facilitating meetings. Being able to talk to researchers and practitioners alike, I gained an in-depth insight where China focuses when thinking ESG and how this needs to be integrated in China’s overall objectives.

I am thus positive, that this broader understanding, alongside a wider scope of research and the established contacts during my visit, will help to enable a deeper bilateral understanding of ESG and related matters from a Chinese and Swiss point of view, resulting in long-lasting cooperation, bilateral research activity and new insights on both sides.

Finally, I would like to express my profound thanks to swissnex China, and especially to Ms. Libing Gu, for their excellent coordination of my visit and their continuing help during my stay as well as to ZHAW Resort Internationales for supporting the trip.

ESG – starting at the airport

ESG – starting at the airport

Visit at De Tao Group

Visit at De Tao Group

Visit at swissnex China & team

Visit at swissnex China & team

High-speed train from Shanghai to Beijing

High-speed train from Shanghai to Beijing

Sustainability on a smaller scale

Sustainability on a smaller scale

7.png

Dr. Jan-Alexander Posth is a senior lecturer at the Institute for Wealth and Asset Management at the ZHAW School of Management and Law. He has more than 12 years of professional track record in the financial industry, where he gained extensive expertise as a risk manager, quant and portfolio manager. Starting at Deutsche Postbank as a credit risk manager, Jan-Alexander moved on to Landesbank Baden-Württemberg where he built up the quant infrastructure for the structured credit trading division and led the fund derivatives trading desk. Joining STOXX Ltd. in 2012, he was responsible for the development of smart-beta equity indices and multi-factor models before becoming Head of Research and Portfolio Management at Tom Capital AG in 2015. Jan-Alexander holds a PhD in theoretical physics.

The Invisible Growth of Food Tech 

By Percy Chen, Junior Project Manager Art-Science

On September 19, the ninth Café des Sciences: The Invisible Growth of Food Tech took place at the swissnex China office. Mr. Fabian Graf, the Co-founder and CEO of the food technology startup Faitron, gave an exceptionally interesting presentation on the new trend Food 2.0 and its connection to his entrepreneurial development. 

Mr. Graf introducing Food 2.0 concepts

Mr. Graf introducing Food 2.0 concepts

What is Food 2.0?

Food 2.0 is a trend that aims to transform the way we eat and make food more sustainable, innovative, wholesome, as well as responsible. 

Why do we need Food 2.0?

Three reasons.

  1. The majority of diets nowadays focuses on meat, which uses up a lot of resources. Producing a pound of beef consumes 16 times more energy than a pound of grain and requires up to 100 times more water. 

  2. Animal brutality and its consequences: to make more profit, factories use all means to reduce costs and increase unit output. Animals are almost always stored in tiny spaces with bars limiting their movements, forcing them to eat, sleep, and repeat. In addition, the extensive use of various antibiotics is problematic, for it will eventually be passed on to humans. Finally, once an infectious disease breaks out, all the animals in the farm must be culled. Recently, more than 100 million pigs died to a swine fever epidemic and it is still on going.

  3. Finally, in terms of nutrition and health care, researches have shown that in general cases, plant proteins are healthier than red or white meat.

How do we do Food 2.0?

Many startups have attempted to develop new ingredients or processing methods to replace animal proteins with plant proteins. One example is the startup Impossible Food – its impossible burger received favorable reviews for tasting like beef. Likewise, in Switzerland, ETH Zurich is working with companies such as Nestlé to launch its future food initiatives. The aim is to train students to address the challenges of sustainable food supply by researching and developing high quality, healthy and cheap food.

In the second half of the presentation, Mr. Graf elaborated on his inspirations for Faitron. Founded in 2016, Faitron’s timeline coincided almost perfectly with the paradigm shift towards healthier food. Faitron’s two products, HeatsBox and BabyBoo, provide convenient ways for people to take out food and monitor food temperature to ensure safety.

The audiences showed immense interests and asked questions ranging from the technologies and patents, to the reasoning behind certain designs, as well as Mr. Graf’s opinions toward cheaper alternatives on Taobao. Indeed, the discussion was fruitful and it continued even after the event.

Once again, we would like to thank Mr. Fabian Graf for his excellent speech and our audiences for their enthusiastic engagements!

If you are interested in Faitron and would like to provide feedbacks via a survey, feel free to join here. Likewise, for more pictures from the event, please click here.

Stay tuned for our next event!

DSC_1125.jpg
DSC_1218.jpg
Audience members asking about BabyBoo, one of Faitron’s products.

Audience members asking about BabyBoo, one of Faitron’s products.

Do it like a genius: Einstein Day @ Fudan University

By Florian Moeri, Junior Project Manager

On September 18, it was a Swiss day at Fudan University: Students came to a face-to-face event to learn more about Switzerland, its university landscape and its innovative strength.

A series of presentations and an exhibition stand helped to illustrate the benefits of studying in Switzerland.

A series of presentations and an exhibition stand helped to illustrate the benefits of studying in Switzerland.

The interested audience was welcomed by Wang Ying (Head of Division for Exchange Programs, Foreign Affairs Office, Fudan University) and Rahel Gruber (Head of Operations & Co-Deputy CEO, swissnex China). In the following, Dr. Nicola Hofer (Junior Project Manager, Academic Relations, swissnex China) gave an introduction to the Swiss Higher Education, Research and Innovation Landscape. He demonstrated that Switzerland has more to offer than just chocolate, cheese, watches and pocketknives. Especially in the fields of education, R&D, innovation and high technology, Switzerland regularly ranks among the global frontrunners.

The academic landscape in Switzerland comprises twelve universities awarding doctorate degrees, as well as eight universities of applied science, which offer a more practice focused approach to studying.

The academic landscape in Switzerland comprises twelve universities awarding doctorate degrees, as well as eight universities of applied science, which offer a more practice focused approach to studying.

Fudan University itself is one of the best educational institutions in China. Accordingly, it was not surprising that three representatives of very renowned and globally operating Swiss companies could be won to talk about the Swiss innovation best practices and their latest innovations:

  • Philipp Fritschi (Director GF Food Technology Asia, Bühler Group): Mr. Fritschi spoke about the daily contact of billions of people with Bühler technologies. The influence ranges from the surface coating of our phones, lipsticks and nail polishes to the improvement of beer quality. The company strives to create innovations for a better world, with a special focus on healthy, safe, and sustainable solutions. Big Data being an important part of the production is mentioned several times – especially as a focus in Asia.

  • Dr. Martin Kusserow (Schindler EPFL Lab Manager & Principal Engineer, New Technologies Department): Schindler’s Swiss-engineered elevators, escalators and moving walks are in demand worldwide, and this 24/7. Using the example of the elevator, Dr. Kusserow explained the many different technologies required in a single, compact product. In order to illustrate how to handle new disruptive technologies, he presented the elevator maintenance of the future, enabled through AI.

  • Dr. Meng Chen (Head of Biometrics, Roche Product Development Center in China): Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, focusing on scientific progress. Dr. Chen gave a presentation entitled “Building a Healthy China – co-create the future with Roche”. This is not without reason: The amount of innovative treatments brought to China has increased considerably in the last year. This is due to China’s healthcare ambition, summarized in the program “Healthy China 2030 Plan”. It is the national strategy to improve health indicators to the level of high-income countries. Following a preview of Roche’s strategy, the presentation concluded by stating that China and personalized healthcare represent a great opportunity for synergy.

In addition to the long companies’ histories and the continuous expansion in the Chinese market, “Collaborative Innovation” (also with Universities) was another keyword throughout all presentations.

To round off the event, Dr. Xie Tianwu (Associate Professor, Institute of Radiation Medicine, Fudan University) gave a lecture on study and career opportunities in Switzerland. Dr. Tianwu has a special connection to Switzerland as he has studied and worked in Geneva from 2011 to 2019.

Using many beautiful pictures taken during his time in Switzerland, he was able to motivate the students to consider Switzerland as a possible destination abroad.

From Left to Right:  Rahel Gruber , Head of Operations & Co-Deputy CEO, swissnex China;  Dr. Nicola Hofer , Junior Project Manager, Academic Relations, swissnex China;  Dr. Martin Kusserow , Schindler EPFL Lab Manager & Principal Engineer, New Technologies Department;  Dr. Xie Tianwu , Associate Professor, Institute of Radiation Medicine, Fudan University;  Dr. Meng Chen , Head of Biometrics, Roche Product Development Center in China;  Philipp Fritschi , Director GF Food Technology Asia, Bühler Group;  Libing Gu , Head of Academic Relations, swissnex China.

From Left to Right: Rahel Gruber, Head of Operations & Co-Deputy CEO, swissnex China; Dr. Nicola Hofer, Junior Project Manager, Academic Relations, swissnex China; Dr. Martin Kusserow, Schindler EPFL Lab Manager & Principal Engineer, New Technologies Department; Dr. Xie Tianwu, Associate Professor, Institute of Radiation Medicine, Fudan University; Dr. Meng Chen, Head of Biometrics, Roche Product Development Center in China; Philipp Fritschi, Director GF Food Technology Asia, Bühler Group; Libing Gu, Head of Academic Relations, swissnex China.

The top rankings and the world class innovation are the main reasons for studying in Switzerland. Another interesting fact is that Albert Einstein – who gave his name to the event – decided to study at ETH Zurich and later even became a Swiss citizen. Last but not least, Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921; he is regarded as the epitome of a researcher and a genius!

 A big thank you goes to our speakers as well as to our sponsors Lindt and Ricola who made this event possible.

Click here for more pictures of the event.

Click here for an overview of Swiss Higher Education Institutions.