A new Swissnex is born
The President of Switzerland, Mr. Guy Parmelin in the presence of Swiss Ambassador to Japan, Dr. Andreas Baum, announced the establishment of the new Consulate of Switzerland in Osaka and Swissnex in Japan and handed over the original Swissnex lantern to the freshly appointed Consul and CEO Swissnex, Dr. Felix Moesner. As a strong symbol, this lantern is set to be a charm & token for future activities connecting education, research and innovation between Japan and Switzerland. Japan has been an excellent partner for economic collaboration and bilateral research cooperation for decades, which led to the Swiss-Japanese Agreement on Cooperation in Science & Technology signed in 2007. Following this strong spirit of collaboration, the announcement was held in a hybrid setting at the Embassy of Switzerland in Japan, where two workshops graced by academic leaders and entrepreneurial champions were held. President Nagahiro Minato, Kyoto University and Vice President Christian Schwarzenegger, University of Zurich exchanged on Future Internationalization of Universities, whereas Tomoko Minagawa, Global Brain Corporation and Nicolas Loeillot, Tech4Eva discussed about Life Sciences and Innovation. This event has been an excellent collaboration with teams at the Embassy of Switzerland in Japan and State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI.
This announcement has been the starting point for the new Consulate in the metropolis of Osaka, which is scheduled to be up and running in 2022 . As Swissnex in Japan, it will connect innovation ecosystems and advise on trends and opportunities. It will promote the visibility of higher education and research institutions, and support the outreach and active engagement of researchers, startups, and innovation-driven companies alike. These endeavors perfectly match with the World Expo Osaka 2025, which will be the next large-scale post-pandemic event with a very relevant theme “Designing future society for our lives”. Switzerland has already confirmed its participation with a House of Switzerland dedicated to innovation for a sustainable future and a strong number of ERI stakeholders are expected to join.
The next steps towards the new Swissnex are three-fold;
a) finding a suitable site in central Osaka to establish a modern Consulate
b) hiring a fearlessly innovative team that will scan for disruptive trends and work seamlessly with the global Swissnex network
c) building a strong Swissnex community among the governmental, academic, entrepreneurial key players and partner universities in Kansai.
First activities were already fruitful and resulted in network building with dozens of governors, mayors, politicians and diplomats as well as Swiss-Japanese key players. Swissnex in Japan will not only build new bridges between Switzerland and Japan on the many synergies, more importantly, it will create a fertile ground for inspiring people and organizations to help prepare for our challenges of tomorrow, such as aging and sustainability. The new Swissnex has the maxim to create mutually beneficial value.