Swiss Innovation Week 2019: Home of Drones - the new high flyer of Swiss industry

Press release, 27.06.2019

Following the successful Swiss Innovation Week (SIW) held in July 2018, the Embassy of Switzerland in China launches its 2nd edition from 12 to 14 of June 2019. With Swiss drones as the brand-new theme, we will present Switzerland’s drone ecosystem and innovation in the field of flying robots. According to various rankings, Switzerland is the most innovative country in the world and also one of the most competitive. Under this framework, an important potential of bilateral collaborations exists between our two countries.

Swiss Innovation Week
Swiss Innovation Week 2019 © FDFA

The SIW 2019 features various interactive activities including lectures, panel discussions, product release, company booths, exhibitions, drone shows and races. Together they showcase to the Chinese public the excellence of Swiss enterprises, innovation power, research capacity and education in this cutting-edge technology’s field.

Swiss drone companies are among the most innovative in the sector. With the aim to promote them, the Swiss Embassy has invited various start-ups and mature companies that have world class expertise in the following the area of sensors and analytics, industrial inspection, security & traffic management, high-altitude, entertainment and humanitarian assistance. They will be presented during the Sino-Swiss Business & Innovation Forum on 14 of June and be able to meet potential new business and research partners in China in a dedicated B2B matchmaking session. The goal is to better understand Chinese market and foster the cooperation with local stakeholders.

‘China is leading in several segments of the drone market, including engineering and production of drones. Switzerland’s pioneering role in several niche segments, such as in the area of sensors and analytics, complements the strengths of China, creating unique opportunities for commercial and R&D collaboration,’ said Swiss Ambassador to China Bernardino Regazzoni, ‘Many people may be surprised to learn we are so advanced in the development of core technology and high-end applications for drones.’

The Swiss Embassy has worked with many partners and sponsors to host 15 events during the week. Swiss institutions participating in the week include swissnex China, as well as companies like Caran d’Ache, Mercuria, Wyeth Nutritioin, ABB, Nestlé, FESCO Adecco, Kingnature and Zurich Insurance.

A grand reception to celebrate Swiss innovation and the end of the week will be organized on 14 of June in the evening with over 1,000 high-level guests. The program includes a captivating sphere-shaped floating drone that will move freely over and interact with the crowd, a dazzling drone race between Swiss and Chinese pilots whereby drones will fly through a specially-designed track that loops around the Embassy compound, flying demonstrations, as well as an exhibition on Swiss drone ecosystem.

‘Switzerland is the most innovative country in the world, according to rankings such as the Global Innovation Index of the World Intellectual Property Organization. It is not only about an idea, a solution, but also about products, attitudes’, adds Ambassador Regazzoni.

Drones are shaping the airspace of the future. Switzerland is one of the high flyers in drone technology and has positioned itself as a leading research and innovation hub. Over the last six years, Switzerland’s 'Drone Valley' has attracted over 80 start-ups and has created more than 2,500 jobs, many of which have spun off from leading research groups such as the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) and Lausanne (EPFL). Swiss drones are used in a wide range of applications, from public safety efforts and agriculture to humanitarian aid in crisis-hit areas. The country has also integrated aspects of drone use and safety into its aviation and data privacy laws.

In recent years, China and Switzerland achieved tremendous achievements in the field of innovation. The Sino-Swiss Free Trade Agreement signed in 2014, the Innovative Strategic Partnership established in 2016 and the High-Level Platform of the Sino-Swiss Innovative Strategic Partnership offer unique opportunities to develop and strengthen bilateral ties. These milestones highlight Switzerland's position as one of the most innovative countries in the world.

For more information about SIW, please refer to the SIW Event Introduction.

For more information about Swiss drones and ecosystem, please refer to background info of Home of drones.