Last week on Friday 13th, Minister of State for Science & Technology Policy Mr. Yosuke Tsuruho visited with his delegation Switzerland. The tour started in Bern with meetings at the State Secretariat of Education, Research and Innovation SERI.
After an exchange of greetings between the two delegations and a welcome speech by State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation Dr. Dell’Ambrogio, Director General for Science, Technology and Innovation of the Cabinet Office, Mr. Yoshio Yamawaki, gave a short introduction to Japan’s 5th Science & Technology Basic Plan as well as “Society 5.0”.
Dr. Dell’Ambrogio then informed about Switzerland’s ERI-system and political priorities; he further elaborated on the well-going collaboration with Japan. The new president of the Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF, Dr. Egger followed up with an introduction to Switzerland’s funding agency, their instruments and also the advantages of a Lead Agency Agreement. After a lively discussion, the Japanese delegation had to already leave Bern to head for Zurich.
Prof. Gassert from ETH Zurich‘s Rehabilitation Engineering Lab welcomed the visitors on his premises near the Balgrist hospital. After a lunch where also Japanese postdocs joined and the Japanese side could even taste traditional Swiss Fondue (for the first time?!), Prof. Gassert explained the details of his collaboration with Prof. Arata from Kyushu University.
The delegation further met Dr. Zuber who introduced ETH Zurich’s successful industry relations; Prof. Guzzella, President of ETH Zurich, then welcomed the delegation at the main building of ETH Zurich despite his busy pre-WEF schedule.
The last stop of the tour, and a further piece of the puzzle of Switzerland’s innovativeness, was a visit to famed IBM Research Zurich in Rueschlikon. Dr. Curioni, Vice President Europe and Director IBM Research Zurich first warmly greeted the Japanese Minister and his delegation and then introduced his organisation’s impressive research.
During their visit, the Japanese high-level delegation could also experience the “noise free rooms” and learn more about the ongoing strong collaboration with ETH Zurich and Empa.
The delegation left after many interesting and lively discussions happily and with new impressions; they then ended their trip with a real Swiss Fondue dinner, ideal for Switzerland’s cold weather.