After brief visits in Shanghai (facilitated by Swissnex China) and Seoul (in collaboration
with S&T Office Seoul), the delegation of Swiss Post headed by their CEO Ms. Susanne Ruoff landed in Tokyo for the last part of their Asian exploration trip. The goal was to better understand the startup landscape and ecosystems in Asia and to potentially find partners and new technologies.
During their 2.5-day stay in Japan, the delegation was kept busy by the program organized in collaboration with the S&T Office Tokyo: Already at the airport, right after touchdown, Swiss Post got to see “Cyberdyne” robots in action at Haneda
Airport. After a short lunch the tour continued with a visit to DMM.make, the impressive makers co-working space in Tokyo’s “Electric Town” Akihabara.
The two remaining days were productively spent on visits mainly to startup companies in the domain of autonomous driving, drones, smart news aggregation and fintech. During the SCCIJ luncheon CEO Ms. Ruoff introduced various projects that Swiss Post is working on, from the autonomous post bus project in collaboration with EPFL and EPFL-spinoff BestMile to drones delivering packages to remote villages. The more than 50 participants were impressed by how forward-looking the “yellow giant” in fact was.
During a workshop at the Residence of the Swiss Ambassador to Japan, the Swiss delegation discussed with Japanese startups, industry and academia, as well as with Science-Attachés of other Embassies, the future of autonomous driving as well as the challenges of the collaboration between startups and established industry. The moderator of this workshop was Mr. Tim Romero, well known in Japan’s startup scene for his disruptingjapan blog and podcast.
We hope that this dense tour will lead to future exchange and collaboration between Swiss Post and Asian startups and industry. The program greatly profited from the close collaboration between Swissnex China, and the S&T Offices in Seoul and Tokyo (www.stofficeasia.ch) and their respective local expertise and networks.