Join us for swissnexDay’16, taking place December 15 at the University of Basel. This year’s topic is the future of ageing.

Event Details


University of Basel
Kollegienhaus, Aula 033, Basel, Switzerland


December 15, 2016 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Europe/Zurich (UTC+01:00)

The Future of Ageing

December 15, 2016
University of Basel, Kollegienhaus, Aula 033

According to the WHO, the number of people aged 60 and over is expected to double between 2000 and 2050. By then, projections estimate that the combined senior and geriatric population will have reached 2 billion. It is a fact: we are not getting any younger and neither are our societies! Almost every country in the world is – or will soon be – facing the situation of a “greying society”.

This topic relates to many aspects of the Education, Research and Innovation system and challenges are manifold in this regard, from the training of health care personnel to neurosciences research. However, this societal evolution also offers many opportunities: in the USA for example, the ageing baby-boomers’ generation is seen as one of the biggest market opportunities for start-ups. How will new technologies impact on the way we age? Is Switzerland investing enough into research and development to face the challenges?

Hosted by the University of Basel and inaugurated by State Secretary Mauro Dell’Ambrogio, the swissnexDay’16 will be devoted to exploring the future of ageing with a panel of distinguished experts. Interactive breakout sessions covering a variety of topics will be organised in the second part of the event. Furthermore, two networking breaks will give participants the opportunity to connect with the swissnex representatives and the Science and Technology Counselors (STC), as well as with 250 representatives from Switzerland’s education, research and innovation community.

Registration here!

For any questions, please contact:


13.00: Registration
13.30: Welcome Words

Moderated by

  • Gioia Deucher (CEO swissnex Brazil)
  • Anita Suter (Senior Communications Manager, swissnex Boston)
  • Nektarios Plasmas (Science and Technology Conselor, Embassy of Switzerland in China)


  • State Secretary Mauro Dell’Ambrogio, State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation
  • Dr. med. Guy Morin, President of the Executive Council of the Canton of Basel-Stadt
  • Prof. Dr. Andrea Schenker-Wicki, President, University of Basel

14.00: Panel Discussion

Moderated by

  • Gioia Deucher (CEO swissnex Brazil)


  • Ambassador Tania Dussey-Cavassini, Head of International Affairs Division, Federal Office of Public Health
  • Mr. Nicolas Henchoz, Director of EPFL+ECAL Lab.
  • Prof. Dr. med. Thomas D. Szucs, Professor of Pharmaceutical Medicine and Director of the European Center of Pharmaceutical Medicine at the University of Basel
  • Dr. Markus Zürcher, Secretary General, Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences

15.15: Coffee break and networking
16.15: Breakout sessions (see information below)
17.30-19.00: Apéro and networking

Breakout session

1, Dancing with tigers or pandas, a look into how UAS collaborate in Asia

As the UAS continue their internationalization, Asia has become a more important region for their development. From summer schools to experts delegations, every UAS is engaging into collaboration with local partners throughout the region. We have invited representatives of UAS – including members of a recent experts group visit on aging and tech to Korea, Japan and China – to share their learnings. Our swissnex network team from Asia will be then available to discuss the ins and outs of the region with a particular focus where we have established offices.

Organized by Pascal Marmier, swissnex China CEO

2, Carebots: an elderly’s best friend?

Ageing societies and a lack of qualified caregivers are challenging our current system and innovative solutions are strongly needed. Japan, with 20% of its population being over 65 years, is leading the development of robotic solutions. In this session, a diverse panel will discuss the current landscape in Japan and draw comparison to the situation in Switzerland. We will also discuss ethical applications and different perception of the relationship between human + robots.

Organized by Salome Fischer, Science and Innovation Officer, Embassy of Switzerland in the United Kingdom

3, Collaborations in the Brazilian Amazon region – Why does it matter for Switzerland?

swissnex Brazil has identified research and innovation opportunities of significant value for the Swiss STI ecosystem in the Brazilian Amazon region. In a hands-on fashion, we will discuss opportunities in the region and will jointly identify how swissnex can employ its network and expertise on the ground to facilitate new collaborations. Furthermore, the participants will be able to learn from experiences of institutions and researchers already active in the region as well as swissnex Brazil’s findings.

Organized by Gioia Deucher, swissnex Brazil CEO, and Mayra Castro, swissnex Brazil Head of São Paulo Office

4, How will technologies improve the quality of life of older people?

“Ambient-“ or “Active and Assisted Living” (AAL), as it is also referred to, aims at improving the quality of life of older people through technical innovations. AAL technologies allow older adults to live independently in their own homes and remain active despite age related conditions. This session will introduce the European AAL funding programme dedicated to these challenges in which Switzerland has successfully participated since 2009. Furthermore, it will illustrate where we stand today in applied research in AAL, with practical examples from care, independent living, and smart homes. The speakers will focus on the acceptance of AAL technologies by the end-users and shed light on the market potential of products and services in the context of demographic ageing and there will be an opportunity for the audience to discuss these issues with the experts.

Organized by Daniel Egloff, Head of International Research and Innovation programmes Unit, State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation

5, Visit of the Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI)

The SNI combines basic science with application-orientated research. In various projects researchers focus on nanoscale structures and aim at providing new impact and ideas to the life sciences, to the sustainable use of resources, and to information and communication technologies. The University of Basel as the leading house coordinates the NCCR network of the involved partners. The various project teams are interdisciplinary groups made up of physicists, pharmacologists, biologists, chemists, physicians, computer scientists and engineers.

Organized by the University of Basel

Read the blog!

Interested in learning more about Ageing society in science and innovation around the world? Find here a series of blog posts by the swissnex and Swiss Science and Technology Counselor (STC) network, offering global insights on this topic.