Swiss-US Energy Innovation Seminar
On July 11, swissnex Boston and the Swiss Federal Office of Energy continued their celebration of the Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days with a daylong seminar devoted to energy innovation. The Seminar provided a forum for bilateral, transcontinental discussions among experts from both the US and Switzerland on issues pertaining to the challenges posed by a changing energy landscape.
The Swiss-US Energy Innovation Seminar commenced with keynote addresses fromNortheastern University, Provost, Steve Director, as the institutional hosts of the Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days, followed by a speech from Swiss Federal Councillor, Doris Leuthard, who underscored the unique opportunity this ‘meeting of the minds’ – the Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days – presents for innovation and collaboration in energy matters.Senator Benjamin B. Downing of the Massachusetts Senate followed with a discussion on Massachusetts’ efforts towards clean technology and sustainable operations. Lino Guzzella, President-elect of ETH Zurich, brought home the message that we, as a society, cannot afford to wait to act, reminding the audience present that scientific innovations take a very long time to reach their full benefit, as is the case with photovoltaic technology, which began more than 100 years ago with Einstein’s development of theory on the photon.
The Seminar then continued with an array of panels, lectures and presentations on different aspects about energy, such as: energy research policy and organization, meeting energy demand, bringing technologies to market, and adapting to new business models in a changing environment. Each panel included experts from both the US and Switzerland from academic, research, governmental and corporate sectors, offering a broad perspective and rich discussion of each of the issues put forth. In addition, as part of the celebration of the world premiere of the Watt d’Or exhibition this month, the Seminar also included brief project pitches, at intervals throughout the day, from five of the twenty-five winners of the Watt d’Or award. The Watt d’Or exhibition is currently on display at the International Village at Northeastern.
Marianne Zuend, Head of Communications and the Political Division at the Swiss Federal Office of Energy, and Kevin Baltus, Junior Project Leader at swissnex Boston offered closing remarks. Over 100 American and Swiss participants attended the Swiss-US Energy Innovation Seminar.