World Economic Forum Executive Committee member Paul Smyke recounts his time as an advisor to swissnex in its early days.

Photo courtesy of World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell

It’s 1998, and Paul Smyke, a key figure at the World Economic Forum (WEF), had just moved to Boston after spending most of his adult life living in Switzerland. By chance during a meeting with the Swiss Ambassador in Washington, DC, Paul met Xavier Comtesse when he was cooking up the idea for the Swiss House of Advanced Research and Education (SHARE).

After hearing Xavier’s pitch, Paul knew this was going to be a game-changer for Switzerland, and quickly got…


Home to one of the first approved COVID-19 vaccines, Boston and Cambridge comprise one of the largest biotech superclusters in the world. How did it happen, and what can Lausanne can learn from it?

It is no secret that Boston and Cambridge are two of the most important cities globally in the biotech industry. In the past few months for example, the region has been home to groundbreaking advances in the battle against COVID-19, with Cambridge-based Biopharma company Moderna producing one of the first ever COVID-19 vaccines approved for emergency use by the US FDA.

According to a report from the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, roughly 500 biotech companies called Cambridge and Boston home in 2019, collectively employing more than 75,000 people. In Cambridge alone, biopharma companies received a whopping $2.8 billion in biotech venture…


Jordi Montserrat of Venturelab talks about the value of having swissnex as a base camp for their Venture Leaders program.

For the past 20 years, Jordi Montserrat has been active in the vibrant Swiss high-tech scene, contributing to the development of innovative businesses and stimulating the Swiss start-up ecosystem. In 2004, he co-founded Venturelab, which supports Swiss entrepreneurs and startups on their path to build successful ventures. One of their flagship programs, Venture Leaders, started with a two-week trip organized and hosted by swissnex Boston. The program has expanded globally via the swissnex Network, bringing Swiss entrepreneurs to global business…


Swiss architects Jeffrey Huang and Muriel Waldvogel talk about how designing swissnex Boston in 2000 changed their lives and helped give rise to a new field of research: convergent architecture.

3D concept for the lobby of swissnex Boston

Architects Jeffrey Huang and Muriel Waldvogel were young professors of architecture and design when they first met Xavier Comtesse in Cambridge in 1999. A few weeks after meeting him, they officially became the architects of the world’s first science consulate, a project that would win them an award, accelerate their careers, and push the boundaries of architecture for many years to come. After building swissnex, they founded an architecture practice…


Christian Simm, founder of swissnex San Francisco and former CEO of swissnex Boston, talks about his 20 years at swissnex and how it changed the way he sees Switzerland.

Christian Simm at a swissnex event at the Museum of Science in Boston

In 1997, Christian Simm became the first Science and Technology Counselor (STC) in San Francisco, at the height of the tech boom happening in Silicon Valley. In 2003, he founded swissnex San Francisco, and stayed on as its CEO until 2017, when he moved to the East Coast to take the helm of swissnex Boston. This year, after dedicating 20 years to swissnex, Simm moved back to Switzerland to head the…


Dr. Felix Moesner, former CEO of swissnex Boston and current CEO of swissnex China talks expansion, acceleration, and key partnerships.

Moesner speaking with Ban Ki Moon in 2017

Dr. Felix Moesner has a full backpack of professional experiences. Before starting his swissnex journey, he worked in top-tier academia, at a startup, and one of the largest financial institutions in the world, to name just a few of his endeavors. He eventually made his way to the Swiss Embassy in Tokyo, where he established and ran Japan’s first Swiss Science & Technology Office. Nine years later, he came to Boston to become the fourth CEO of swissnex Boston and…


Experts at BlackRock and the Progressive Investors Network examine the state of the US markets after a chaotic election and a resurgent COVID-19.

It has been more than eight months since the COVID-19 outbreak shut the US economy down. Since then, there have been widespread efforts to combat the virus and reopen the economy. However, as the colder weather has made outdoor and socially distanced activities less appealing to consumers, we’ve seen a record uptick in the amount of cases in the US.

As a result, many states that had previously made significant advances in reopening their economies in time…


Experts from around the world give us their take on the challenges and opportunities for smart cities and digital urbanism.

In a pandemic age, is digital participation really optional anymore? What does it really mean to be a “smart city?” Is health data from wearable monitoring devices properly regulated? These are just some of the questions that were tackled last Thursday in our unique two-panel discussion on digital urbanism and data governance, titled “Living Tomorrow: The Caring City.”

Commentator Yves Daccord, former Director General of the ICRC and fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center, set the stage with a powerful…


Pascal Marmier, former CEO of swissnex Boston, on entrepreneurial beginnings and key partnerships.

Marmier at swissnex China (credit: SwissRe)

When Pascal Marmier began working with Xavier Comtesse on what would become swissnex Boston, he didn’t know it at the time, but it would be the start of a lifelong journey. From one of the first employees to CEO of swissnex Boston and then CEO of swissnex China, Marmier’s swissnex experience speaks to the possibilities that come from working at the world’s first science consulate.

Marmier is now SVP of Strategy, Life and Health at iptiQ by SwissRe and is a member of the swissnex Committee, which…


Evelyn Lager, the first employee of swissnex Boston, talks about the early days at swissnex Boston, from her first meeting with Xavier Comtesse to implementing the first major projects at swissnex.

Evelyn Lager attending swissnex’s 10th anniversary gala in 2010 / swissnex Boston

Evelyn Lager was the first hire at swissnex Boston, back when it was still known as SHARE, the Swiss House for Advanced Research and Education. Lager helped translate Xavier Comtesse’s vision for a Swiss science and technology hub in Boston into reality. Twenty years later, she is Senior Director at Babson Executive Education. …

Swissnex in Boston and New York

Connecting Switzerland, North America, and the world in science, education, innovation, and art! Explore at https://swissnex.org/

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