Hopefuls and Stars: Technological Developments Shaping Switzerland’s Future

The eleventh instalment of “Science after Noon” (12 November 2021) was co-convened by the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences (SATW) and the Swiss Science Council (SSC). The event focused on the latest technological “hopeful” and “star” developments likely to shape the Swiss economy and society in the next ten years. Three technology brokers and three research and innovation scientists, among them SSC member Anna Valente, took part in the panel discussion. Marcel Tanner, president of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, chaired the event.

Whether discussing the need to secure a sustainable supply of critical materials or highlighting the importance of kinematics in robotics, the panellists were convinced that the future is already tangible in today’s technologies. They also drew a strong and deliberate link between fundamental science and its implementation. While this underscored the crucial role of investors and entrepreneurs in transferring technological knowledge from the lab to the factory, the role of consumers and citizens, and how they might receive or possibly reject these technological developments, was mentioned only in passing.

What received more attention was Switzerland’s position in the competitive world of technological innovation. Overall, the panellists were hopeful that Switzerland would retain its prestige, but stressed the need for a renewed commitment to international exchange and to more transdisciplinary methods of work.

In addition to sharing her insights as a robotics specialist, Anna Valente was asked to comment on the SSC’s view on technology in Switzerland and whether Switzerland was doing enough to promote it. The SSC, explained Prof. Valente, examined technology in the context of its broader role of maintaining and improving the basic frameworks that ensure a dynamic and sustainable environment for research and innovation. She, too, is confident that Switzerland will remain a technology leader in the future.


To learn more about the “hopefuls” and “stars” identified in the SATW’s, please follow the link to their report Technology Outlook 2021.

To watch a recording of the panel discussion, please follow this link.


Max Erick Busse-Grawitz, Technology Transfer Manager, maxon motor AG
Prof. Daniel Gygax, Institute for Chemistry and Bioanalytics, School of Life Sciences FHNW
Alessandra Hool, CEO of the ESM Foundation, Entwicklungsfonds seltene Metalle
Prof. Greta Patzke, Department of Chemistry, University of Zurich
Dr. Claudia Schärer, Head of early identification and Project Leader Technology Outlook 2021, Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences SATW
Prof. Anna Valente, Member of the Swiss Science Council, Head of the Laboratory for Automation, Robots and Machines, SUPSI


Prof. Marcel Tanner, President of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences