Blog post

Call for Proposals for Opportunity Grants with China (incl. Hong Kong and Taiwan)

Deadline: call permanently open until 2020
Grant sum: max. 50 kCHF
Project duration: up to 12 months
Eligible countries: China (incl. Hong Kong and Taiwan), Japan, South Korea, ASEAN member states (partner countries)

Goals and objectives
Opportunity grants will support activities of Swiss researchers from universities, universities of applied sciences or public research institutes linked to specific events or incidents in China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan), Japan, South Korea and member states of ASEAN. Examples of such events are on the one hand large public happenings, such as the Olympic Games, international or national Expos etc., or on the other hand major environmental or economic developments in the region. The goal of the opportunity grants is to provide non-bureaucratic support to bottom-up initiatives. These initiatives aim at increasing the visibility of Swiss science and technology abroad or applying its results to a concrete development or challenge.

The call is open to all scientific disciplines and fields of research. All senior scientists of Swiss federal and cantonal universities, universities of applied sciences and universities of teachers’ education, as well as public research institutions, are eligible to apply. A single Swiss scientist or a consortium of Swiss scientists can act as the main applicant.

More details click here



Blockchain in Fintech, the successful launch of the Future of Money series in Hong Kong and Shanghai by swissnex China

By Martin Stürchler, Junior Project Leader

In case you have not heard of the blockchain technology, blockchain gives the internet user the possibility to transfer a piece of digital property to another internet user. The Blockchain guarantees the transfer to be safe and secure. Due to the fact that the blockchain is transparent everyone knows that the transfer has taken place and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer.

Switzerland as a leader in innovation and with crypto valley Zug on the rise in the Blockchain scene has gained curiosity around the world including China.


On November 20 & 21, swissnex China successfully launched its first “Future of Money” series’ event themed “Blockchain in Fintech” with a great exceptional panel of Swiss and Chinese Blockchain & Fintech experts. The topics that have been discussed are the revolutionizing technology of Blockchain in Fintech and the future outlook of how cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger have the potential to affect different industries and shape the world of tomorrow.

The panel was moderated by the FinTech expert Zennon Kapron, Director of Kapron ASIA. In the panel seven Blockchain experts joined: Da HongFei, Founder of NEO the largest Blockchain project in China, gave interesting insights how digital identity can digitalize assets, to automate the management of digital assets using smart contracts aiming to create a “smart economy”. Furthermore from Hong Kong we welcomed Arthur Hayes, CEO of BitMEX who explained the next generation of Bitcoin derivates. Ms. Qijun Wang a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of crypto asset management startup Queschain representing the voice for women in the industry. Last but not least we had Mr. Rong Chen, co-founder of Elastos Foundation who works on a smart-web powered by Blockchain,  and Mr. Jason Inch who shared with us his most recent insights of his book “China 4.0” and his latest Blockchain project Genaro.


Switzerland was represented by Dr. Thomas Bocek, Head of P2P and distributed systems CSG of the University of Zurich and Manuel Stagars, movie maker of the documentary “Blockchain and Us”. Mr. Bocek gave the audience a taste of the technological background on peer-to-peer, distributed systems, including Bitcoins and Blockchain. On the other hand Mr. Stagars, due to his documentary movie and many interviews with key players in Switzerland, shared interesting

insights of the Swiss Fintech landscape and its opportunities and challenges for the Blockchain technology.

Many interesting questions were discussed during the two events: Is Blockchain technology a game changer? Which industries will the Blockchain in particular influence? Is Switzerland going to play a key player in this Fintech industry? How long does it takes for mass adoption? What are the opportunities and threats of Blockchain technology?

The panelists actively replied to questions throughout the conference. The conclusion was that blockchain technology is still at the beginning of a revolution, which will have the power to change our everyday life.



“I have to say this has been one of the greatest events I have had and I appreciate the invite from swissnex and the opportunity to share the stage to learn from my fellow panelists so much.” Ms. QJ (Qijun) Wang – CEO and Founder, Queschain Capital

“swissnex Future of Money event, industry sharing is comprehensive, audience is great, Q&A communication is fantastic.” Johnson Zhao Chen – Head of Business Development and Operations at NEO 

“The event was great. For the future, let us plan some Fintech events together, I think that would work great.” Johan Uddman – General Manager & Investor at JadeValue Fintech

“First of all thank you for this great event! It was impressed about the organization and the event itself. Keep going!” Celina Eisenring – Consulate General of Switzerland in Shanghai

“Many thanks for putting on a great event and fantastic to meet you all.” Manuel Stagars – Founder of Blockchain & Us

“Thanks for the superb organization!” Dr. Thomas Bocek – Head of P2P and distributed systems at the CSG of the University of Zurich























To get more information please find the detailed list of the panelist below:

Dr. Thomas Bocek, Head of P2P and distributed systems at the CSG of the University of Zurich, Dr. Thomas Bocek is mainly interested in communication systems and networks, especially focusing on peer-to-peer, distributed systems, including Bitcoins and blockchains. Thomas has published several papers on these topics and his PhD topic has a strong focus on Peer-to-Peer and distributed systems.

Manuel Stagars, Founder of Blockchain & Us, Manuel Stagars is an author, film director, economist, and serial entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in consulting and startups in Switzerland, the United States, Japan, and Singapore. His documentary films focus on technological innovations and their potential to improve the lives of people.

Qijun Wang, Founder and CEO of Queschain, Co-Founder of several blockchain startups, open-source blockchain projects such as MakerDAO, community education initiatives, and charity programs with a focus of connecting China and the rest of the world.

Da Hongfei, Founder of NEO & CEO of Onchain, Da Hongfei came across Bitcoin in 2011, and worked fulltime in the industry since 2013. In 2014, he founded NEO, a blockchain to register, transfer, and exchange digital assets, and led the startup to become the benchmark in the Chinese blockchain community.

Arthur Hayes, CEO of BitMEX, In January 2014, BitMEX – Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange was formed. BitMEX is a trading platform that gives retail investors access to the global financial markets using Bitcoin, the Blockchain, and financial derivatives. BitMEX through the use of Bitcoin as collateral, allows anyone anywhere to trade any type of financial asset.

Jason Inch, Serial Entrepreneur & Author of China 4.0, Jason is also an accomplished writer with several books about China’s economy. His most recent book is called China 4.0 and he is also the founder of the China Business Events meetup community.

Rong Chen, Co-Founder of Elastos Foundation, Rong believes that a smart-web powered by the blockchain technology is the future for Elastos to create the scarcity of digital contents. He established the Elastos Foundation with his partners in June of 2017.




What is the recipe of University of St.Gallen to make its continuous success?

The University of St.Gallen (HSG) was founded as a business academy in 1898 and is nowadays a School of Management, Economics, Law, Social Sciences and International Affairs. The practice-oriented approach and integrative view have characterized the education we offer since those early days.

In 2001, we introduced Bachelor’s and Master’s degree courses across the board and fundamentally reformed the education we offer. Since then, we no longer focus just on professional training but also on character building. At our university, you can complete studies at Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D. level. The close integration of studies, further education and research is important to us.

Furthermore we have close to 200 international partner universities. Our students have the option to gain a double degree in cooperation with other universities or to spend an exchange term abroad.

Our close link to top corporates, but also our entrepreneurship center with a founders’ garage and incubator allows us not only to enrich the students experience but also to provide high-class career services and services for students engaged in startups. And our more than 30 research institutes provide an inspiring ecosystem for frontend research.

This is just a few reasons why we are in the fortunate position to be one of Europe’s leading business universities for education and research. Rankings, such as the Financial Times ranking, help to underline this position.

What mega-trends are you currently working on at the forefront?

“Strengthening strengths” is the motto of the University of St.Gallen when it comes to being perceived as one of Europe’s leading business universities in the future, too, and to advance to a top position in global research in selected fields. Therefore we launched in 2014 a Global Center for Customer Insight, which tries to understand purchasing decicisions and purchase behavior. And we founded a Global Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, which wants to cover the entire corporate cycle from start-up to business model development and innovation and corporate succession and corporate exit.

In order to meet the challenge oft he digitalization, the HSG is pursuing a strategy in several steps. In a pilot project, the certificate programme in Data Science Fundamentals for an initial 60 undergraduates has been launched in autumn 2017. From 2018/2019 onwards, four new chairs in the field of information science will secure complementary methodological competence (software, algorithms, databases, artificial intelligences) in research, as well as teaching capacities. From 2019, a new chair of Technology Studies will be established to deal with the social and cultural questions and consequences of digital change. In addition, we are considering to establish a major that combines IT with business. In its maximum configuration, the programme would extend to approx. 100 undergraduates and about 50 students at the Master’s Level. The establishment of a major with an additional four or five chairs will have to be assessed by politicians. If they should grant funds for the purpose, this might result in a separate School in the long term.

Currently, we are also working on a Joint Medical Master with the University of Zurich. The Bachelor’s programme started this autumn in Zurich and in 2020 40 students are expected to begin their Master’s programme in Medicine in St.Gallen. This would give us also access to the fields of life sciences and the growing healthcare market. Whether the new Master’s programme can be offered in St.Gallen will be decided by St.Gallen’s voting population in 2018.

Your university is very active in China with close collaborations in the academic world and vivid student exchanges. What are the highlights and how did this collaboration change the perception of China at the University of St.Gallen? How is University of St.Gallen perceived in China?

The University of St.Gallen since decades offers an intensive student exchange programme with top universities in China like Fudan, CEIBS, Bejing University or Tshingua. In addition, together with Tsinghua we are members of CEMS, a global network of leading business schools, that offers the CEMS MIM as a joint degree. There are various forms of cooperations also in the field of executive education. The university also has regular students from China. This year we had over 80.

Chinese students appreciate our links to the industry, the relevance of our courses and programmes and the research foundation of our teaching. But they also like the active student life and not to forget the beautiful environment of St.Gallen with its mountains and lakes as well as its location less than one hour from Zurich and two hours from Munich.

What is the reason for your current visit to Shanghai?

I had the honor to chair the peer review team for the EQUIS reaccreditation of the school of management of the Fudan University.

Do you have a message for the students in China?

It is impressive to see the speed of progress and change in China. Also how easy it has become to connect and to do business. I encourage all students to take advantage of this inspiring business climate and to learn about and in China.

Weingart Typography Exhibition Opened in Shanghai

After successful showcase in Art Museum of Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, Weingart Typography China Shanghai Exhibition opened at Design and Innovation Collage, Tongji University on October 15, 2017. The exhibition is co-organized by Tongji University and swissnex China and will last until 10 November. Afterwards, it will be touring to Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts.

As the main supporter of the exhibition, Dr. Felix Moesner, CEO of swissnex China attended the opening and delivered the opening speech. Mr. Erwin Lüthi, Deputy Consul General of Switzerland also joined the opening as the honored guest.

Weingart Typography China Touring Exhibition presents the first comprehensive exhibition in China devoted to the work and teaching of Wolfgang Weingart and is based on the exhibition by Museum für Gestaltung Zürich in 2014.  All of the exhibits come from the Museum’s own collections and are donated by Mr. Weingart, including more than 200 pieces by Weingart himself as well as examples of his students’ work.

Wolfgang Weingart , the Swiss graphic designer and design educator is known for his pioneering work in typography and graphic design in the 1960s and 70s. He rebelled against the then dominant Swiss International Style and spoke with an eloquent typographic voice of his own. Through teaching and practice Weingart influenced generations of students from all over the world and inspired a “New Wave” of typography which traveled from Basel to North America. This wave reverberated with the emerging Post-modernism in the country to create an impact on graphic design in profound ways.

VR Villa at West Bund Reveals the Next Chapter in the Evolution of VR

From 1-15 Oct.2017, swissnex China together with Pro Helvetia Shanghai and World VR Forum (WVRF) organized an amazing Virtual Reality event at West Bund, Shanghai. WVRF takes VR out of the technology scene and shows the power of Virtual Reality as accessible and quality entertainment media.  The well-curated show brings world-class of works of art to the daily lives of Shanghainese.

The media preview and grand opening of this event was held on 30th September 2017. It was an honor to invite Chinese media, VR players and featured artists to join this incredible ceremony.

During the exhibition period, various workshops and lectures as well as a kids’ day were organized by different partners, which were very well received by the participants.