Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days 2015: 300 high-level Energy Innovation Representatives from the USA and Switzerland will meet in Zurich

Bern, 13.08.2015 - The United States of America and Switzerland are currently undergoing a fundamental transformation of the energy sector that poses huge new challenges to society, science, economy and politics. Tackling these challenges will require the most brilliant minds in both countries. The Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days from August 19 – 21, 2015 in Zurich, Switzerland, will bring them all togeth¬er in order to exchange perspectives, and to share expertise and practical experiences in the emerging new energy world. Around 300 high-level representatives have registered for the different workshops and events. The 2015 edition of the Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days focuses on Integrated Building Systems. Organized under the auspices of the Swiss Minister of Energy Doris Leuthard, the Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days offer a unique platform for high-level attendees from both the North American and Swiss energy communities to showcase the best energy technologies, projects and market innovations, expand their network, explore potentials for innovation and learn more about doing business in Switzerland and the US.

The Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days 2015, revolving around the topic of Integrated Building Systems, are jointly organized by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, the Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects, Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE), the Zurich University of Applied Sciences and swissnex Boston, the Consulate of Switzerland.

"This year's Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days are particularly important and interesting," says Dr. Walter Steinmann, Director of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy. "Over the next few decades, we will see a profound change in our energy systems: The way we produce, distribute, store, sell and buy and also the way we use energy will completely shift. Right now, we are experiencing rapid advances in integrated and smart energy technologies, energy systems planning and new, practical applications. The Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days are the ultimate platform to discuss current and future developments, learn about the latest technologies and get inspired by the best entrepreneurs, researchers, investors, accelerators, incubators and associations both from the USA and Switzerland."

"Innovative and smart energy technologies offer a substantial growth opportunity for the trade between US and Swiss companies", adds Chris Watts, Regional Director Americas, Africa and Arabia, at Switzerland Global Enterprise, which is mandated by the Swiss government to support Swiss companies' internationalisation. "The thriving US economy drives demand for new energy solutions which Swiss companies can supply at highest international quality standards. The Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days are going to contribute to this win-win-exchange."

"It is important to exchange best practices and new solutions for the future energy supply in an international context and with an adequate regularity," says Adrian Altenburger, Vice President of the Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects. "I am delighted that only one year after the initial implementation in Boston now the second event in Zurich will allow us to develop a further and ongoing common path to reduce CO2-emissions and non-renewable energy sources." The objective of the SIA's „Energieleitbild Bau" (Energy Guidelines for Buildings) is to establish a consistent and sustainable basis for Switzerland's building stock and encourage intelligent use of the resource energy.

"The Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days 2015 are a direct result of last year's efforts to promote the best Swiss energy innovation projects in Boston" says Felix Moesner, Swiss Consul and CEO of swissnex Boston. "The inauguration exhibition of the Watt d'Or Award in Boston, which is currently been shown in Chicago and Madison and traveling around the world, sparked collaboration on governmental level between Massachusetts and Switzerland, on academic level between ETH Zurich and MIT as well as in the private sector. Top US & Swiss talents in the energy field will discuss today's issues and opportunities with the aim to start new collaborations." Since 2000, swissnex Boston helps to connect the dots on both sides of the ocean in education, research and innovation. 

"The United States and Switzerland have decided to tackle the significant challenges of bringing the ways of producing, distributing and consuming energy on a long-term, sustainable footing. In the US, Massachusetts and California are leading by example", says Professor André Haelg, Dean and Managing Director of the ZHAW School of Management and Law. "As one of the leading University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland, the ZHAW is working closely together with its international university partners in applied energy research programs. The Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days thus epitomizes our mandate of bringing international science and business together to find practical solutions to these global challenges. We are proud to be hosting the two-day workshops in Zurich."

Media representatives wishing to cover the Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days 2015 are requested to confirm their attendance by Monday, August 17, 2015 the latest by e-mail to:

The Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days 2015 would like to thank its sponsors and partners: ETH Zurich, Empa, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts - Engineering & Architecture, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, IBM, Siemens, Google Switzerland, emerald Technology Ventures, HHM, Alstom, Schneider Electric, ABB, Migros, Fontavis, Pensimo, CP Pumpen AG, Gaznat, Socar, Zurich, Appenzeller Bärli Biber, KWO, EKZ, SBB CFF FFS, Canton of Zurich, Canton of Zug, Swissnex Boston, Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce, Cleantech Switzerland.


The first two days (August 19 - 20, 2015) of the Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days feature four parallel workshops in the morning with a notable lineup of expert chairpersons and key note speakers from Switzerland and the US covering the topics:

  • Society & Economy - Sustainable Decision-Making
    Chair: Linda Looft, Assistant Vice President for Government and Community Relations, Worcester Polytechnic Institute WPI
  • Energy Technologies - Buildings and Districts for the Future
    Chair: Dr. Peter Richner, Deputy Director of EMPA - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology
  • Mobility - Future Supply and Demand
    Chair: Nick Nigro, Founder of Atlas Public Policy
  • Architecture & Space - Energy as Context or Driver
    Chair: Prof. Dr. Arno Schlueter, ETH Zurich, Institute of Technology in Architecture ITA

The afternoons are dedicated to site visits to a range of innovative companies, research organizations and exemplary sustainable urban development sites. These include site visits, on the first afternoon (August 19, 2015) to iHomeLab, the think tank and research center for building intelligence, and the your+ prototype, an optimized collective housing concept that has reached the 5th place in the Solar Decathlon Europe competition in 2014, both sites situated at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts - School of Engineering and Architecture in Horw. The second site visit on this afternoon will be to the Suurstoffi Rotkreuz, a brand new integrated, traffic-free and carbon-free district with a so-called "anergy" network. The day will be concluded with a networking reception at Siemens AG in Zug, with an address from Heinz Tännler, Cantonal Councilor, Canton of Zug.

Site visits on the second afternoon (August 20, 2015) will include a Lab tour at EMPA Duebendorf with presentations of the Mobility Demonstrator and the pilot project, NEST, which offers the construction industry and research partners a demonstration platform under real-life conditions to test and develop new ideas and products. The next station will be at the IBM Research Lab in Rueschlikon, world-renowned for its scientific achievements. The official conference dinner will take place in Zurich with addresses from Markus Assfalg, Director Business and Economic Development, Canton of Zurich and Martin Naville, CEO Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce.

The closing event of the Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days 2015 will be held on August 21, 2015 at the Zurich University of the Arts. The top-level program includes key notes by Lino Guzzella, President of ETH Zurich and Patrick Warnking, Country Director of Google Switzerland as well as a panel discussion with the workshop chairs, presenting the results of their two-day work. The concluding addresses will be delivered by Swiss Federal Councillor and Minister of Energy Doris Leuthard and Suzan G. LeVine, Ambassador of the United States of America to Switzerland. The event will be accompanied by a mini-exhibition of Watt d'Or award winning projects, representing Switzerland's most innovative energy projects.

Address for enquiries

Marianne Zünd, Head of Media + Politics SFOE, +41 58 462 56 75 / +41 79 763 86 11
Adrian Altenburger, Vice President, SIA, +41 44 305 93 71 / +41 78 833 93 71
Felix Moesner, Consul, swissnex Boston, +1 617 876 3077


Swiss Federal Office of Energy

Last modification 05.01.2016

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