Switzerland consolidates airborne collaboration with Solar Impulse

Bern, 13.02.2013 - The Federal Council put its support of the pioneering Solar Impulse project on a formal footing at its meeting of 13 February 2013. Partnership contracts to support the solar-powered airplane are to be concluded under the auspices of Presence Switzerland, in close collaboration with the various federal departments and offices concerned, to establish the exact nature and modalities of the government’s support. The support and services the Confederation already provides to the Solar Impulse project will continue to the end of 2015. For its part, Solar Impulse will enhance the visibility of Switzerland in its communication activities.

The Confederation has been on board the project since the beginning in 2003, providing Solar Impulse with technical, administrative, logistical, as well as financial support. The Federal Council has now decided to continue this support in the 2013-15 period with a further input of CHF 1.53 million. Specifically this covers the cost of the hangars both at the Dübendorf aerodrome where the final touches to the second prototype are now being made and at Payerne where it is to be tested in flight, in the amount of CHF 1.1 million and CHF 354,000 respectively. 

Switzerland will thus enjoy the public relations benefit of being an official partner of this project. The partnership will be duly recognised in all future Solar Impulse publicity campaigns, notably on the occasion of the unveiling of the second Solar Impulse aircraft in 2014 and the round-the-world solar-powered flight planned for 2015. The campaign slogan, “An idea born in Switzerland”, will appear on all Solar Impulse publicity material.

A highlight of the project and the collaboration between the Confederation and Solar Impulse will be this year’s flight from the West Coast of the United States to the East Coast in several stages. For this Presence Switzerland plans to enter into a service contract of up to CHF 1 million to ensure that Solar Impulse systematically mentions the Swiss origin of the project in all communications, while the pilots’ uniforms will be emblazoned with the insignia of Switzerland. Presence Switzerland will itself mount a publicity campaign across the United States in 2013 in collaboration with all of the local Swiss representations to give Switzerland maximum visibility.

Solar Impulse will give new life to the image of the Confederation around the world as living proof of the Swiss innovative spirit. It will embody the international communication strategy and objectives which the Federal Council laid down in June 2012. The government is thus assured of a major media impact, spotlighting Switzerland as a leader in innovation, science and education. Presence Switzerland, working in close cooperation with the other federal departments concerned (DDPS, FDF, DETEC, and FDHA), has been commissioned by the Federal Council to put in place the pertinent contractual relations with Solar Impulse.



Further questions:
Ambassador Nicolas Bideau
Head of Presence Switzerland
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA)
Tel. 079 / 667 69 15

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