The sixth Wyss Zurich Annual Event was held on November 3, 2021, at the new extension to the Kunsthaus Zurich. The clean, elegant lines of this structure, designed by David Chipperfield, reflects and shapes contemporary trends in architecture, making it an ideal venue to highlight the innovations of Wyss Zurich. The Annual Event showcased presentations about the Wyss Zurich projects and their groundbreaking research, as well as the clinical trials they have conducted and their preparations for market entry. Project leaders explained how their work aligns with Wyss Zurich’s mission of “Translating Science into Life.” The evening was moderated by the Founding Co-Directors of Wyss Zurich, Simon P. Hoerstrup and Roland Siegwart. Rounding off the program was a panel discussion with the guest of honor, Hansjörg Wyss, who shared his experiences with the young entrepreneurs involved in these projects. Joël Mesot, president of ETH Zurich, and Michael E. Schaepman, president of the University of Zurich, expressed their enthusiasm for the projects and the cooperation between their two universities.
The sixth Wyss Zurich Annual Event was dedicated to the Wyss Zurich projects and the collaboration between ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich. The event was quickly booked to capacity, and over 300 guests from academia, politics, and business were in attendance. After a welcome drink in the Haefner Foyer, located in the new extension to the Kunsthaus Zurich, guests were invited to the ballroom for the program. While the 2019 Annual Event focused on the history of Wyss Zurich, this year’s event was dedicated to its future.
The Founding Co-Directors, Simon P. Hoerstrup, and Roland Siegwart, gave a warm welcome and provided an overview of all the projects currently being accelerated at Wyss Zurich. First, the three youngest projects, MUVON, NanoFlex, and Phire, were introduced by their project leaders. The Co-Directors were proud to underscore the fact that these three new projects were successfully launched in the spring of 2021, despite the challenging pandemic situation. The projects have already achieved initial successes, and the teams have expanded in an effort to move forward with innovative work aimed at achieving their ambitious goals.
Next on the agenda were presentations by the leaders of more established Wyss Zurich projects, describing the projects’ current status and the milestones they have reached so far. The presentations, which detailed the exciting range of topics and what the projects have already been able to achieve, were delivered in a variety of formats, including “live pitches”, videos, and presentations by the Co-Directors.
The highlight of the evening was a panel discussion with guest of honor Hansjörg Wyss. Together with the project leaders of the alumni projects, ANYbotics, CUTISS (denovoSkin), Cellerys (ETIMSred), and Wingtra, the members of the panel discussed the various topics addressed by the startups and the challenges facing them. As Hansjörg Wyss pointed out, “Startups underestimate how much money and time are needed.”
The universities are working closely together
In their closing remarks, Joël Mesot and Michael E. Schaepman once again expressed their gratitude for Hansjörg Wyss’s initiative. They greatly appreciate the closer cooperation between their two universities that Wyss Zurich has made possible, and were delighted to learn more about the groundbreaking projects, cutting-edge technologies, and remarkable success stories that Wyss Zurich is facilitating. “Wyss Zurich has managed to bring two universities closer together. Thanks to its efforts, they are talking to each other and working together,” Joël Mesot said.
Positive developments and impressive results
All the stakeholders were very positive in their comments and pointed out the need for more institutions and models of this kind in academia. The two Founding Co-Directors emphasized how valuable it is to bring together the fields of Regenerative Medicine and Robotics. Hansjörg Wyss, too, was clearly pleased with what Wyss Zurich has accomplished. The project leaders underscored their profound gratitude for the support they have received.
After nearly seven years of operation, Wyss Zurich can already report notable successes, including multiple startup companies currently in the market.
About Wyss Zurich
Wyss Zurich is operated jointly by ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich and was created with the goal of “Translating Science into Life” in the two emerging fields of Regenerative Medicine and Robotics, as well as related hybrid technologies. The aim is to contribute to Zurich’s excellent academic ecosystem by adding a strong hub for clinical translation and technology transfer. Wyss Zurich is currently supporting 13 Wyss Zurich projects and two Outreach projects. All of them receive strong support from the Regenerative Medicine Technology and Robotics Technology platforms.