Mandates and Initiatives
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Mandates | Former Mandates | Initiatives

swissnex San Francisco works on behalf of several external companies, organizations, and universities to fulfill a shared mission. We also power specific initiatives in areas that have a positive impact on our stakeholders and the community at large.  


CTI Start-up USA


CTI Start-up is an initiative of the Swiss Comission for Technology and Innovation (CTI). swissnex San Francisco partners with CTI to make long-term workspaces available for entrepreneurs-in-residence. We welcome CTI Start-up companies and help them with their US market entry efforts by brokering valuable introductions within our network and providing advice on navigating Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. The three-month work stay program, CTI Start-up US Market Entry CAMP, is supported by CTI and GEBERT RÜF STIFTUNG. Find out who the current participants of the CAMP are.

Pro Helvetia

Pro Helvetia

The mandate with Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council, aims to develop a stronger presence on the West Coast of North American for cutting-edge Swiss artists and projects fusing art and technology. We work with an increasing number of important West Coast organizations such as the San Francisco Art Institute, California College of the Arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Jose Museum of Art, Exploratorium, SFMOMA, and others.



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swissnex San Francisco helps the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) with their international press outreach in North America. Our work has resulted in more than 300 articles in English-speaking media, with at least 50 appearing in top-tier publications such as Popular Science and the New York Times. We assisted in the creation of the university’s first social media channels, which now have thousands of followers on EPFL-branded Twitter and Facebook pages. 

EPFL Alumni

A3 EPFL Alumni Group

EPFL Alumni is a service by EPFL that brings graduates of the university together from all departments and all degrees. This allows alumni to stay in touch, both socially and professionally, and to stay connected to EPFL. It also publishes an online directory for its members, all of whom receive a lifetime e-mail address. 


ETH Zurich

ETH Logo

swissnex San Francisco works on behalf of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) to promote and extend the reach of the university in California. We also receive and plan official ETH Zurich delegations and report trends and relevant information to university officials. 


University of Geneva

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swissnex supports the University of Geneva's internationalization efforts by representing the institution at meetings with partner institutions including UCLA. In addition, swissnex collaborates on the international UNIGE-World Economic Forum debate series and other events that showcase university research, host delegations and visiting researchers, and keep UNIGE informed about the latest trends in higher education.


University of Zurich

Logo University of Zurich

The University of Zurich entrusts swissnex to help it build partnerships with relevant institutions on the West Coast of North America. swissnex also welcome delegations from the university, establishes and maintains a vibrant alumni community, and hosts interns and staff from the university working on specific projects.



Canton de Vaud - Higher Education

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We work with the Swiss Canton of Vaud to promote their educational institutions locally and to facilitate their cooperation with local colleges and universities. We maintain a dedicated workspace in our office for Vaud officials and collaborators traveling to the Bay Area, and make ourselves available to assist official delegations led by cantonal ministers. As part of our work to promote higher education in the region, we stay alert to new education trends and provide our mandate partners with this and other high-level information to benefit their programs.



Digital Campus




The Digital Campus is an evolution of the “Swiss Academia and the Social Media Landscape” program, which swissnex San Francisco led from 2011 through 2012. The objective of the Digital Campus is to continue to build upon the growing social media expertise and provide Swiss higher education with the latest knowledge and best practices for leveraging new technologies. 


Story 2023                 


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STORY2023 was a transmedia competition organized by swissnex San Francisco in honor of their 10th Anniversary in 2013. Between June and August 2013, students of Swiss Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences were invited to imagine the future with a story set in the year 2023. Check out the winning project Michael2023 and see pictures of the winning team’s trip to San Francisco in fall 2013.





Urban Data Challenge


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In 2013, the Urban Data Challenge competition, organized by swissnex San Francisco, Gray Area, and, asked participants to merge and compare mobility data sets from three cities and to draw meaningful insights through visualization. Check out the winning projects.

For 2014’s Urban Data Challenge, we invite coders, artists, hackers, and data scientists to develop visualizations using real-time data sets from multiple cities and compete online. Stay tuned for updates!





Former Mandates

more...See the full list


Nestlé Innovation Partnerships


Nestlé’s Innovation Partnership Group identifies, evaluates, and adds value to the company and to its customers through the co-development of innovation with external partners, called “Open Innovation.” In 2007, the Group opened the Innovation Partnership Desk at swissnex San Francisco to identify strategic partnerships within the realms of Nestlé’s core business: nutrition, health, and wellness. In addition to the day-to-day work of intensifying Nestlé’s open innovation activities, swissnex San Francisco hosted a roundtable on design in business in 2010, moderated by former Bloomberg BusinessWeek editor for Innovation and Design, Helen Walters. We also served as Nestlé’s hub for connecting to the other swissnexes, as well as to the global network of Swiss Science and Technology Counselors, in their search for innovation partnerships.

University of Geneva


In 2010, University of Geneva's Louise Roux, supported the International Relations office by participating at university fairs and organized meetings for UniGE delegations and the alumni office by building a sustainable network including organization of networking events.

UZH Alumni


 From November 2009 until May 2010, University of Zurich had a desk at swissnex San Francisco to bring together UZH Alumni on the West Coast and keep them informed about their alma mater. Learn more.


HEC Lausanne

HEC Lausanne, the school of business and economics of the University of Lausanne has a presence in San Francisco. Starting in March 2011, its External Affairs Representative has the mission to promote its faculty and its research programs to the economic and academic communities of the region. The objective is to develop sustainable relationships in the areas of exchange studies, common programs, internships, etc.


World Knowledge Dialogue


The World Knowledge Dialogue Foundation (WKD) was established in 2005 to bridge the gap between the natural/technical and the human/social sciences.  A transdisciplinary symposium held in Switzerland every two years brings together top researchers and opinion leaders to address this disconnect. swissnex San Francisco worked closely with swissnex Boston and the Swiss Embassy in Washington DC to identify potential speakers and actively promote the WKD to select contacts, thereby strengthening US participation at the 2nd WKD symposium held in September 2008.





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