Big Data for Smart Ideas

swissnex Day 2015 centers on how governments and businesses are keeping up with Big Data. Where does Switzerland stand?

Event Details


University of Fribourg
Auditoire Joseph Deiss, Boulevard de Pérolles 90, Fribourg, 1700 Switzerland


December 15, 2015


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swissnex Day is here and it’s big. Big Data, that is.

Every year, humans generate the equivalent amount of data as was produced over the entirety of human history. While some consider Big Data to be akin to the discovery of oil, its value is in the ability to extract meaning from raw data and transform it into knowledge and innovation.

Against this backdrop, governments and businesses around the world are investing heavily in this new field to remain competitive. Where does Switzerland stand? Are we seizing all available opportunities? Beyond the question of how Big Data fuels innovation and impacts our society, new data technology also challenges the traditional scientific method. Does “data-driven science” equate to a scientific method void of theoretical models and hypothesis?

Hosted by the University of Fribourg and inaugurated by State Secretary Mauro Dell’Ambrogio, swissnex Day 2015 will be devoted to exploring such questions through an expert panel discussion followed by interactive breakout sessions and networking with swissnex representatives, Swiss Science and Technology Counselors (STC), as well as 250 representatives from Switzerland’s education, research, and innovation community.


See full program for details.

12:00 pm     networking luncheon and registration
1:30 pm       welcome
2:00 pm       keynote speech
2:15 pm       input speech
2:20 pm       panel discussion
3:00 pm       concluding remarks
3:15 pm       networking
4:00 pm       breakout sessions

Breakout sessions

See full program for details.

1. Sensing the City

Our cities are giant collectors and emitters of data, which often goes unused and unnoticed—and is not understood by citizens. To better comprehend how data influences our lives, swissnex San Francisco launched the citizen sensing project Data Canvas. Meet the winners of the swissnex prize from ETH Zurich’s Future Cities Lab, as well as members of swissnex San Francisco, swissnex Boston, and the Swiss Embassy in Ottawa. And join a discussion about smart cities, city sensing, open data, data literacy, and citizen engagement.

2. Innovation in APAC & Opportunities for Swiss Companies and Universitites

What are some of the major trends in the fast moving cities in China, Japan, and Korea? How do companies and governments develop innovation? Speakers will cover some of these points and the swissnex team in Asia will offer expertise to help understand the opportunities of closer collaboration with that part of the world.

3. DapLab – Where Swiss Companies Meet Big Data

DapLab is an open platform aiming at facilitating the entry of Swiss companies and universities into the realm of Big Data. This session will present the DapLab concept and will go through a concrete Big Data use-case leveraging the DapLab software and infrastructures. No advanced IT expertise required.

4. Discovery and Tour of the Adolph Merkle Institut and the NCCR Bio-inspired Materials

Learn about and visit the University of Fribourg’s NCCR for bio-inspired Materials and the Adolph Merkle Institut, which focuses on research and education in the domain of soft nanomaterials.

5. Experience the Swiss Integrative Center for Human Health

A workshop about the expertise and technologies at the Health, Materials and Ergonomics Facilities of SICHH. The workshop starts with a hands-on session in the Ergonomics Facility building a robust system to monitor participants’ displacements within the blueFACTORY (using a combination of radar technology, wireless communication, data mining, and image processing). Conclude with concrete examples showing how, through the integration of competencies, the Health, Materials and Ergonomics Facilities work in synergy. 

swissnex San Francisco speaker

Want to know more about previous editions of swissnexDay? Find all the information here.



Photo: Myleen Hollero