22nd Swiss Economic Forum in Montreux

The Swiss Economic Forum (SEF) is Switzerland’s leading economic conference. More than 1000 leading personalities from business, academia, politics and the media usualy meet in Interlaken for an active exchange of ideas and cross-industry networking.

This year, however, saw the 22nd edition of the conference take place in a reduced version on 2 and 3 September 2020 at the Montreux Music & Convetion Centre under strict Corona measures. The next SEF is planned for 10 and 11 June 2021.

Corona times

The corona crisis presents many companies with fundamental challenges. SEF.2020 wanted to look into the future. Has Switzerland’s liberal democratic basic order passed the “corona stress test”? What lasting marks will the pandemic leave behind in the economy, politics and society? And has the relationship between employers and employees and between the Swiss Confederation and the cantons changed? True to this year’s motto “Walk the Line?”, experimental and proven methods for overcoming the crisis were discussed.

The platforms and initiatives of the Swiss Economic Forum promote an entrepreneurial way of thinking and actively support startups. The Swiss Economic Award is presented each year at the SEF. It is the most important prize for young entrepreneurs in Switzerland and is awarded to the three most successful startups in three categories.

SEF Awards

This year`s winners included bestsmile AG, a young company producing transparent braces using a state-of-the-art 3D printing process. The so-called clear aligners are completely “swiss made”, recyclable and significantly cheaper than those of competitors. Also victorious was the  ETH spin-off ANYbotics AG, which develops autonomous robots that can independently inspect and monitor industrial plants, and reliably perform dangerous maintenance tasks. ANYbotics is now one of the world’s leading developers of mobile robotics for industry and engineering.

Last but not least, reCIRCLE AG won for allowing us to eat well on the go and protect the environment at the same time. The start-up from Bern has created the world’s first industry solution for returnable packaging. Their idea is as simple as it is effective: restaurants and take-aways rent the reCIRCLE BOXES made in Switzerland and make them available to their customers in return for a deposit. After use, the box can be returned to any participating partner in the reCIRCLE network, which currently includes over 1200 takeaways.

Photo credit: SEF

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