2nd Swiss-Korean Life Science Symposium

The 2nd Swiss-Korean Life Science Symposium was held on the 22nd and 23rd of October in Seoul, South Korea. The event was co-organised by the Science & Technology Office of the Embassy of Switzerland in Korea and the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI). KHIDI is the government agency of the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) in charge of health-related R&D and also hospitals. In Switzerland, the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) co-sponsored the event and the Swiss State Secretary of Education, Research and Innovation, Mauro Dell’Ambrogio opened the Symposium with a keynote speech.

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The 2nd Swiss-Korean Life Science Symposium was also the main event of 2015 for the Swiss-Korean Life Science Initiative, a public-private-partnership of the Embassy and Novartis, Roche, Roche Diagnostics as well as MedTech Innovation Partners (MTIP).

For the 2nd Symposium, four different sessions were organized:

  • Life Science R&D Ecosystem (Session I)
  • Current biomedical technologies in Korea (Session II: Science Presso)
  • Neglected Disease research and collaboration (Session III: Global Health)
  • Medical Technology (Session IV)

The choice of session topics was driven by the bottom-up demand from participants and stakeholders and as a follow-up to the 1st Symposium.

From Switzerland, a total of 26 participants took part in the Symposium from the University of Basel, Swiss TPH, ETH Zurich, the University Hospital Basel and Canton of Basel representatives. In addition, 4 start-ups and representatives from Roche and Novartis took part. Vice-Rector Edwin Constable from Uni Basel was the delegation leader from Switzerland.

On the Korean side, KHIDI actively supported the Embassy to recruit speakers from various government sectors, top-notch researchers and industry partners. The Korean speakers were mostly of very high level and consisted of:

  • Professors, researchers and physicians from Korea’s main institutions (Korea Institute for Science & Technology, Seoul National University, Severance Hospital, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Korea University, Chonnam University )
  • Korean government institutions (KHIDI, Osong Biomedical Innovation Foundation, Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Korea National Institute of Health, Korea Intellectual Property Office).
  • International organizations based in Korea (Institute Pasteur – Korea and International Vaccine Institute)
  • Korean private sector (Korean Venture Capital firms, Yozma Group, Green Cross, Crystal Genomics, GeneOne Life Science, Qurient, Kim & Chang Law Firm, 4 start-ups)

Over the 2 days of the Symposium, totally 250 people attended.

The purpose of the 2nd edition of the Life Science Symposium was to share Korea and Switzerland’s innovation models and ecosystems in life science and medtech from both public and private sectors. As a result of the event, the organisers pursued to establish networks and formats for integrative collaboration between Swiss and Korean governments, academia, hospitals, industries and start-ups. Going beyond, concrete projects based on commercialisation of basic research and the demonstration of potential investment opportunities were crucial goals. The Symposium also firmly put Switzerland on the map as a leading country in life science and medtech.

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To download the program for the 2nd Swiss-Korean Life Science Symposium, click here.