Life Science Initiative: Korean delegation visits Switzerland

The 6th edition of the Swiss-Korean Life Science Symposium Series took place in Basel on the 28th of August on the Novartis Campus. The Symposium aimed to bring together Switzerland and Korea’s most innovative minds from public research, leading hospitals, industry and startups leaders in healthcare, and digital technologies. Basel hosted the Symposium for the second time after already welcoming guests from Korea in 2017 and a delegation of 46 people including scientists and startups traveled from Korea to Switzerland.


Martin Missbach, the site head of global discovery in chemistry from NIBR opened the symposium together with two government representatives from Switzerland and Korea. Nicolas Kelley, Data Science and AI advisor from Novartis Chief Digital Office presented regarding A.I. for Life. A total of 260 people had registered including 70 people from Novartis.


Digital technologies are drastically changing the life science and healthcare industry at all levels: research institutions, pharmaceutical companies, caregivers and also payors must find a way to navigate between hype, buzzwords, and hard evidence-based facts.
During the symposium, two challenges for the present and future of digital healthcare were discussed:

– What are the skills needed “tomorrow” in the digital health?
– Looking at “digital health & precision medicine”, what is “not there yet”?

The program and the speakers are as follows:

[Entrepreneurs Club: special Edition Seoul Meets Basel]

The Entrepreneurs Club was organized by the University of Basel on August 29 at the Novartis Campus bringing together entrepreneurs from the Basel region & beyond. Main goal was to spotlight startups and match them with supporters from the community and beyond.

Welcomed by Conradin Cramer, Head of the Department of Education, Canton of Basel-Stadt, a total of 35 pitches were presented from startups of Switzerland and Korea in healthcare as well as the mentors and VCs. A total of 209 people registered and active networking had continued to the evening aperitif.

[Other programs]

The delegation expanded their network beyond Basel by visiting Innovation Park Biel/Bienne, a private Swiss non-profit organization that platforms and supports industry-focused applied research and development. As part of the national and international network of the Switzerland Innovation Foundation, it promotes Swiss innovation & startups and implements research results quickly into marketable products.

Raniero Pittini introduced the Innovation Park services and two Swiss startups to the delegation. Thanks to the presence of additional two Swiss mentors, Korean startups had the opportunity to continue their discussions.

The delegation was also welcomed by Matthias Essenpreis, Chief Technology Officer, Roche Diagnostics in Roche HQ together with experts from Roche Pharma, Roche Partnering and Roche Diagnostics.
By dividing the three groups of the startups according to sectors (Biotech, Digital Health, Medteh) they had an in-depth discussion, and received the feedbacks from the global company on their technology introduction.

A masterclass for Korean venture capitalists was offered about investing in healthcare in Basel/Switzerland by Trudi Hämmerli, Go Beyond Angels and Roger Meier, Investor and discussion continued about
o What are possible models to collaborate?
o What are challenges in supporting healthcare startups “go global”?
o Why Switzerland and Korea?

1:1 Korean VCs speed datings with Swiss startups were also arranged.


A workshop for Korean Startups was organized to better understand and explore the Swiss business & innovation ecosystem by Main topics were:
o IP & Protection Strategy
o Investor Perspective & doing business in Switzerland
o How to build collaboration between KR & CH

1:1 individual meetings for Korean startups were also supported.