The participants of the Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days dove into their first day with exceptional enthusiasm. After brief welcoming speeches by Daniel Seelhofer (Vice Dean, ZHAW School of Management and Law, Marianne Zuend (Swiss Federal Office of Energy), Myriam Barsuglia (Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects SIA), Peter Qvist-Sorensen (ZHAW School of Management), the impressive group of 120 broke up into 4 separate workshops: Society & Economy, Energy Technologies, Mobility, and Architecture & Space, led by chairs Linda Looft, Peter Richner, Nick Nigro, and Arno Schlueter respectively. When asked for first impressions of the discussions led in each workshop, all the chairs were delighted at the insightfulness and passion presented in each group (watch videos on energyinnovationdays.com), and are excited to continue the discussion this morning in the second workshop session.
After a quick lunch, the delegates departed for site visits at various well known hubs of innovation in Switzerland. Starting with Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts – School of Engineering and Architecture in Horw, the group learned of the many opportunities offered to students in terms of study, and were also able to take a short tour around the campus to visit the epitome of Artificial Intelligence presented by the iHomeLab, a think tank for intelligent building concepts, the NODESLab, a test facility which concentrates on low temperature thermal networks (< 25°C) that can be operated bi-directionally with multiple heat sources and sinks, and the your+ prototype, an optimized collective housing concept that has reached the 5th place in the Solar Decathlon Europe competition in 2014. The participants were then shuttled to Suurstoffi Rotkreuz, a new green-tech, traffic free district with a so-called „anergy“ network.
The evening concluded at Siemens AG in Zug with an address by Thomas Aeschi, Member of the Swiss House of Representatives, and an explanatory presentation of Siemens Building Technologies from Johannes Milde, former CEO for Siemens Building Technology, and finally a much needed relaxing networking dinner at nearby restaurant Five Moods.
Site visits this afternoon afternoon will include a Lab tour at EMPA Duebendorf with presentations of the Mobility Demonstrator and the pilot project, NEST, which offers the construction industry and research partners a demonstration platform under real-life conditions to test and develop new ideas and products. The next station will be at the IBM Research Lab in Rueschlikon, world-renowned for its scientific achievements. The official conference dinner will take place in Zurich with addresses from Markus Assfalg, Director Business and Economic Development, Canton of Zurich and Martin Naville, CEO Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce.
Follow updates during this exciting week at energyinnovationdays.com and energeiaplus.com.
Lara Cerruti, Project Assistant