I just came back from an event in Bern. Innovation & Cyber Security – Inputs & Support of the Swiss and Israeli Innovation Authorities.
About 150 people gathered up on the Gurtenpark for an event that announced the closer collaboration between the two government innovation authorities.
The location was majestic, the talks were inspiring and the idea that the two nations work closer was in fact announced and discussed already at the Startup-Nation Israel meets Switzerland event two years ago in the Technopark in Lucerne.
Personally I found the talks back then even more inspiring but this time the two governments called and took on this task from top to down. The fact that they literally copied all the details of that two-years old event (even the sponsor Checkpoint) I will not take negative, in contrary I am proud when we can get governments copy our activities.
So will there be another Startup-Nation Israel meets Switzerland event? Not sure, I think we did a good job and now the much better funded entities can take it from there. Only bad thing is: they must innovate by themselves next time and cannot simply copy an event blueprint from us. I am sure they will show that innovative spirit. 🙂
So what were the talks about? Following a few things that I took home and will remember.
H.E. Jacob Keidar, Israeli Ambassador to Switzerland
I liked his comparison between Switzerland and Israel and his underlying humour a lot. It is obvious that he enjoys these moments. His prime task is to increase exports from Israel to Switzerland and maybe this collaboration will help.
Andre Kudelski, President Innosuisse
Mr. Kudelski showed the innovation and competitiveness rankings of Switzerland and the four areas where Innosuisse plans to invest into. What the problems with these numbers are we know. I would have liked him to mention that. Also, I think the challenges that Switzerland will face he did not mention at all. I am sure he knows them and will address them behind closed doors.
Aharon Aharon, CEO Israel Innovation Authority
I was very much looking forward to his talk as the Chief Innovation Officer in Israel enjoys very high respect and only most accomplished personalities will be given this job. His statement that the importance of the military for the Israeli innovation ecosystem is based on the fact that it creates problems that need to be resolved was a great explanation. Then he mentioned the fact that all innovation stakeholders in Israel work very closely together as a major reason for the Startup-Nation success. Also something Switzerland might have to look into I think.
Overall a nice sunny afternoon at a great location. Good for networking but even Innosuisse was unable to attract more than about 150 people.
Will this now be the start of two nations to shake up the world? I would hope so but have my doubts. As always the future will tell.
P.S: One final remark. The Israeli side has to remember and respect that we are looking for win:win relations. I know from personal experience that this is not in the Israeli gene pool. They feel that relations are only good for them if they maximised their own interests. It will not work with Swiss nor any Europeans. We enjoy when the other side profits and we want them to like when we profit also. This is the only working model. Can Israeli embrace that idea?