Industry 4.0 Accelerating the Industrial Digital Transformation 

The rapid global digital transformation or Industry 4.0 impacts all companies, collaboration, manufacturing networks and partnerships within the field of production technology. This transformation is reshaping the competitive landscape by bringing fundamental changes to established industries, and innovation to transform the value chain is becoming ever more important.

Interdisciplinary and multistakeholder win-win partnerships between start-ups, corporates and academia is the key to accelerate innovation across manufacturing networks.

The dynamic Tech4Growth partnering workshops are part of the networking events series empowered by Innosuisse and EPFL Innovation Park, connecting start-up founders, corporate innovators as well as academic professors to learn about collaboration models and best practices.

This series focuses on the digital transformation of industry, where new technology such as industrial robotics, IoT, AI and data analytics are playing an increasing important role and will cover the following topics:

• successful technology transfers

• how to run joint R&D projects

• how to build win-win commercial partnerships

• how to make/get strategic investment and prepare a successful merger and acquisition



This workshops series is for high tech start-up founders, corporate senior executives and university professors / and senior scientists active in Industry 4.0 sector to ensure relevant collaboration and exchanges (no service providers). Seats are limited and priority access will be given to the mentioned profiles, as we would like the exchanges and collaborations during the workshops to be as meaningful as possible to all participants.

The 4 online workshops on Nov. 1 (hybrid), 4, 8 & 10 are complimentary and you can join the series anytime to attend a single session. The final physical session on Nov. 12 at Bois Chamblard will be available at a fee. Reserve your spot now, participation will be confirmed due to limited seats!

I really enjoyed having invested – not spent – 6 hours of my time in person at EPFL Bois Chamblard Buchillon premises. The plenary session followed with informal small break-out workshops contributed to fruitful interactions and qualitative networking between attendees. I will certainly attend the next Tech4Growth Industry 4.0 as well as recommend it to Innovative-thinking peers. Innovative Sustainable Resilience we built!                                                                                                      
Jean-Luc Bazin

CEO, Head of Technology Scouting, Swatch Group

Innovation today in Switzerland, is the most important asset. In fact, to grow when you are an industrial company, you have no other choice than to innovate. This is what FELCO has always done and will do in the future. Participating to Tech4Growth was an amazing experience for me. Sharing experiences and developing new concepts with peers, start-ups and the academic world is enhancing all the work done in the companies. I was extremely happy with the exchanges we had and with the quality of the questions and challenges we got during the sessions. Transforming a great idea into a profitable business is not easy and the kind of workshop like Tech4Growth Industry 4.0 is helping a lot!    
Stephane Poggi



Next to the contacts I received very valuable inputs on my own business from the participants which were extremely helpful.
Markus Stauffiger

CEO & Partner, 4eyes GmbH

The sessions provide a good overview of the challenge of collaboration between start-ups and corporates. Great testimonials of a large range of industries!
Olivier Chappuis

Innovation Lab Manager, Maxon Motor AG

Collaboration between start-ups and corporations is key for Industry 4.0. Tech4Growth shared another one: giving us a place in space and time to share ideas, network, and shape the right frameworks for such increasing and dynamic collaborations. 
Karthigan Sinnathamby

AI Project Manager, Visium

The format was perfect (just the right number of people) and the venue was fantastic for thinking.
Jerome Penot

Director, Novex Capital

I  was lucky to take part in the Tech4Growth workshops where I gained valuable insight into innovation processes, learned a lot and – most importantly – gained access to a very valuable network of innovation professionals. Just a short time later I had a follow up meeting with innovation experts because of my participation at the workshop. I highly recommend this workshop for anyone striving for innovation and / or transferring his business into the 4.0 world.
Albert Enste

CEO, Federnfabrik Schmid AG


Nov 1


8:30 AM - 12:00 PM


Overview, landscape and trends of Industry 4.0. Review of strategic benefits and challenges of collaboration models between start-ups, academia and corporates. Partnering with Research Institute CSEM and examples of partnerships from start-up and SME point of view. Lan Zuo-Gillet, EPFL Innovation Park
Raphael Rollier, Swisstopo
Pascal Nussbaum, CSEM
Bahaa Roustom, CSEM
Albert Enste, Federnfabrik Schmid
Stephane Poggi, FELCO

Nov 4


11:00 AM - 1:00 PM


Learn about start-up strategies for establishing commercial and procurement partnership with corporates and start-ups. Hear directly from Firmenich about the benefits and success of their start-up partnership programs and how they collaborate with Visium. Christine Chichester, Firmenich Karthigan Sinnathamby, Visium
Massimo Lucchina,Cysec SA

Nov 8


11:00 AM - 1:00 PM


Explore how to drive the digital transformation through co-development. You will hear the co-development story of start-up Miraex and Bühler Group and discover best practices for R&D with Academia Cornelia Koller, Bühler Group
Hugues-Vincent Roy, Aisa SA
Pierre-Yves Guernier, Miraex
Nicolas Loeillot, Innosuisse Expert

Nov 10


11:00 AM - 1:00 PM


Find out what makes an investment strategy successful. Hear the investment story from two perspectives, Shell Ventures and startup Akselos. You will also hear about strategies for corporate buy-out and the best practices in both technology integration and company aquisition. Peter Van Giessel, Shell Technology Ventures
Thomas Leurent, Akselos
Lan Zuo-Gillet, EPFL Innovation Park
Martin Strehl, Eversys

Nov 12


10:00 AM - 5:00 PM


In this last session, you will hear a keynote on the “Why we call it the 4th industry revolution" from Xavier Comtesse and gain key insights from a panel discussion on the Future of Collaboration in Industry 4.0 with Jean-Luc Bazin of Swatch Group, Sonja Betschart of Werobotics and Antoine JeanRichard of Objectis. Finally, you will hear the key learnings from all workshops as well as get the opportunity to gather peer feedback for your own specific partnership case while networking in person at Bois Chamblard. Jean-Luc Bazin, Swatch Group
Xavier Comtesse, Manufacture Thinking
Sonja Betschart, WeRobotics
Antoine Jeanrichard, Objectis
Lan Zuo-Gillet, EPFL Innovation Park
Raphael Rollier, Swisstopo
Massimo Lucchina, Cysec SA
Nicolas Loeillot, Innosuisse Expert


Jean-Luc Bazin

Jean-Luc Bazin is CEO of the CNDP, Centre de Développement des Nouveaux Produits, a division of the Swatch Group Research and Development Ltd, and Head of Technology Scouting for the Swatch Group. Jean-Luc Bazin has brought to his function a solid background and experience as a deep-grounded Consultant in Industrial Engineering, Innovation, M&A.

Starting in industrial engineering consultancy in Paris, he switched to Danone, Yves Rocher before signing with Hayek Engineering Consulting. At this position he was involved in multi partners projects for GSK, Smart Car and several Swatch Group companies. In 2012, he moved to Swatch Group to assume the function of «Head of Technology Scouting», tailor-made newly created position, before taking over the responsibility of the CDNP. January 2018 he entered the Innovation Council at the Swiss Innovation Agency, which encourages SMEs and large companies to boost their innovative businesses and contributes keeping Switzerland one of the most innovative countries.

Sonja Betschart

Sonja Betschart is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of WeRobotics, a US/Swiss based social impact organization that brings together local experts, communities and activists, committed to offering a practical alternative to systems dominated by foreign-led and top-down interventions. 

She believes that the most important questions for the technology sector are not which technologies to use, but to address the “Who” and “How”. Who gets to use technologies, implement solutions and access leadership opportunities in the “Technology for Good” space? And how can technologies create sustainable value in an inclusive way?

Together with her colleagues and by shifting power with local experts and organizations, WeRobotics is redefining what it means to be an expert. WeRobotics elevates and strengthens expertise in emerging technologies with the Flying Labs Network. This network offers a lived, applicable, and scalable example that other organizations can adopt.

Sonja is a passionate change agent, facilitator and social entrepreneur with a longstanding career both in the non-profit and for-profit sectors, including start-ups, SMEs and multinationals. Her strategic advice, operational insights and Design Thinking methods have supported many new ventures to turn their ideas into viable and impactful organizations.

Sonja holds Master degrees in Marketing and SME Management, is trained in Design Thinking, Project Management and Principled Negotiation. She is a seasoned speaker, including recent speaking engagements at WSIS, WEF and UNWDF, and has been voted one of Switzerland’s 100 Digital Shapers in 2021, 2019 and 2018.

Christine Chichester

Christine is the IS Director of the digital lab at Firmenich where she works with the team to implement new and emerging technologies that ultimately facilitate innovation for business use cases. Christine completed a PhD and post-doctoral training that emphasized the use of biological and genetic data. Following on from her work at Stanford University, for the past 20 years, Christine has had success in effectively leading teams for data-driven knowledge discovery projects in multiple locations both internationally and domestically.  She has worked in a variety of different business environments: start-ups, public-private partnerships for the pharmaceutical industry, and a large FMCG multinational. 

Xavier Comtesse

Xavier Comtesse graduated in mathematics, doctor in computer science from the University of Geneva, he has been passionate about communication and computer science since the 1970s. Creator of three start-ups in Geneva, he carried out pioneering work in publishing (creation of Éditions Zoé), communication (one of the very first local radio stations: Tonic), telecommunications (a start-up named “le Modern Concept ”).

In 1992, he joined the Swiss government as personal assistant to Secretary of State for Science, Research and Education. Then he was sent, in ‘95, as scientific diplomacy to the Swiss Embassy in Washington. In 2000, he was the first Swiss Scientific Consul in Boston where he created the concept of Swissnex. In 2002, he was appointed as the first French-speaking Director of the Think Tank Avenir Suisse, mainly on issues of metropolitan France and innovation.

He has published three books in his role as head of Avenir Suisse Romandie “Dartfish, Logitech, Swissquote & Co”, Orell Füssli 2005; “Le Feu au Lac”, NZZ 2006, “Gouvernance à géometry variable”, Tricorne 2012. In addition, he wrote a series of four booklets on “Soft-Governance” within the framework of the Fondation pour Genève from 2008 to 2010 .

From 2003 to 2006 he was a member of the board of the Moser School (Geneva, Nyon, Berlin). In 2012, he co-created, on behalf of the Neuchâtel Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the “Swiss Creative Center” dedicated to the new industrial revolution (FabLab, Design Thinking and Think Tank). In 2014, he founded with Elmar Mock (co-creator of the Swatch) a think tank, in fact the first “Industrial Think Tank” of this kind (for more information  www. )

Albert Enste

Albert Enste is currently CEO and majority owner of Federnfabrik Schmid, a leading manufacturer company of all types of high precision springs made of all types of spring metal alloys for over a hundred years. Federnfabrik Schmid is delivering its products to global leading companies like Siemens, General Electric, ABB etc. Albert Enste’s core expertise lies in corporate management, company strategy and innovation. 

He previously worked for Siemens, Daimler Chrysler Rail Systems, Bombardier Transportation, Electro-Motive Diesel EMD.  He is also a board member at Helrom, a technology and transport start-up based in Frankfurt. 

He holds a Master in Mechanical Engineering from Technical University of Munich.

Peter van Giessel

Peter van Giessel is an experienced professional in venture capital, corporate governance, technology commercialization and business development within the energy sector. Having started within R&D at Philips Electronics in the early nineties, Peter complemented his skill set as a management consultant before joining Shell in 2000. Since, Peter has taken on roles in marketing strategy, upstream M&A, technology commercialization and in 2012 was one of the founding fathers of Shell Ventures back in 2012.  

In addition to being a non-executive member on several boards across the world, he has more than 20 years of experience in the Gas & Oil industry. Peter graduated from Eindhoven University of Technology with a MSc in Mechanical Engineering and completed his MBA at London Business School.

Pierre-Yves Guernier

Pierre-Yves Guernier holds a EPFL Master in Microtechnique from 2004. Previously he was CTO and Cofounder of Snowpulse (Avalanche Airbags) which was sold to Mammut in 2011. He was also founder and CEO of 2i Engineering – sold to Schwan Stabilo in 2015. He was shareholder and COO at Flyability (indoor drones) during 4 years of hypergrowth and Co-founder of Dromote in 2019, a hardware company doing  Smart Encoding and Data Link Modules (company still running). He joined Miraex in August 2021 as CEO. Inno-Suisse Coach; Trainer and start up coach at Venturelab.  Ideally he does not work on powder days.

Antoine Jeanrichard

Antoine Jeanrichard is Co-Founder and Head of Digital Transformation at Objectis. He is passionate about technologies, architecture, software development and OO methodology of project management. He is industrial IT engineer with 12 years of experience dedicated to digital technologies and has supervised 100+ industry projects.

Cornelia Koller

Currently she is Head of Research and Development in Grain Quality and Supply at Bühler.

Previously she has been an International Management Trainee at Bühler from 2015-2017, Project manager at Bühler in Grain Quality & Supply from 2017-2018 and Team leader for Digitalization and Automation R&D for Grain Quality and Supply at Bühler from 2019-2020.

Cornelia completed a PhD at federal institute of Technology (ETH Zürich) in food process engineering in collaboration with Nestlé in 2015.

Thomas Leurent

Thomas Leurent is the CEO and Co-Founder of Predictive Digital Twin pioneer, Akselos. He’s based in the company’s global headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. An MIT alumnus, Thomas has spent the past seven years building Akselos into the digital transformation disruptor that it is today. From early beginnings working with MIT’s Industrial Liaison Program in 2012, Thomas has grown the business into a successful international company with operations in Europe, the US, and Southeast Asia. Akselos’ most recent funding round involved Shell Ventures and Future Energy Ventures.

The company brings technology to market that is transforming industrial asset management in oil and gas, offshore wind and beyond. The emerging nature of the technology has led Thomas to represent deep tech’s interests and potential as a World Energy Leader within the World Energy Council’s network of global CEOs and Government leaders, as a GWEC board member at COP26, and as a Technology Pioneer at the World Economic Forum. 

Nicolas Loeillot

Nicolas Loeillot is a senior technology entrepreneur and investor. Back in 2003, he founded a computer vision company in Japan. Pioneering in A.I. applications, his company served hundreds of projects with large companies in Japan, Asia and the US before being acquired by a GAFA in 2017.

Since 2010, he chairs the Tokyo Interaction Center, a privately-owned incubator in central Tokyo, focused on early stage deep technology start-ups. In 2018, Nicolas Loeillot joined the Swiss health insurer Groupe Mutuel as Chief Innovation Officer to setup an innovation strategy, accelerate deployments of A.I. and craft a data-driven, prevention-focused future of the company. In 2021 he joins InnoSuisse as Expert for a 4-year mandate.

Massimo Lucchina

Massimo Lucchina is a Senior Executive with large experience in High Tech, Internet and Telecom sector; currently at CySec as VP Corporate Business Development, Strategic Alliance Member of the Innovation Council at Innosuisse and Advisory Board Member at Bugsolutely.

Previously Massimo was at Samsung as Chief Strategy Officer and overlooking M&A activities in Europe for 4+ years and Cisco Systems for 22+ years where he had sales and channel responsibility, Corporate Innovation leader with the Technology Center, member of VoIP team to deliver 1st product on market, initiated M&A office in Europe to deliver 12 acquisitions and Head of Cisco System International in Rolle and EPFL.

Prior to Cisco he worked for Telecom Italia and for the European Space Agency. Massimo holds MsC in Electrical/Telecommunication Engineering from Politecnico di Milano.

Pascal Nussbaum

Pascal is the Head of Smart Connected Systems and focuses on ultra-low power remote sensing application. His team is developing further the implementation of such systems and concepts using sustainable materials and wireless power transfer.

Pascal is active since 30 years in the field of microelectronics technologies development. From ASIC design and system design to embedded vision and connected solutions. During 2006 to 2014 he participated developing start-ups in the fields of connected toys industry, mobile phones for disabled people, and vision sensors.

Pascal holds a Master’s in Electrotechnique from the Ecole d’Ingénieurs de Canton de Neuchâtel in 1990.

Stéphane Poggi

Stéphane Poggi is an engineer in industrial electronics (HES) with an additional MBA specialization in marketing. During his career, he has held various positions of responsibility in technical development, after-sales service, sales and marketing. These professional experiences have led him to travel extensively around the world for more than 20 years. He has managed large projects for the implementation of technical infrastructures as well as commercial subsidiaries and distribution networks in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. 

He joined FELCO SA in 2003 as Sales and Marketing Director and has worked mainly on developing new markets and increasing the density of the European distribution networks. In 2010, the family that owns FELCO SA gave him the opportunity to co-found a spin-off company, FELCO Motion SA, whose objectives are to design, develop, industrialize and assemble a new innovative range of electroportable pruning shears for professional plant pruning. In 2020, FELCO Motion and FELCO decide to merge into a single entity. Stéphane Poggi became CO-CEO of this new entity, called FELCO SA. In 2021, the family that owns the company decides to appoint a new CEO, Nabil Francis, a family member. From then on, Stéphane Poggi became the number 2 of the group with a COO and CMO function.

Raphael Rollier

Raphael Rollier develops and promotes digital innovation and transformation. He is currently in charge of Innovation and Product Management at swisstopo, working on topics such as geolocalisation and data science in the field of geoinformation.  Previously, in co-creation with several cities, he created a “Smart Data” tool, which turns billions of data generated by the mobile phone network into anonymized and aggregated traffic indicators. Raphael has 13 years of international marketing&sales and general management experience, having worked for Nokia. Member of the Venture Kick jury, Raphael has developed a mentoring program for start-ups at the EPFL, where he obtained a master’s in micro engineering. He also writes about the digital economy at LeTemps webpage: See blog

Bahaa Roustom

Bahaa is the Head of Corporate Business Development and focuses on developing partnerships and promoting the diverse innovative technology platforms developed at CSEM. 

Before joining CSEM, Bahaa had more than 7 years of industrial innovation management experience with business leaders (Swatch Group/Belenos Clean Power Holding), where he oversaw several projects related to new venture creation and R&D projects in the sustainable energy domain.

Bahaa holds a Master’s in Chemical Engineering from the Ecole Européenne d’Ingénieurs de Chimie, Polymères et Matériaux (ECPM)’of Strasbourg, France and a PhD in Electrochemical Engineering with a Post-Doc fellowship, from EPFL in 2006. Besides these degrees, Bahaa has pursued a full range of business courses including an Executive MBA in Management and Corporate Finance from ‘HEC Lausanne’ in 2012, and a Certificate of Leading Digital Business Transformation from ‘IMD’ in 2019.

Hugues-Vincent Roy

Hugues-Vincent Roy holds a doctorate in physics from the University of Lausanne. In 1999 he joined the Aisa group in Vouvry to launch the company Aisapack SA, specializing in innovation and packaging characterization. Since 2009, Hugues-Vincent Roy has been Managing Director of AISA Automation Industrielle SA.

AISA Automation Industrielle SA was founded in 1962 in Vevey. At that time, it was manufacturing semi-automatic machines for varnishing aluminum tubes. In 1971, with the Vevey premises becoming too cramped, the family SME was established in Vouvry. From the 1980s, the company began to develop and manufacture machines to produce plastic tubes and laminate packaging; it quickly found itself in a competitive international context to become a leader in the world market.

Karthigan Sinnathamby

Karthigan Sinnathamby is an AI Project Manager at Visium with a technical background in Deep Learning and managed projects in different fields such as FMCG, banking, or pharmaceutical.

Graduated from EPFL with an MSc in Data Science and Bachelor in Communication Systems, Karthigan was previously Machine Learning Research Engineer at Schlumberger (Boston).

During his time at EPFL, he was also the President and IT Manager of Forum EPFL in 2018 as well as responsible for external relations in 2017.

Martin Strehl

Martin Strehl is currently Group Managing Director of Eversys SA where he led the integration and merger of De’Longhi. He holds Board Member seats at SOTAX Group and Schleuniger Holder AG which he owns since 1991. He also worked at Ascom from 1987-1991.

He holds a degree from the University of St. Gallen.

Lan Zuo Gillet

Lan Zuo Gillet is the Deputy Managing Director of EPFL Innovation Park and an Expert of Innosuisse – the Swiss Innovation Agency.  She has 23 years of hands-on professional experience in industry as well as in the ecosystem of innovation & entrepreneurship.

Lan started her career at R&D department of Rolex, in charge of creating new computer aided design and optimisation tools in the product development process. She was later appointed as Head of Operational Planning at Pictet, working closely with a startup to design, develop and implement a management information system for group operation control. As the Managing Director of Geneva Creativity Center, she connected large corporations, SMEs, startups and researchers to initiate innovative joint R&D projects.

Currently at EPFL Innovation Park, she is leading entrepreneurship training and acceleration programs and is helping startups to establish business partnership with large corporations. Lan has a PhD degree from EPFL, an MBA from HEC Lausanne and postdoctoral applied research experience at Stanford University.  



Lan Zuo Gillet

Deputy managing Director EPFL Innovation Park

Program leader

Massimo Lucchina

Member of Innovation Council


Nicolas Loeillot



Raphael Rollier

Head of Innovation and Product Management


Simone Theiss

EPFL Innovation Park

Program manager