Recent decades have been marked by rapid economic growth for many countries in Asia, particularly in the past few years. Swiss ERI stakeholders looking for cooperation partners in Asia can rely on the swissnex network to guide them. The nextrendsAsia news platform has recently been created to provide general information and highlight cooperation potential in this region. Sebastien Hug, CEO of swissnex India, emphasises the added value of the new service: ‘The nextrendsAsia platform will provide in-depth analytical coverage of medium and long-term trends.’
Swiss ERI stakeholders to benefit from the new service
What is the purpose of nextrendsAsia and who is the platform intended for?
Sebastien Hug: Many Asian countries have experienced rapid and profound economic growth over the past two decades and at the same time have also set new trends in the areas of research, innovation and technology. The nextrendsAsia platform aims to provide insights into these trends and to improve our understanding of the rapid developments in innovation, technology & society as well as in research and education in the Asian region. In the future, our aim is to report more on bilateral cooperation in ERI and in so doing encourage visitors to our platform to work more closely with Asian partners. So nextrendsAsia is primarily intended for a Swiss audience interested in knowing more about ERI trends in Asia.
There are already many information channels covering developments in Asia. Why do we need nextrendsAsia?
In fact, you can keep abreast of the latest news through a variety of social media outlets, newsletters or blogs. nextrendsAsia will stand out because instead of focusing on individual news items, it will provide in-depth analysis of medium and longer-term trends. The nextrendsAsia service will also report on cooperation projects between Switzerland and Asian countries, which no other medium has offered in this format so far.
Who backs nextrendsAsia and who will contribute content?
nextrendsAsia is a joint project of the swissnex network in Asia, which is present in China, India, Israel, Japan, Singapore and South Korea. This network is comprised of two swissnex field offices and six science attachés working at Swiss embassies. Our main task is to help Swiss ERI stakeholders to network with potential partners, to advise them on internationalisation issues and to report on ERI trends in general. The nextrendsAsia project is intended to give even greater importance to this latter activity in order to draw attention to the potential that Asia offers.
Some of the content will come from the swissnex network itself. Additional content, viewpoints and personal insights will be provided by researchers, young entrepreneurs and other ERI stakeholders from our network. To facilitate this, we have entered into partnerships with the two Leading Houses for bilateral ERI cooperation with Asia - ETH Zurich and the Züricher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften (ZHAW) - as well as think tank ‘Asia Society’. They will serve as ‘knowledge partners’ for the project.
Which topics will the news platform focus on?
Initially, the news platform will focus on the topics of health, energy and environment, deep tech (technologies for the next generation of digitalisation) and society 5.0 (digitalisation as an opportunity). In principle, however, nextrendsAsia will be open to all topics relating to education, research, innovation and young entrepreneurship. For example, recent postings included an article on the position of women in technological professions, a video interview with an agritech investor who shares personal insight into technological trends in the agricultural sector in India as well as a report from our Science Office in Seoul on how 5G technologies are making Korean hospitals smarter.
How is nextrendsAsia.org different from nextrends.org?
For nextrendsAsia, we were very inspired by our colleagues in San Francisco, who have been running the successful nextrends.org blog for several years. Both blogs share the same purpose of providing insight and thoughts on current trends in technology and innovation in their respective regions. swissnex San Francisco, for example, recently published a report on the future of megacities and last February launched nextcast, a series of podcast interviews with exciting people on topics such as 'Freedom of Assembly in the Digital Age’ or ‘Human and Machine Interaction’.
nextrendsAsia will find its own style in the coming months, but unlike nextrends.org, the new nextrendsAsia platform will include more outside contributions from researchers and entrepreneurs as well as articles on bilateral cooperation projects. The nextrendsAsia platform is still new: we are therefore always happy to receive feedback and suggestions on how we can improve and develop it further.