2 Apr 2013

World Trade Institute Connects with Swiss ERI Network

‘Creating connectivity in the area of science and education’ was the purpose of an event held at the World Trade Institute (WTI) on 25 March 2013 for 30 delegates of the Swiss Education, Research and Innovation (ERI) Network.

Active in 23 locations in 19 countries, the ERI consists of science and technology counsellors from swissnex, embassies with a science section and ambassadors with a part-time assignment promoting science and education. During the event, WTI faculty and staff emphasised the significance of Switzerland as a global educational and scientific hub and highlighted how the WTI’s interdisciplinary programme offering, its focus on cutting-edge research in the trade field and its cooperation with academic partners continues to attract a high calibre of students from around the world.

Manfred Elsig, Associate Professor of International Relations and the WTI’s Deputy Managing Director welcomed the delegates, gave an overview of the WTI and outlined current projects from one of the Institution’s cornerstones: its research arm, the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR Trade Regulation). Barry Peterson outlined one of the WTI’s other key activities: the SECO / WTI Academic Cooperation Programme. He described how it enables academic training in trade regulation by building regional centres of excellence. These centres help to increase regional research capacities and to educate selected students who come to study at the WTI from abroad and who return to their home countries to share their know-how there.

Along the lines of academic cooperation, Arno Hold, the Director of the WTI/CUHK Summer Programme on Intellectual Property, presented the first successful cooperation with swissnex China, who sponsored the participation of three Chinese and Swiss PhD students during the 2012 WTI/CUHK IP Summer Programme in Hong Kong. He shared concrete ideas for synergies and a potential cooperation between the WTI and the ERI Network. Ambassador Mauro Moruzzi, Head of International Relations Division, State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, echoed Hold’s message as he gave an overview of the ERI network, its structure and mandate.

The subsequent reception was an excellent opportunity to establish bilateral contacts between WTI researchers and individual swissnex representatives or Swiss technology counsellors from various countries.