NZZ Connect (former Swiss Economic Forum AG) is the sponsor of the Swiss Innovation Forum and supports the initiative to promote innovation in Switzerland. As the leading national conference for SMEs and entrepreneurship in Switzerland, the Swiss Economic Forum (SEF) has been advocating entrepreneurship and innovation for many years.
The first Swiss Innovation Forum was held in 2006. Due to the huge demand for topics such as innovation, creativity and design, the Swiss Innovation Forum was launched as a separate platform from the SEF. The platform has been further developed in recent years, while the quality and benefits for participants have undergone continual improvement. In addition to talks by high-profile keynote speakers, attendees can also participate in a wide-ranging programme with best-case examples and workshops. A central element of the event is the Future Expo, where selected CTI and university projects are presented.
Since 2008 the Swiss Innovation Forum has also been handing out the Swiss Technology Award. This is Switzerland’s leading technology prize. It has a long tradition stretching back to 1987 when it was awarded for the first time. Swiss Economic Forum AG took over the awarding of Swiss Technology Award in 2007 and continued to develop it. Since 2010 awards have been handed out in three categories – Investors, Start-ups and Innovation leaders.
In 2006 the first Swiss Innovation Forum was held in the Trafo-Halle in Baden. Due to the huge demand, the event was then moved to the Congress Center in Basel, where it was held from 2007 to 2009.
From 2010 to 2012 the Swiss Innovation Forum had the exclusive opportunity to hold the event in the building designed by Frank Gehry on the Novartis Campus in Basel. Following two sell-outs in a row with 750 persons in attendance, the organiser decided to hold the event at the newly renovated Congress Center Basel, which is part of the exhibition centre in Basel designed by Herzog & de Meuron.