Basel Night – From the Rhine City to Europe’s Innovation Hub

Wednesday, Feb. 13 | 6 pm
Join us as Christian Schneider, Head of Innovation at University of Basel, speaks about the ongoing transformation of the “Rhine City” into a thriving innovation hub.

Event Details


swissnex Boston
420 Broadway, Cambridge , Massachusetts 02138 United States


February 13, 2019 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm America/New York (UTC-05:00)



Event Recap: Basel Night – From the Rhine City to Europe’s Innovation Hub



How does a Swiss city become a world-leading environment for innovation and entrepreneurship? Join us as Christian Schneider, Head of Innovation at the University of Basel, speaks about the ongoing transformation of the “Rhine City” into a thriving innovation hub – and the many challenges along the way. His keynote will be followed by a Q&A session and a networking reception.

A Tale of Two Cities

Home to the oldest universities in their respective countries and thriving life sciences scenes, both Boston and Basel are two hot contestants in the global competition for talent.

Now, the University of Basel decided to also go all in when it comes to translating bright ideas into actionable startups. With the newly established Innovation & Entrepreneurship division, headed by Christian Schneider, the school is working towards a regional and global innovation network to support a thriving startup culture in Basel.

Hear Christian Schneider detail Basel’s story of innovation and their effort to actively promote the translation of scientific discoveries into innovative applications and spin-off companies. The process was inspired by the University of Basel’s 2016 delegation study tour to Boston.


6:00 pm Doors open
6:30 pm Welcoming remarks | swissnex Boston
6:35 pm Introduction | Matthias Geering, Head of Communication & Marketing, UniBas
6:45 pm Keynote | Christian Schneider, Head of Innovation, UniBas
7:15 pm Panel discussion | Fostering Innovation Hubs | Network reception to follow

Keynote Speaker

Christian Schneider

Head of Innovation, University of Basel

With an academic background in International Affairs, European Studies and over 10 years professional experience internationally – Christian Schneider is a true global citizen. Before joining the University of Basel, Schneider headed the Science & Technology office in Seoul, Korea. He joined the University of Basel with the ambitious mission of establishing a culture of entrepreneurship and a thriving environment for innovation.




Maggie O’Toole

Vice President for Operations, Lab Central

Maggie O’Toole is the vice president of operations at LabCentral. She provides overall direction and guidance to the operational activities of the company and oversees expansion projects including the Harvard Life Lab, a branch of the Harvard Innovation Labs operated by LabCentral as well as MIT’s The Engine. Maggie has more than 20 years of experience in business start-ups working with the founders to establish a company’s infrastructure and ultimately is responsible for business management and daily operations.  Maggie earned her bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University.


Siobhan O’Mahony

Academic Director, Research and Curriculum, Innovate@BU Associate Professor, Strategy and Innovation Dean’s Research Fellow, University of Boston

Professor O’Mahony’s research explores how technical and creative projects organize for innovation. She is interested in how people create organizing structures that promote innovation, creativity and growth without replicating the bureaucratic structures they strive to avoid. A former consultant with Price Waterhouse LLP and Electronic Data Systems, she has consulted to organizations such as IDEO, the Global Business Network, Novell, Cap Gemini, Proquest, Microsoft, McDonald Investments, and the European Union.


Ian Roy

Director for Research Technology and Innovation, Head of Brandeis MakerLab and Adjunct Professor in the Brandeis International Business School

Ian Roy is the Director for Research Technology and Innovation in Brandeis University’s Library. He is also the Founding Head of the Brandeis MakerLab and an Adjunct Professor at the Brandeis International Business School. He works with researchers to overcome the technological hurdles they encounter in their workflows, top to bottom, and is constantly running local pilots in new technologies to address their needs. Ian specializes in not only the technical aspects, but also the policy and political implications of implementing emerging technologies on campus.

Jonas Brunschwig (Moderator)

Project Leader, Academic Relations, Swissnex Boston

At swissnex Boston Jonas connects Switzerland’s higher education ecosystem to the Boston area and the East Coast with the aim to foster collaborations and connections in science, education, technology, and the arts around programs and projects that advance knowledge in diverse fields and address pressing societal issues. Jonas is also a graduate student in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT where he focuses on the political economy of production and aims to understand interactions between firms and governments that facilitate the process of industrial development in Sub-Saharan Africa.



The University of Basel has an international reputation for outstanding achievements in research and teaching. Founded in 1460,  it is the oldest university in Switzerland and has a history of success going back over 550 years. As a comprehensive university offering a wide range of high-quality educational opportunities, the University of Basel attracts students both from Switzerland and around the world. The university has positioned itself amidst international competition in the form of five strategic focal areas: Life Sciences, Visual Studies, Nanosciences, Sustainability and Energy Research and European and Global Studies.