13. November 2022

Scientist Martine Clozel honored with the Prix Suisse 2022

The Prix Suisse 2022 goes to Martine Clozel. The award was presented by the President of the National Council, Irène Kälin, the highest Swiss citizen. Martine Clozel is a doctor, scientist and entrepreneur. In 1997, she co-founded Actelion and, in 2017, Idorsia, which builds on her 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical research. The Prix Suisse is an annual award presented by the non-profit organisation Initiative Switzerland to prominent figures who have made outstanding contributions to Switzerland.

Suhr, 13 November 2022

The award ceremony took place on Saturday, 12 November in the Kursaal Bern, with around 400 invited guests from the worlds of business, science, politics and sport. The Prix Suisse 2022 was awarded to doctor, scientist and entrepreneur Martine Clozel. “Martine Clozel is not only a doctor and scientist, but also a successful company founder whose medical research and development has led to the creation of many new pharmaceuticals in Switzerland. Her work is changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients around the world. Martine Clozel is an inspiration and role model for everyone in Switzerland. We are therefore delighted to honour her with this year’s Prix Suisse,” explains Stefan Linder, Head of Initiative Switzerland. Since 2021, the non-profit organisation Initiative Schweiz has awarded the Prix Suisse annually to a person who has made outstanding contributions to Switzerland. Award winner Martine Clozel: “The Prix Suisse is a great honour for me. It is also a recognition of Switzerland as a location for innovation and business, which offers optimal conditions for both successful research and new companies.”

Inspiring keynote from Dietmar Dahmen and vegetarian gala dinner

During the award ceremony, internationally renowned speaker Dietmar Dahmen gave a keynote speech on leadership, sustainability and problem solving. Dahmen’s refreshing presentation attracted a great deal of interest with his wit and use of a flame thrower to illustrate global warming. His conclusion: “Leadership means doing!”

The vegetarian gala dinner was created by two Michelin star chef and young shooting star Dominik Hartmann, Discovery of the Year 2021, vegetarian pioneer Rolf Hiltl, who is the fourth generation of his family to run the world’s first ever vegetarian restaurant, and the kitchen staff of Kursaal Bern. The crowning glory of the gala dinner was courtesy of world champion patissier Rolf Mürner together with the cheese specialists from Jumi. Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by the seven-member male voice choir Heimweh.

Promoting Swiss innovation: Connexa Helvetica and EntrepreneurSkills

The gala evening in Bern also offered an opportunity to showcase two projects and a partnership with Switzerland Innovation, which are all supported by Initiative Switzerland and are representative of the innovative strength in Switzerland. When selecting projects and partnerships, Initiative Switzerland focuses on forward-looking ideas, new innovative technologies and good, consistent implementation in the real world.

Connexa Helvetica network between generations: The mastermind behind this project is economist and entrepreneur Christian Häuselmann. Based on the vision of the future, the Connexa Helvetica project promotes dialogue between generations across languages. In 2022, Connexa Helvetica, in cooperation with Initiative Switzerland, held various events throughout Switzerland, including at the Federal Palace in Bern, Geneva Airport, the House of Encounter in Ilanz/Glion and the Eranos Foundation in Ascona.

EntrepreneurSkills: The aim of IG EntrepreneurSkills is to establish Entrepreneurship as a competition at SwissSkills and to promote the topic of entrepreneurial thinking and acting at vocational schools. The founders of the interest group are the GZS (start-up services of the canton of Solothurn), the SDK (Swiss Conference of Directors of Vocational Schools), the Innovation & Strategic Entrepreneurship institute at the Department of Economics of Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH), entrepreneurs and FH SCHWEIZ (umbrella organisation of graduates of universities of applied sciences).

Switzerland Innovation: The Initiative Switzerland and Switzerland Innovation use synergies to promote innovation in Switzerland. Networking between universities and companies takes place at Switzerland Innovation's six locations. Through the exchange between science and business, ideas are further developed in such a way that new products and services are created that can be successfully marketed. Together, the innovation site Switzerland is promoted and strengthened in a targeted manner.