Guest speakers


Claudio Böer

Image Claudio Böer

After graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering from Turin Polytechnic, Claudio Boër moved to Canada, where he received a Master’s degree from Waterloo University and a Doctorate from Carleton University.
He has had more than 16 years of experience in Swiss industry, where he has performed a range of roles in the research and management fields, including that of Deputy Director for Industrialisation at Charmilles Technologies SA.
His experience in the academic field is also significant: lecturer and professor at Lausanne Polytechnic and Milan Polytechnic. In addition to this, for 6 years he was Director of the SUPSI CIM Institute for Sustainability in Innovation (ICIMSI). Claudio Boër is currently a visiting professor at the Guangdong University of Technology (China) and the South China University of Technology.
He has also accumulated consultancy experience in various areas, including his role as expert for the Federal Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) from 1991 to 2008. From 2008 to 2012 he held the position of Director of Applied Research and Professional Training at Swissnex-China. Author of more 250 publications and four books, Claudio Boër is a consultant to the Governor of Guangdong Province and a member of the Federal Commission of Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts.


Giovanni Azzone

Image Giovanni Azzone

In 1986 he graduated with honor in Industrial Technology Engineering and Economic-Organisational Management from the Politecnico di Milano. He has been Professor of Economics and Business Organisation at the Politecnico di Milano since 1994.

He has been Chairman of Arexpo SpA since 2016 and a member of the Board of Directors of Poste Italiane SpA since May 2016. Since 2015, he has been a member of the Ethics Committee of AssoCunsult-Confindustria, a member of the SIBAC-Seoul International Business Advisory Council, a member of the Council for the Accreditation of Swiss Universities and of the Scientific Council of the Fondazione Piano. In September 2016 Giovanni Azzone was appointed by the Renzi Cabinet to coordinate the mission for the Casa Italia project. Since February 2019 he has been President of the Fondazione di Comunità di Milano (Fondazione Cariplo).

Knut Blind

Image Knut Blind

Prof. Dr. Knut Blind studied economics, political science and psychology at Freiburg University. In the course of his studies he spent one year at Brock University (Canada), where he was awarded a BA. Finally, he took his Diploma in Economics and later his doctoral degree at Freiburg University.

Between 1996 and 2010 he joined the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, Karlsruhe, Germany, as a senior researcher and at last as head of the Competence Center "Regulation and Innovation". In April 2006 Knut Blind was appointed Professor of Innovation Economics at the Faculty of Economics and Management at the Berlin University of Technology. Between 2008 and 2016 he held also the endowed chair of standardisation at the Rotterdam School of Management of the Erasmus University. From April 2010 he is linked to the Fraunhofer Institute of Open Communication Systems in Berlin. In 2012, he initiated both the Berlin Innovation Panel and the German Standardization Panel. Besides numerous articles on innovation he published further contributions on standardization, patents and further innovation aspects in refereed journals.

Otto Bruun

Image Otto Bruun

Otto Bruun is the European advisor for innovation at SwissCore, the Swiss liaison office to the EU for education, research, and innovation. In this role he represents the interests of the Swiss innovation community to the EU institutions and informs Swiss stakeholders about the latest developments in Brussels.

Swisscore works in close collaboration with SERI, Innosuisse, SNSF, and swissuniversities. He is national expert in the Swiss delegation to the Horizon 2020 programme committees for SME programmes and for strategic configuration. He represents Innosuisse in TAFTIE at the working group level and he chairs the IGLO working group on innovation policy ( He was a scientific collaborator at the Swiss National Centre for Competence in Research for Affective Sciences between 2003 and 2009. He then moved to the private sector, taking on the role of project manager at, providing management services to Swiss SMEs and start-ups. From 2012, he took on the role of Head of Operations at
He holds a Masters in Philosophy from the University of Geneva and an M.A. in History from the University of St. Andrews.

Paola Corna Pellegrini

Image Paola Corna Pellegrini

Paola Corna Pellegrini, CEO of Allianz Partners since 2011, has made innovation and the enhancement of women the strategic pillars of corporate growth, and a distinctive feature of her leadership style, contributing to the development of resources and business. In 1982, she joined Henkel Cosmetic, where at the age of 28 she became a manager in the role of Marketing Manager Personal Care. In 1990 she entered the world of services when she joined Europe Assistance, first as Marketing Director and then as Sales&Marketing Director. In 1996 she entered the pharmaceutical market as Marketing Director of Novartis Consumer Health Italia, becoming in 2002 BU Head OTC and in 2004 General Manager OTC. At the beginning of 2006 she joined Zambon Pharma in an international role, becoming Worldwide General Manager and Member of the Board of Directors, as well as Managing Director of Zambon Italia. In January 2009, she embarked on an independent career as a Corporate & Business Strategy Consultant in the Healthcare and Well-being sectors, working for various pharmaceutical, cosmetic and biotech companies and communication agencies, both national and international.

Paola Corna Pellegrini graduated in Mathematics from the University of Padova and obtained an MBA from the CUOA Business School of Vicenza. She is one of the top 72 Italian women managers selected for the "Ready for Board Women" project, promoted by the Professional Women Association (PWA) in collaboration with Bocconi University and is part of the "Excellent Curricula" selected by the Marisa Bellisario Foundation. She is the creator of the Premio Valeria Solesin, realized with the Forum della Meritocrazia of which she is Vice President, dedicated to the promotion of female talent in the academic and professional fields.

Alessandro Faccendetti

Image Alessandro Faccendetti

Alessandro Faccendetti graduated in Economics and business from the Università Cattolica of Milan, specialising in Business organisation.

He collaborates with a leading business-consulting firm in the field of human resources with a particular focus on Corporate restructuring. In 2000 he began his collaboration with Andersen Consulting (later Accenture) in the Financial Services sector, where he worked on projects in both the Insurance and Banking sectors. He then moved to Eds in the Consulting area and then, following the merger with HP, took gradual responsibilities in the outsourcing sector, moving from the leadership of the Italian area to that of the South Cluster (which in addition to Italy also includes France, Spain and Portugal). Since January 2017 he has been Managing Director Italy and Spain for Swiss Post Solutions, a company of the Swiss Post group.

Enrico Nardelli

Image Enrico Nardelli

Enrico Nardelli is full professor of Informatics at the University of Roma "Tor Vergata", affiliated with the Department of Mathematics, which appears in many top rank lists of research institutes, both Italian and international.

Since Aprile 2014 he has been coordinating the project Programma il Futuro for the introduction of basic concepts of informatics as a scientific subject in Italian schools, with emphasis on primary schools and on computational thinking. Since January 2018 he has been President of Informatics Europe, the association of informatics departments and research laboratories in Europe and neighbouring areas. Since March 2017 he has been the Coordinator of the CINI's Working Group on Informatics and School, the group of CINI (the Italian national inter-university Consortium for Informatics) working on all issues related to Informatics as a scientific discipline in school.
Since January 2016 he has been a member of the Committee on European Computing Education, a working group on Informatics Education in Europe, established as a joint effort by Informatics Europe and the ACM Europe Council. He is also a member of the Advisory Committee of the Hour of Code and CS Ed Week.
Since July 2015 he has been a member of the ACM Europe Council, comprised of European computer scientists committed to fostering the visibility and relevance of the Association for Computing Machinery in Europe.


Renzo Cicilini

Image Renzo Cicilini

Renzo Cicillini obtained a Master degree of Advanced Studies in Communication Management & Leadership from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW).

Since may 2019 he has been Site Head of Lonza in Visp where he was previously Head of Communications & Site Marketing, leading various challenging communication and marketing projects within the company and participating in key projects, which allowed him to gain fundamental experience in further developing the Visp site. In his new position, he is responsible for the site as a whole and in particular for Site Services & Infrastructure.

Christoph Eymann

Image Christoph Eymann

Christoph Eymann studied law at the University of Basel. He is a Member of the Swiss National Council of the Liberal Democratic Party of Basel-Stadt.

From 1984 to 1995 he was a Member of the Grand Council of the Canton of Basel-Stadt. For 16 years, from 2001 to 2017, he was Director of the Department of Education of Basel-Stadt and from 2013 to 2016 President of the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK). He is Vice-President of the Parliamentary Intergroup for Tourism and Co-President of the Parliamentary Intergroup for Continuing Education; as well as President of Smart Regio Basel and member of the Executive committee of educationsuisse.
Since May 2019, he has been President of the Schweizerische Konferenz für Sozialhilfe (SKOS).

Dominique Foray

Image Dominique Foray

Since 2004 Dominique Foray has been Full Professor at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) - Chair of the Economics and Management of Innovation - a research laboratory to develop teaching and research in the area of economics and management of innovation, knowledge and technology.

Foray Obtained his PhD in economics from the University Lumière of Lyon. Appointed as Professor in 1991 at École Centrale de Paris and in 1995 at University Paris Dauphine, then as Principal Analyst at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2000. At the EPFL he is also Dean of the College of Management of Technology. He has been Member of the Swiss Council for Science & Innovation (SWR) since 2006 and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Swiss Economic Research Institute (KOF – ETHZ) since 2018.

Martina Hirayama

Image Martina Hirayama

Martina Hirayama has been State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) since 1st January 2019. She studied chemistry at the University of Fribourg, at the ETH Zurich and at Imperial College London and has extensive experience in research, innovation, teaching, entrepreneurship, management and administration.

From 2011 to 2018, she was Vice President of the board of Innosuisse, (Switzerland’s Innovation Promotion Agency) and President of the Institute Council of METAS, the Federal Institute of Metrology. Before joining the SERI, she lectured in industrial chemistry at Zurich University of Applied Sciences Winterthur ZHW. The SBFI has 280 employees and manages a budget of CHF 4.5 billion.


Marco Borradori

Image Marco Borradori

Born in Lugano on 6 June 1959, in 1983 he completed his law studies in Zürich, and in 1986 became a lawyer and notary.
In 1991 he was elected to the National Council for the Lega dei Ticinesi, and in 1992 he entered the Lugano Municipality Administration Body. In 1995 he stood for the State Council, where he headed the Department of the Territory until 2013.

On 14 April 2013 he was elected Mayor of Lugano, with 14,212 votes. In this capacity, he directs the Institutions Department, which includes the Municipal Chancellery, Human Resources, Communications and Institutional Relations, Economic Development, together with the Districts Office).

Riccardo Braglia

Image Riccardo Braglia

Riccardo Braglia is Vice President and Managing Director of the Helsinn Group, a family-owned pharmaceutical company founded in 1976 by Gabriele Braglia, with headquarters in Lugano, which aims to improve the quality of life of cancer patients by distributing its products in over 190 countries worldwide. With over 34 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry,
Riccardo Braglia currently serves as a Member of the Board of Directors of Helsinn Healthcare, Switzerland, Helsinn Advanced Synthesis, Switzerland, Helsinn Birex Pharmaceuticals, Ireland, and Helsinn Pharmaceuticals, China. He is CEO of Helsinn Holding, Switzerland and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Helsinn Therapeutics, USA and Helsinn Investment Fund, Luxembourg.

Riccardo Braglia is also involved in philanthropic initiatives, financially supporting cultural, social, artistic and international cancer research activities. He graduated in Economics and Business at the Università Bocconi in Milano.

Carmine Garzia

Image Carmine Garzia

Carmine Garzia is Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI), he is Head of Research of the Department of Business Economics, Health and Social Care (DEASS) of the same institution.

He is Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurial Strategy at Bocconi University and of Management and Competitive Intelligence at the University of Italian Switzerland (USI) in Lugano.
His research interests include: strategic management, innovation and entrepreneurship. His specific applied research and advisory expertise and domain knowledge are in, amongst others, metals, construction and building components, advanced manufacturing, ICT and fine foods & beverages. As business strategy advisor he coordinated and contributed to growth and restructuring projects, investment evaluation and M&A transactions.
He was Associate Professor of Management and Deputy Dean at University of Gastronomic Science  (UNISG) at Pollenzo Bra, Assistant Professor of Management at University of Valle D’Aosta, Post Doctoral Fellow at University of Italian Switzerland and Research Fellow at the Department of Management of Bocconi University and visiting researcher at the Department of Information Science of the University of Bergen.
He received a Degree in Business Administration and a PhD in Business Administration and Management from Bocconi University.

Franco Gervasoni

Image Franco Gervasoni

Franco Gervasoni obtained a diploma in Civil Engineering at the Federal Polytechnic of Zurich in 1991. After a language course in Cambridge at the beginning of 1992, he was hired by the Ceresa Rezzonico Engineering Studio (later renamed Ceresa - Rezzonico - Gervasoni SA), with offices in Airolo and Bellinzona. In 1995 he became co-owner of this studio, which in those years was comprised of about 25 employees.

His work activities were particularly focused on the structural analysis of important buildings (for example the Bedrina barracks of Airolo, the Swisscom building in Giubiasco, and the cantonal archive of Bellinzona, and on the redevelopment of reinforced concrete and natural stone bridges, many of which are in Val Verzasca). Concurrently, in 1994 He started his work as a teacher at the Higher Technical School, now the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) in Lugano. Between 1994 and 2008 he taught degree courses in civil engineering and architecture in the following subjects: construction in steel, timber and concrete, statics, and theory of structures. In 2003 he was awarded the title of SUPSI Professor. Within SUPSI, he has also increasingly assumed leadership roles. He left the engineering firm in 2001, being appointed as Director of the Department of Environment, Construction and Design (DACD) at SUPSI. Since January 2008 he has been the Director of SUPSI (

He also directed, ad interim, the Department of Training and Learning at SUPSI from November 2011 to June 2012. In January 2015, He was elected member of the Board of swissuniversities, and since January 2016 he has been Chairman of the Strategic Planning delegation of swissuniversities. Since 2019 he has been Full Member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences SATW.

Alberto Petruzzella

Image Alberto Petruzzella

Alberto Petruzzella received a degree in law from the University of Lausanne in 1991: a fundamental step, which, after a learning experience as an officer in the Swiss Army, opened the doors to a brilliant career, first of all in UBS (7 years), and subsequently at Credit Suisse (18 years), covering a range of different positions of responsibility. In effect, he was initially in charge of commercial clients, then head of private banking for Southern Switzerland, and for the last 10 years of his banking career he was Head of Ticino Region for Credit Suisse.

In the conviction that strong career development requires appropriate training, in 2005 he attended the Programme Supérieur pour Dirigéants (PSD) at the l’Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD) in Paris.

Alberto Petruzzella holds many positions in Associations, Foundations, Companies and Academic Institutions, including that of President of the Board of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland  (SUPSI), committee member of the Association of Ticino Industries (AITI) and of the Ticino Banking Association (ABT), and he is Board Member of the Vezia Banking Studies Centre Foundation (Fondazione del Centro Studi Bancari di Vezia).

Giambattista Ravano

Image Giambattista Ravano

Researcher, with a degree in physics awarded by the Federal Institute of Technology – ETH Zürich, Giambattista Ravano majored in computer science and worked in the private sector as a manager, consultant and leader of various IT projects.

Professor at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI), he established the Department of Innovative Technologies (DTI), which he directed for many years.  Today he is a member of the SUPSI Board, as Director for Research and Innovation. 
He is currently Vice President of the Swiss University Accreditation Council (Consiglio svizzero di accreditamento delle università) and President of the Canton Ticino Regional Development and Innovation Agency (Agenzia per lo sviluppo e l’innovazione regionale del Cantone Ticino – AGIRE foundation).

Roles covered in include: member of the Swiss Science and innovation Council (CSSI) – responsible for innovation-related issues – member of the Research Commission and of the First-level University Education Commission of the Swiss Conference of Rectors of Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts (Conferenza svizzera dei Rettori delle Scuole universitarie professionali svizzere - SUP), and President of the Ticino Data Processing Association (ATED).
Always attentive to young people and their lives, Giambattista Ravano was member of the Association for the Protection of Children (ASPI), and is currently a Board Member of the Foundation.

Fabio Regazzi

Image Fabio Regazzi

Fabio Regazzi, born in 1962, obtained a Federal High School Leaving qualification from Collegio Papio in Ascona, and then, in 1988, received a degree in law from the University of Zürich. From 1992 to 1999 he was joint-proprietor of a law firm and notary’s office based in Locarno and Gordola. From 2000 to 2010 he was CEO of Regazzi Holding SA, a family firm operating in the construction products and metal processing sector, in 2010 becoming Chairman of the Board of Directors.  

In the political sphere, after 16 years on the Grand Council, since 2011 Fabio Regazzi has held a seat on the National Council in the Christian Democratic People’s Party of Switzerland Group (PPD), and has been a member of the Commission for Transport and Telecommunications.  
He has been President of the Swiss Shippers’ Council (SSC) since 2012, and President of the Association of Ticino Industries (AITI) since 2015. In addition to this, since 2011 he has been President of the Federation of Ticino Hunters (FCTI).

Christian Vitta

Image Christian Vitta

After attending the Cantonal High School of Commerce in Bellinzona, Christian Vitta first obtained a degree in Economics from the University of Fribourg, before completing his Doctorate studies in 2001.

Professionally, he has collaborated as an assistant at the Università della Svizzera italiana – USI, (Faculty of Economics), and as a researcher at the Institute of Economic Research (Istituto di ricerche economiche). He was Director of a consulting and accounting company with head office in Lugano.

His political career began at the municipal level in 1996, when he was elected to the Municipal Council of the Town of S. Antonino. In 2000 he was elected Mayor, a role he covered until April 2015. 
At the Cantonal level, he was a member of the Grand Council from 2001 to 2015. He has led the Radical Liberal Party since 2007, and in 2012 he was appointed President of the Management and Finance Commission.
He has also been a member of the Committee of the Association of Ticino Municipalities (Comitato dell’Associazione dei Comuni Ticinesi), the Federal Commission of Lotteries and Gambling (Commissione federale delle lotterie e delle scommesse), the Commission for the Supervision of Education of Local Bodies (Commissione di vigilanza sulla formazione degli Enti locali), the Committee of the Association of Swiss Municipalities (Comitato dell’Associazione dei Comuni Svizzeri), and the Ethical-Legal Commission of the Healthcare Network Project (Commissione etico-giuridica del progetto Rete sanitaria).

Since 2015 he has been State Councillor and Director of the Department of Finance and Economic Affairs. In 2019 he was elected State President of the Canton Ticino.