Innovators’ Forum

The C4L Innovators’ Forum is a series of inspirational events where students, academia and industry meet, discuss and examine hot translational topics in various life sciences engineering domains and beyond. 

Every two months, speakers from industry, start-up, bodies etc will introduce the subject with 30min of presentation followed by an interactive QA session and round table discussion. 

As many of our graduates take up a job in industry, this Forum aims to discuss relevant subjects for students, PhD students, Postdocs and upcoming start-ups and guide toward a successful career in industry or as an entrepreneur.

Students are specially invited to join!

The latest edition

Managing cultural diversity in technical and scientific professions

Thursday, September 29, 2022, 16:30 – 17:30
Hybrid Event: SV 1717 and Zoom

SPEAKER: Lionel Laroche
President at MultiCultural Business Solutions Inc.

Lionel received his education in France and the United States and started his career in Canada as an engineer. He worked with technical professionals from all over the world and in Germany and Italy on expatriate assignments. The cultural adaptation process, after immigrating to Canada and working on international assignments for multinational companies, taught him so much that he decided to use the knowledge to help professionals from all over the world to achieve career success and organizations benefit from the opportunities brought by a diverse workforce and the global market.

Over the past fifteen years, Lionel has provided cross-cultural training, coaching and consulting services to over 20,000 people through a wide range of business, government, academic, professional and non-profit organizations in fourteen countries (Canada, the U.S., Bermuda, Mexico, Peru, Belgium, Switzerland, France, the UK, Turkey, UAE, Hong Kong, China and Korea).

Lionel is a thought provoking and educational speaker / facilitator who presented at over 200 conferences and venues across Canada and the United States. He is the author of two books examining the impact of cultural differences on business at the organizational and individual level entitled:

  • Managing Cultural Diversity in Technical Professions
  • Recruiting, Retaining and Promoting Culturally Diverse Employeess

Lionel holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, USA and a “Diplôme d’ingénieur polytechnicien” from the École Polytechnique de Paris, France.

Hybrid Event: SV 1717 and Zoom

Matt is a leading head hunter within the Swiss Pharmaceutical industry and has experience working with small start-ups and biotech’s to some of the big names like Moderna, Lonza and Novartis. In addition to this he runs a small YouTube channel and has over 12,000 followers on Linked-in. He’s passionate about helping people to understand how recruitment works and also is a big advocate for self improvement and personal development.

SPEAKER: Matt Beedle, Executive Partner at NonStop Consulting

Hybrid Event: SV 1717 and Zoom

An introduction about how to generate the supporting scientific evidence of innovative nutrition and the role and capabilities of R&D scientists in that domain.

A lively discussion about how bio-engineers and life science graduates fit in the NIHS, and about skills that are most important for jobs, internships.

SPEAKER: Eline M. van der Beek, PhD, Head of Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS)

Via Zoom, 17:00 – 18:00

Discover Merck’s new approach to science and their research areas and discuss opportunities and ways of collaboration.

SPEAKER: Sven Pötzsch, Senior Innovation Manager at Merck Healthcare KGaA, Strategic Innovation (SI)

In his position as a Senior Innovation Manager at Merck Healthcare KGaA, Strategic Innovation (SI), Sven is responsible for the scouting, evaluating, and managing of strategic alliances with academic research institutions and other open innovation initiatives.

The main goal in these initiatives is to develop an inspiring and shared purpose that enables the Merck R&D teams to collaborate beyond internal borders and to expand our opportunities by collective innovation.

Prior to joining SI, Sven was a Lab Head and Scientific Manager at Central Analytics of Merck. In this role he was responsible for a broad quantitative bioanalytical support (LC-MS/MS) in a variety of Healthcare R&D and Life-Science related tasks like DMPK, Biomarker analytics and Metabolomics.

Sven is a chemist by training and holds a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry.

Via Zoom, 18:00 – 19:00

Explore the different careers and role types in the MedTech industry and discover how to effectively transition from your studies and academia to industry. In the highly interactive session, we will also approach the importance of Linkedn and other social media to find your dream job.

SPEAKER: Elena Kyria, Founder of Elemed, Europe’s leading MedTech technical recruiter

Elena Kyria is an award winning talent acquisition specialist, focused on professional branding and talent attraction in the EU medtech industry. Having worked with startups through to global corporations, Elena is well versed in the challenges associated with attracting and retaining talent. Elena began her career at the recruiting firm Huntress, where she was responsible for starting the medical device recruitment division. Today, she is the founder of Elemed, a boutique talent management agency uniquely positioned to help the Medtech industry reach candidates in the wake of the new regulations. Alongside Elemed, Elena is also a Linkedin all- star user and manages a thriving online community of over 6000 professionals. She also coaches and supports top talent on how to build a strong professional brand, to help maximise career possibilities. Elena is also passionate about supporting new talent entering the medtech industry, frequently giving talks to universities and associations such as the University of Cambridge and Medtech accelerator.


17:00 – 18:00

Setting Milestones in Medical Device Development
Ary Saaman, PhD, Regulatory Affairs Professional Society, Switzerland Chapter

18:00 – 19:00

Advances in Nanoimmunotherapies
Abraham J.P. Teunissen, PhD, Director of Radiochemistry, Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, United States