SWISSTECH in Japan 2021: Targeting BEYOND-ZERO societies

Swiss solutions towards decarbonization

Sign up and join our online session to get in-depth insights on direct air capture and synthetic fuel technologies with experts at Climeworks, Synhelion and EPFL Innovation Park!

October 25, 2021, 18:00 – 19:00 JP time, online

As the world is faced with the pressing challenges of global warming, advanced economies such as Switzerland and Japan are engaging faster than ever with decarbonization and environmental efforts. Both countries have set a similar target of net-zero emission by 2050.

Shifting away from fossil energy as well as implementing Direct Air Capture technologies, in addition to cutting emissions, will constitute key factors on the road to achieving the 2050 goal.

International cooperation and exchanges in Research & Development make particularly sense for two innovation power houses such as Switzerland and Japan. Our 2021 SWISSTECH online event will introduce two highly innovative Swiss Startups which operate at the frontier of decarbonization: Climeworks removes carbon out of the atmosphere; Synhelion turns it into synthetic fuel for transportation.

Join us to learn more about these Swiss solutions to close the carbon cycle and discover the many advantages of Switzerland as a platform for Research & Development in the cleantech sector.

October 25, 2021, 18:00 – 19:00 JP time, online



Opening remarks by the Ambassador of Switzerland to Japan, Dr. Andreas Baum


Professor Andreas Züttel, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and Director of the Laboratory of Materials for Renewable Energy (LMER)

Technical and Economic Impact of a Carbon Neutral Energy Economy in Switzerland

The limited fossil resources and the CO2 emission due to the combustion of fossil fuels require a change of the energy economy from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Global growth in population and wealth is only possible if the material cycles are closed and the sources of energy are renewable. Switzerland is unique in view of electricity production which is since more than 100 years free of CO2 emission. The main challenge in a renewable based energy economy is seasonal storage and the energy for mobility.  It has ecologic, technical and economic consequences. What renewable energy conversion and storage system is ecologically acceptable, technically feasible and economically affordable and allows to substitute the fossil fuels.


Dr. Gianluca Ambrosetti, CEO and co-founder, Synhelion

Turning air and sunlight into fuels

Synhelion has developed a pioneering approach to turn air and sunlight into fuels. The ETH Zurich spin-off company uses concentrated sunlight to produce clean synthetic fuels, such as jet fuel, gasoline, or diesel. Dr. Gianluca Ambrosetti, CEO of Synhelion, talks about the current state of the technological development, the road to market-readiness, and explains why liquid hydrocarbon will continue to play a decisive role in the future.


Daniel Egger, Chief Commercial Officer, Climeworks  AG

Direct Air Capture technology made in Switzerland: characteristics and opportunities in the Japanese market

More and more governments and companies are setting net zero targets to be compliant with the climate targets set in the Paris agreement. To become net zero it is not only necessary to reduce CO2 emissions as much as possible, but also to remove unavoidable emissions. Climeworks has developed a Direct Air Capture technology, where machines are capturing CO2 directly from air. Orca plant in Iceland with a nominal capacity of 4’000 t of Carbon Dioxide Removal per year, delivers the CO2 for underground mineralization where the CO2 is stored permanently and safely.


Closing remarks

Climeworks helps companies to achieve their climate targets by permanently removing carbon dioxide from the air. One of two things happens to our air-captured carbon dioxide: either it is returned to earth, stored safely and permanently away for millions of years, or it is upcycled into climate-friendly products such as carbon-neutral fuels and materials. Our direct air capture technology runs exclusively on clean energy, and our modular CO2 collectors can be stacked to build machines of any size. Founded by engineers Christoph Gebald and Jan Wurzbacher, we strive to inspire 1 billion people to act now and remove carbon dioxide from the air.

Daniel Egger is the Chief Commercial Officer at Climeworks, a Swiss company that empowers people to reverse climate change by permanently removing carbon dioxide from the air through a technology called direct air captures. Daniel’s background is in engineering, he holds and MSc in industrial engineering from ETH Zurich and has many years’ experience in Quality Management, Product and Process Development and Marketing & Sales at different industrial companies. Daniel is an experienced speaker and passionate about restoring a healthy balance of CO2 in the air.

Synhelion is a global pioneer in the field of sustainable solar fuels. The Swiss clean energy company evolved from ETH Zurich in 2016. Synhelion uses high-temperature solar heat to convert CO2 and water into synthetic fuels. The fuels produced by Synhelion – such as solar gasoline, diesel, or jet fuel – are compatible with conventional internal combustion engines and turbines. With its solar fuel technology, Synhelion offers a truly sustainable and economically viable alternative to fossil fuels and unlocks a clean future of transportation.

Dr. Gianluca Ambrosetti is the CEO and co-founder of Synhelion. The clean energy company evolved from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) in 2016. The solutions of Synhelion leverage high-temperature solar heat to radically decarbonize industrial processes and turn CO2 into fuel. Gianluca has a PhD in Physics/Nanotechnology from EPFL Lausanne. Before founding Synhelion, he held various positions in the concentrated solar power and photovoltaics industry – among them he was Head of Research at Airlight Energy and Managing Director of Dsolar. His achievements include several patents and scientific publications, and he is the recipient of the EPFL Prix Prof. René Wasserman 2011. Gianluca is a passionate jazz soprano saxophone player and performs regularly at concerts and jazz festivals.

Prof. Andreas Züttel Born 22. 8. 1963 in Bern, Switzerland. 1985 Engineering Degree in Chemistry, Burgdorf, Switzerland. 1990 Diploma in Physics from the Unversity of Fribourg (UniFR), Switzerland. 1993 Dr. rer. nat. from the science faculty UniFR. 1994 Post Doc with AT&T Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey, USA. 1997 Lecturer at the Physics Department UniFR. 2003 External professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands. 2004 Habilitation in experimental physics at the science faculty UniFR. President of the Swiss Hydrogen Association „HYDROPOLE,“. 2006 Head of the section “Hydrogen & Energy” at EMPA and Prof. tit. in the Physics department UniFR. 2009 Guest Professor at IMR, Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. 2012 Visiting Professor at Delft Technical University, The Netherlands, 2014 Full Professor for Physical Chemsitry, Institut des Sciences et Ingénierie Chimiques, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL,, Switzerland. 2017 Co-Foundert of GRZ Technologies Ltd. ( 2020 Member of the Swiss Academy of Technical Science (SATW,

Switzerland Innovation Park West EPFL aims to support international corporations in being more innovative by harnessing academia as a source of innovation thanks to new technologies. Switzerland Innovation West EPFL equals a network of six parks in Western Switzerland covering all Innovation Areas. Highly skilled humans, top equipped laboratories and a unique atmosphere ensure the creation of tomorrows best sellers.