A festive inaugural ceremony of a China-Switzerland Medical Robotic collaboration was held at Microcity, Neuchâtel on 27, May 2016. Dr. Ban Wang from Grosso Link Sàrl hosted the event. Prof. Hannes Bleuler are invited as the first keynote speaker, who illustrated the R&D activities of the medical robotics in his laboratory LSRO-EPFL He illustrated the bright future of the integration and industrialization of the parallel robotics, intelligent manipulation and haptic integration in medical robotics. Secondly, Prof. Pierre-André Farine from ESPLAB-EPFL gave the speech on the topic of the cutting-edge microelectronic technology applicable in medical robotics. The low-power electronics, advanced signal processing algorithms and high-resolution cameras will have great contribution on the medical robotic industry. Then, Dr. Hanson Xiong and Mr. Desert Yang, who are both from Robo Medical Robotics Technology Shenzhen, presented the R&D achievement of their company and great marketing potential in China. More than 30 engineers and scientists from EPFL, ETHZ, UZH, CSEM were attended.
A good start of medical robotic project
With the help of Grosso Link Sàrl located in Neuchâtel, the collaboration project between Robo Medical Shenzhen and EPFL laboratories with an initial budget of CHF 360’000 has been started in March 2016. As far as we know, this is the first direct collaboration of basic scientific R&D project between Chinese private investment and EPFL laboratories.
Furthermore, a new company, Robo Medical Switzerland Sàrl, has been created in May 2016. This company will focus on the R&D of medical robotics and promote the collaboration and investment with Swiss academic partners and cutting-edge technologies. Along the development plan of the company, it has the need of employment in order to expand the Swiss team.
Chinese private investment switches to basic R&D
After 30 years of rapid development of Chinese economic, China is in the key accelerated period of the transformation and upgrading from traditional industries. Many companies in China now reach limitation of continuous high-speed growth but have to become innovative; while more and more traditional enterprises change from low-end labor-intensive manufacturing to high-profit long-term R&D. They are trying to switch the invested direction and pay more attention to basic R&Ds.
Switzerland gives an excellent example for the future development of China. The mature and solid Swiss basic science and engineering research competence could match the need from the highly technical mandate of Chinese small and middle size companies. As we have observed, more and more Chinese investments are coming to Switzerland for searching valuable technologies.
The unique role of Grosso Link
Grosso Link Sàrl plays a key role, which had been not been existed before, as a high-technology investment agency, who introduces Swiss basic and innovative R&D activities (even in the universities) to the Chinese investment coming from traditional low-end industries. Grosso Link Sàrl helps also Swiss companies to discover the huge but unknown Chinese market.
Till now, Grosso Link has done several links, such as the Beidou GNSS chip project, the medical robotic project and the new material project with LEPA-EPFL. The total project funding exceeds CHF 1 million.
We need the help from Switzerland in the future
The future plan of our company is still aggressive, but we are eager to get help from OPEN, Canton de Neuchâtel and Swiss Federal government:
- Supporting and promoting our services to Swiss universities, academic institutions and high-technology startups, who would like to search funding and make Chinese connections
- After the communication with Shenzhen government, we got to know that the Shenzhen government and some local research academies would like to create and build oversee campus joining program with Swiss universities and institutions, for example, an EPFL China Campus. Chinese partner could provide financial and real-estate support. We hope to get help and have a discussion on this topic.
- In the future, Grosso Link will invite more Chinese investors and technical collaborators visiting our canton and Switzerland. We may need your help if it is convenient.