February 6-7, 2019, Ambassador McMullen visited Switzerland’s southern Canton of Ticino to learn about the economic and political life in the region. In addition to meeting representatives of the cantonal authorities, the visit provided insights into the canton’s business, innovation and research activities. To round off his visit, the Ambassador sampled a taste of Ticino culture by visiting the local winery of producer Azienda Vitivinicola Tamborini near Lugano.
Meeting Ticino Government Officials
Upon his arrival in Ticino, Mr. Claudio Zali (President of the Ticino Council of State) and Mr. Arnoldo Coduri (State Chancellor) welcomed Ambassador McMullen at the Council of State building. The Ambassador had an engaging discussion with the local government officials and thanked them for their interest in strengthening Swiss-U.S. relations.
Visiting Local Businesses
The Ambassador’s program further included a number of company visits, based on the input of the experts at the Ticino Chamber of Commerce. At the high-tech company Faulhaber Minimotor SA, the Ambassador met with CEO Karl Faulhaber for a company presentation and factory tour. He was impressed to learn the company participated in the construction of the NASA InSight Mars mission’s lander module, which successfully landed on the Red Planet in November 2018. At the pharmaceutical company Rivopharm, Piero Poli (President and CEO) gave the Ambassador an insight into the company’s research ties with the United States.
To experience Ticino’s innovation and technology landscape, Ambassador McMullen visited AGIRE Foundation and its tech hub “Tecnopolo Ticino,” where Director Giambattista Ravano explained to him how the foundation fosters entrepreneurship through international cooperation in business and academia. Lastly, the Ambassador met with Prof. Luca Gambardelle, the Director of the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence (IDSIA), and his team, to hear more about the institution’s research on machine learning, robotics and more.
Additional details on the Ambassador’s visit can be read in this article by the Ticino newspaper Corriere del Ticino.