Suvorov Award: collaboration between Switzerland and Russia in innovation field

The 6th ceremony of Suvorov Award, dedicated to support Swiss-Russian innovative projects and stimulate the technological collaboration and knowledge exchange between Russia and Switzerland, took place in Moscow on December 5th.

This year the winner of the Award, which was launched by Swiss-Russian Forum in 2010, became the company JSC SOEMZ from Solnechnogorsk for its technology for manufacturing paper, hydrophobic, antiseptic pots from recyclable paper of various grades for growing crops.

Beatrice Lombard-Martin, executive president of the Swiss-Russian Forum: «The quality of the projects participants of Suvorov Award is growing from year to year. It makes the choice more and more difficult, but at the same time it brings the real innovation layout to the whole event».

Among other finalists there were chosen the company ActLight from EPFL Innovation Park (Lausanne) with its technology in the field of healthcare, and Scanomilk from Ufa with its device for milk quality control.

First place (the WINNER) Second place Third place
The existing forms for the plants production work mostly with polymeric forms, peat pots or egg packaging. The Award winner company "SOEMZ" is developing a fundamentally new solution that has no analogues in the Russian market - paper hydrophobic antiseptic forms of various grades made of waste paper, which can be used for the production of plants and crops.  The company "ActLight" by Sergei Okhonin and Fredrik Uddegarda presented Ultra Low Power Heart Monitoring which is a replacement for modern pulse meters, which are known for high power consumption. ActLight invention presents the new generation of such devices with extremely low power consumption. The company “Skanomilk” by Nikolai Patrushev presented a new compact mobile photo analyzer of milk quality, which determines the amount fat and total protein in the liquid. Skanomilk provides solution to farmers, agricultural enterprises and households to ensure the quality of the milk when it is used in the production of dairy products or for private use.

The winner will receive the prize in equivalent of 9 mln rubbles in the framework of the program “Start” lead by Foundation on innovation support (FASIE). And this year all the 3 finalists will receive special prizes: the consulting support from Swiss Business Hub and free mentoring support in startup promotion and fundraising from startups and investors business direction InnMind.

Marc Scheurer, Swiss Business Hub Russia: «I’m impressed by the projects presented during the ceremony. It is the proof that joint efforts of Swiss and Russian specialists can cause the development of awesome innovative products. Being a globally recognized innovation leader, Switzerland can become a perfect platform for Russian high-tech companies to enter the international markets».

During the selection period the jury received tons of applications from Swiss and Russian innovative entrepreneurs. The most significant projects applications were included in the so-called “long-list”, which finally included 17 high-level projects. Among those companies which were included to the long-list there were innovative startups committed to contribute significantly to the economies of Russia and Switzerland. Among the basic criteria there were: connection between Switzerland and Russia, ready-to-market stage, innovativeness, social impact, competitiveness and business prospective. As the result, there were chosen 3 finalists in the fields of MedTech and Agricultural technologies.

Jury members:

  • Dr Thomas Frick, partner, Niederer, Kraft & Frey, Zurich
  • Henning Grossman, entrepreneur, Zurich
  • Andri Manachal, partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Zurich
  • Michael Lifshith, Director of the High-Tech Assets Development of the Renova Group and Board Member of the Swiss Russian Forum Foundation.
  • Dr Andreas Gut, national projects coordinator, EUREKA Switzerland, State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, Bern
  • Beatrice Lombard-Martin, executive president, Swiss-Russian Forum, Zurich
  • Ivan Bortnik, Member of the Supervisory Board of the Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises (FASIE), Moscow
  • Nelli Orlova, founder of Global startups and investors direction InnMind, Lausanne


Among the participants of the ceremony there will be prominent members of the scientific and business communities, opinion leaders, political and social figures, who have made a significant impact on the innovation, economic and international collaboration: Patric Franzen, Ambassador of Switzerland to Russia a.i.; Academician Sergey Glaziev, Advisor to the Russian President; Hugo Tschirky, Professor, Dr. Dr. sc. techn. ETH, Zurich; Beatrice Lombard-Martin, executive president of the Swiss-Russian Forum.

The finalists were honored and the prizes were awarded by: Ivan Bortnik, Member of the Supervisory  Board of the Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises (FASIE); Galina Sato, president of Granite Group and general sponsor of the event; Michael Lifshith, Director of the High-Tech Assets Development of the Renova Group and Board Member of the Swiss Russian Forum Foundation

Switzerland for many years stands in the top of global innovative ratings and is ready to share its experience with partnering countries, including Russia. As Patric Franzen mentioned, there are 3 main factors which are the basics of Swiss success in the development of new technologies and scientific progress: strong R&D institutions, high governmental expenses for education and science and close collaboration between science and business. Also, Patric Franzen presented Suvorov Awards as an important event, which plays a significant role in innovations development – initiative, inspired by private sector.

During the event participants enjoyed the discussion “The Power of Ideas” by Hugo Tschirky and journalist Wolfgang Koydl from Swiss Weltwoche. The main topic of their discussion was the innovation and factors, which stimulate or create barriers for innovative development. Hugo Tschirky mentioned that on nowadays everything you need to develop innovative ideas is your brain, idea and garage. But speaking about innovations development on a country scale you also need friendly bureaucratic and legal environment, access to good education and ability and willingness of entrepreneurs and investors to take risks.

This year among the sponsors of the event there are prominent Swiss and Russian companies and organizations, such as Granit Group from Zurich who became the general sponsor, Gazprombank, Swiss International Airlines and Switzerland Global Enterprise.


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