New England is one of the nation’s top regions for innovation and clean technology. As such, there are many groups, companies, government bodies and associations connected to this ecosystem, but not always as tightly as they should be. swissnex Boston, a world-class leader in science, innovation and education, had a unique opportunity to bring these communities together while further establishing its position within these industries by inviting PlanetSolar, the world’s largest solar-powered boat, to visit Boston; swissnex engaged HB to develop a public relations effort to shine a light on the organization’s great programming and immersion in the region’s innovation culture, and to rally the local clean tech/solar community. Beyond simply having the boat dock in Boston – while visually compelling – swissnex and HB developed various educational, business and media events in partnership with University of Geneva and Presence Switzerland to increase visibility, and to give the clean tech community a visual rallying point through which to showcase the region’s solar chops. Industry leaders joined swissnex Boston to celebrate PlanetSolar’s mission – these key influencers throughout Massachusetts’ clean-tech, innovation and education markets came together to educate and celebrate, with a culminating final event that brought together the most influential people to network, collaborate and engage. With strong government-level and private institution participation, including support from the city of Boston, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Museum of Science Boston, MIT Energy Club, Net Impact Boston, New England Clean Energy Institute, and ACTION New England, swissnex and PlanetSolar ruled the media and innovation/clean energy conversation for more than a week in the region, while honoring its mission to facilitate collaborative efforts.
1. swissnex Boston brought PlanetSolar to Boston as part of an international expedition to document climate change.
2. The missions of PlanetSolar and University of Geneva’s DeepWater expedition align with swissnex Boston’s missions: collaborative efforts and leadership in science, education, innovation and clean-tech.
3. swissnex coordinated a variety of events – educational, business and social – that map to its position as a leader in science innovation and education.
4. Boston’s Chief of Environment and Energy, Brian Swett, welcomes PlanetSolar to Fan Pier with Captain d’Aboville atop the solar panels.
5. Science leadership was well reflected in partnership with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute by hosting “From the Alps to the Atlantic: Water in a Changing Climate”.
6. Swissnex’s project leader, Sebastien Hug, said the PlanetSolar initially did not plan to make a stop in Boston, but, ‘We highlighted how important science is in Massachusetts.’”
7. Innovation and advancements within clean-tech were celebrated at the Swiss Cleantech Night (VIP Party) by bringing together the leaders within these industries.
8. Education leadership reflected throughout the entire time PlanetSolar was in Boston. From swissnex’s presence at the Museum of Science Boston, Boston Children’s Museum and Swiss Solar Party which brought together different leaders from academia in clean-energy.
The clean tech and innovation messaging of swissnex and Greater Boston was on display for more than a week, and was the talk of the town in the media, online and in-person. Coverage spanned from The Boston Globe, which sent a reporter to New York to follow PlanetSolar’s voyage from New York to Boston, to CBS News, MIT Technology Review and more. swissnex is basking in the afterglow of success, top-of-mind as one of the first places to turn when considering innovation in Boston, and the shared commitment to innovation by our region and Switzerland.