Joint efforts to promote spin-off activities of female academics

Swiss Universities have launched a two-year collaborative project to foster equal opportunities in the field of spin-off activities by setting a specific focus on women. Eight Universities are participating.

Female academics are rarely involved in the commercialization of knowledge from research & development (R&D) at universities, both internationally and in Switzerland. Their share in spin-off creation is only very small, which means that considerable potential is lost to Switzerland as a country of innovation.

The collaborative project funded by P-7 Equal Opportunity and University Development 2021-2024 aims at promoting equal opportunities in the field of spin-off activities by setting a specific focus on women. The project combines gender equality policy objectives with the promotion of innovation and spin-off creation by women. It fosters spin-off intentions and activities of female academics and students in the field of STEM as well as social sciences and humanities. Moreover, it will also enhance and develop measures for spin-off promotion at Swiss universities based on a gender perspective.

Participating universities are; the Federal Institutes of Technology at Zürich (ETHZ) and Lausanne (EPFL), the Paul Scherrer Institute, the University of Zürich and University of Basel, as well as the Swiss universities of applied sciences in Western (HES-SO), Southern (SUPSI) and Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW).

Besides gender & diversity experts, the project involves knowledge and technology transfer offices (KTT), start-up and innovation centers as well as industry and investors. Together they will support universities in their increasingly important role with respect to entrepreneurial skills training, innovation, and the exploitation of knowledge from R&D.

FEMSPIN kick-off event on 9 May
Representatives from gender & diversity, knowledge and technology transfer (KTT), innovation and start-up centers, and further stakeholders will gather to launch the project. The kick-off event on 9 May event addresses the conditions for spin-off intentions and activities by female scientists and students at Swiss Universities. Attendees will get an insight into the first measures to promote the spin-off creation of female scientists across disciplines and university types. Registration is open until Friday, April 15th 2022.

(Press release/RAN)