Gold Partners


Interview with Christine Bisschops Kaltenbach
Pharma Development Site Head - Basel
F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.


How do the values of Roche match with TED’s?
Let me start by sharing our purpose statement at Roche: Doing now what patients need next. Our values include courage, integrity & passion. Likewise, TED believes passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world. Innovation is at the core of what we do here at Roche and we believe connecting people is an important element of what makes us successful.

How are ideas shared within your organization?
Our company values encourage diversity and we put a great emphasis on an inclusive and supportive work environment where people can share their ideas and provide different perspectives on a day to day basis. We also have a number of Innovation Groups within Roche locally and globally. Here in Basel, we have BIG (Basel Innovation Group), a cross functional purposeful network for innovation across the Basel Site. They actually had the idea and established our partnership with TEDxBasel!

What is the most interesting idea/project happening within Roche currently?
As you can imagine, there are many interesting projects going on in Roche. Let me highlight one that is very close to my heart. We live in an ever-increasing digitised world and making sense of the wealth of real world data that is out there to answer scientific questions and foster innovation is a real opportunity and a challenge at the same time. We need to build those capabilities within our respective areas yet at the same time strengthen our collaboration across departments to ensure we continue to share and leverage knowledge.

What are the upcoming challenges in your industry?
First and foremost there are huge unmet medical needs out there e.g. in central nervous system disorders, in rare diseases and infectious diseases. Developing medicines that are truly innovative and paradigm-shifting is the greatest challenge and opportunity. I mentioned the growing challenge of digitisation already. Finally, including the voice of our most important customers, the patients, in developing new medicines.


How is your company contributing to the present and future of Switzerland?
Swiss Post is an important pillar in the infrastructure of Switzerland, providing postal, logistics, public transportation and financial services to private and commercial customers alike. With its continued focus on providing services along the interface of the physical and digital worlds, Swiss Post is actively contributing to the digital transformation in Switzerland. Interested in new trends and technologies, Swiss Post is pushing innovation in all of its four markets for more efficient and convenient services.

What are the upcoming challenges in your industry?
One of the biggest challenges for postal organisations is the digital transformation, particularly in the field of communication. New trends on the horizon indicate that this will not remain the only challenge ahead. the Automation, the sharing economy and the global financial market situation will all continue to have significant impacts on our daily business for the foreseeable future.

How does The Swiss Post drive innovation?
Swiss Post has a dedicated unit to identify, foster and bring innovations to market. We are actively involving our 61,000 employees in finding ideas and developing them into workable business models. We have a number of internal and partnership programmes to drive innovation culture forward. Open Innovation is an important principle for us: We collaborate with other companies, start-ups and universities to develop future services. We maintain also connections to innovation hot spots such as Berlin or Silicon Valley. Dedicated budgets enable quick development and go-to-market for new and promising business ideas.

Why is The Swiss Post partnering with TEDxBasel?
There is no innovation without collaboration. Getting new inspiration, sharing ideas and collaborating are all important factors to drive innovation forward. TEDx is a popular and multi-faceted platform that strengthens all three of these foundations of innovation, all while combining them with a regional approach that ensures coverage of all regions in Switzerland. This way, Swiss Post can contribute to and benefit from a wide range of topics in Switzerland, for Switzerland.