Geneva, Switzerland, 7 - 8 June 2019

Sharing Knowledge Conference (12)

The Sharing Knowledge Foundation held its annual conference at CERN in Geneva June 7th to 8th 2019. This major international event brought together over top scientists, innovators, business and policy leaders, as well as young STEM leaders from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

This year’s conference, “Science for Impact” explored how science can be a vehicle of social and sustainable change. Issues that were discussed included the European refugee crisis and the role of science and innovation for reconstruction and integration; gender equality in STEM; the importance of open access for scientific innovation; and CERN’s central position as a social impact innovation hub.
Tech and lab-to-market innovations were at the forefront with presentations and pitching sessions by more than a dozen startups, graduates from programs and incubators at CERN, EPFL, ETH, SINGA and EnergyGeneration.
The conference allowed participants to meet some of today’s and tomorrow’s most prominent science and tech leaders, discover future applications of cutting edge scientific research and  reflect on the role of science for a social and sustainable impact.

Learn more about the different start-ups invited to our conference in our Think Tank section.

For the Pdf version of the program PLS2019PROGRAMME

Link to all the videos




Opening session


Welcome Address by Fabiola Gianotti, DG of CERN


Welcome Address by John Ellis, Clerk Maxwell Professor of Theoretical Physics at King's College London, Member of SKF Council

King’s College London


SKF Award Ceremony presented by Robert Klapisch, President of the SKF Foundation and John Ellis

King’s College London
Sharing Knowledge Foundation


Keynote Address by Lionel Zinsou, economist, former Prime Minister of Benin, 2019’s awardee of the SKF Award




Coffee break

Session 1: Contextualizing Migrations: the European migrant crisis, brain-drain and brain-gain



Moderator: Pierre Ruetschi (Independent Journalist and Columnist)

  • Vincent Chetail, Professor of International Law and Director of the Global Migration Centre (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)
  • Hanadi Ibrahim, Professor in Biochemistry, University Simon Fraser in Canada, member of the Refugee Scholars Network (Syria)
  • Oula Abu-Amsha, Chief Academic Officer, Jesuit Worldwide Learning (Switzerland)
  • David Robert, General Manager, Singa (France)

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
Simon Fraser University
Jesuit Worldwide Learning



Session 2: Harnessing Science and Innovation for Development in the MENA and Africa


Keynote Address Klaus Schönenberger, Director, EPFL EssentialTech Centre, Technology Innovation for Development and Humanitarian Action

EssentialTech Center


Startup Pitching and Networking

Presented by Jonas Moses

Startups from Europe, Africa, and the MENA (final list TBC) will pitch their innovations and ways they aim to address great societal challenges in the field of Energy, Agriculture, Health and Education.

  • Chysmelle Adanmenou, ENERGY BIO FOODS recovers organic waste to produce biogas with cogeneration equipment that ensures the simultaneous production of heat for cooking and electricity for lighting providing isolated communities with autonomous energy solutions.
  • Abiola Ajala,  SUNBOX provides clean and affordable electricity to off-grid, low income consumers in Africa combining flexible, affordable and innovative asset based financing business model enabling lease-2-own of mobile solar solutions.
  • Prince Essel, ECONEXUS provides innovative clean energy solutions in Africa with the focus on energy recovery from waste using environmentally compatible technologies.
  • Victor Masumba, FARM CONNECT provides small scale farmers with wind turbine and solar pumps to ensure continuous farming activities even in the dry season, also increasing market access for farmers.
  • Maher Maymoun, SOLAR PIEZOCLEAN tackles the significant energy output loss of solar panels due to dust and airborne particules with a waterless self-cleaning technology.
  • Camila Rios, UNIR supports refugees and asylum seekers in the resumption of their studies and French language learning.
  • Adil Daoumer, KONEXIO, Empowerment and connection through digital learning. Bridging the digital divide through innovation and community collaboration.
  • Fadi Alshalabi, NIUVERSITY, educational system that caters for the differences of learners and their speed of learning and that can reach anyone wherever s/he is.
  • Soulemane Hayibo, EnergyGeneration Incubator
  • Olivier de Fresnoye, ECHOPEN, Low cost echostethoscope
  • Mejdi Nciri, Multispectral imaging by LEDs
  • Tianheng Zhao,  Open flexure Microscope, 3D printed microscope with a webcam
  • Hiba Al Halaby, Fiber optics sensor systems for irrigation (FOSS4I) is a research project to develop a system for optimized irrigation and use of pesticides, based on Fiber optics technologies.

Energy Bio Foods
Econexus Ventures
Farm Connect Energy Limited
Solar PiezoClean
UniR Universités & Réfugié.e.s
University of Cambridge
Impact Photonics
University of Sannio
Energy Generation


Welcome Diner Cocktail at Globe

Session 3 : Achieving Gender Equality in STEM


Keynote address by Rajaa Cherkaoui, Physicist, laureate of the L’Oréal-UNESCO Award For Women in Science (Morocco) TBC

Mohammed V University in Rabat, Faculty of...



Moderator: Astria Fataki

  • Geneviève Guinot, Gender and Equality, CERN
  • Regina Honu, Founder and CEO of the software development company Soronko Solutions (Ghana)
  • Colette Lewiner, Physicist, Member of the Académie des Technologies, former vice-president of EDF and CEO of SGN Eurisys, former President of the European Nuclear Society (France)
  • Ingrid Wünning Tschol, Biologist, Senior Vice-President and Head of Health and Research at the Robert Bosch Foundation (Germany)

Soronko Academy
Robert Bosch Stiftung
Energy Generation Organization


Coffee break

Session 4: Defending an Open Access to Technology



Moderator: Guy Mettan (Journalist, Club de la Presse)

  • Markus Norberg, From Open Science to Open Innovation – case: Ideasquare@CERN, Development and Innovation Unit, CERN
  • Francois Piuzzi, Open Access by examples :Focus on medical applications. President of the Commission Physique sans frontières (France)
  • Olivier de Fresnoye : Echopen, Low cost echostethoscope
  • Mejdi Nciri : Multispectral imaging by LEDs
  • Tianheng Zhao : Open flexure Microscope, 3D printed microscope with a webcam

Development and Innovation Unit (IPT-DI) CERN
French Society of Physics
Impact Photonics
University of Cambridge


Lunch Break

Session 5: CERN is an innovation hub: knowledge sharing for the benefits of society


Keynote address by Frederick Bordry, Director of Accelerators and Technology, CERN



Moderator: Frederick Bordry

  • Giovanni Anelli, Introduction to CERN Knowledge transfer, CERN
  • Charlotte Jamieson, Affordable medical linear accelerators for challenging environments, STFC
  • Amalia Ballarino, Superconducting cables for Energy Transportation, CERN
  • Becky Parker, CERN@School project (Medipix based), CERN
  • Einar Bjorgo, UNOSAT: 15 years of humanitarian mapping, UNITAR

Science and Technology Facility Council
Institute for Research in Schools


Coffee break

CERN Guided Tour


LHC Large Magnet Facility, IdeaSquare and ALICE Experiment

Closing Reception (upon formal invitation only)



Conclusions of conference


Conclusions of conference by Patrick Fassnacht, Member of SKF Foundation’s Council, Geneva

Sharing Knowledge Foundation / CERN