Shenzhen Bay 

Study Tour 2023 

The Diary

Where high tech and innovation come together...

The organizers welcome you to the diary of the Shenzhen Bay Study Tour 2023!!!

The Diary contains the students' descriptions of each visit in chronological order.  

Enjoy, and let yourself inspire...

Let's get started with the...

Preparation Session26.06.2023 | afternoon

During the preparation session, students from both study tours, Shenzhen Bay and Silicon Valley, were first introduced to the general information of the master module Field Trip by Prof. Dr. Knut Hinkelmann. Next, Dr. Stephan Jüngling provided more specific information about the Shenzhen Bay Study Tour. Finally, all the students joined the presentation of Alexander Fries, a renowned Swiss venture capitalist based in the Silicon Valley. Alexander elaborated on how innovation is carried out in Silicon Valley, with a focus on entrepreneurship and startups as well as comparisons in terms of mindset and available funds were made among Silicon Valley, Europe and Asia. 

INVEST HKG • 28.08.2023 | morning

Today we visited Invest Hongkong.


Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) is the government department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) responsible for attracting and facilitating foreign direct investment (FDI) into Hong Kong.

The mission is to promote Hong Kong as a global business hub and to help international businesses set up and expand their operations in the city. It offers a range of free services to assist companies through the investment process. These services include offering information on the business environment, regulatory requirements, and market opportunities, and connecting businesses with relevant government departments and business networks.

They promote themself through various marketing initiatives, trade shows, seminars, and networking events. It highlights the city's strategic location, business-friendly environment, rule of law, low tax regime, and robust financial infrastructure. In fact, they mentioned that Hongkong won tax for business and no tax on capital gain, only on profit. which is a huge advantage for small and medium enterprises and startups. The services are not restricted to Hongkong citizens. In fact, you don’t need to be even in Hongkong to register the company. It needs only one dollar capital one director and one shareholder. The biggest gatekeeper to settle business in Hong Kong is to open a bank account.

InvestHK maintains a global network of offices and representatives in key cities worldwide. These representatives assist foreign companies in understanding the advantages of Hong Kong as a business destination and provide information on market trends and opportunities.

Currently, more than 200 Swiss companies are using the Invest Hongkong privileges. Also what protects the company is that Hongkong is a free port, and import tariff is set to protect companies. They are also planning to create a free trade block and set same tariff for regional cooperation for economic partnership between 15 countries – 10 ASEAN countries, 2 North countries, 2 South countries. In a way becoming a center of trade.


Over the years, InvestHK has attracted numerous multinational corporations and startups to establish or expand their operations in Hong Kong. These success stories showcase the city's ability to attract a diverse range of businesses across industries. They mentioned also that the Greater Bay Area is getting more connected in the future.


The work of InvestHK contributes significantly to Hong Kong's economy by fostering job creation, enhancing innovation, and promoting international trade and investment flows.

Karolina Paulauskaite

Authors: Corina Stampfli 

HKSTP: Visiting Hong Kong Science and Technology Park 29.08.2023 | morning

On the second day of our field trip we visited a vibrant center for technological innovation and advancement is the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP). It is home to a number of cutting-edge facilities that support research, development, and collaboration among young businesses, existing corporations, and academics. For example, the HKSTP has Incubation Centers which are establishments created to foster and support businesses in the early stages while provide access to resources including labs and equipment, co-working spaces, mentorship, funding opportunities, and money. Several state-of-the-art laboratories with cutting-edge instruments and apparatus for a range of industries, including biotechnology, electronics, robotics, and more are available. The Research and Development Centers of HKSTP offer resources for in-depth investigation and invention and concentrate on particular sectors of the economy or technologies. Several Innovation Spaces are offered for creative and cooperative settings where various people and teams come together to explore fresh concepts and solutions and shared facilities to assist innovators in realizing their ideas, such 3D printing laboratories, prototyping workshops, and testing facilities. Also, Data centers are becoming important as technology becomes more dependent on data. 

HKSTP offers the framework for handling, processing, and managing enormous volumes of digital data. Beside all those provided facilities to develop a start-up HKSTP also provides affordable living possibilities for innovative entrepreneurs. InnoCell is a smart living and co-creation facility designed to encourage interaction between I&T professionals. It supports our goal of creating a community for I&T co-creation. InnoCell provides a new way of life that is in line with the needs of many people. It is expertly designed to balance aesthetic and functionality. A genuine sense of community is created for like-minded talents to inspire one another and have a positive influence thanks to the shared spaces and smart living technologies. 


Kira Schmid (left) &
Jeanette Gautschi (right)

With a student from SZTU

CYPERPORT • Introduced by Mr. Mike Fuchs, Director •
29.08.2023 | afternoon

In the afternoon, we had the opportunity to visit Cyberport Hong Kong, an institution at the forefront of technological innovation and digital community development. Cyberport is a technology-driven business park and digital community that has played a pivotal role in elevating Hong Kong's status as a prominent global technology hub in the Asia-Pacific region. Established by the Hong Kong Government in 2003, Cyberport's primary objective is to foster innovation and entrepreneurship within the technology sector. 

During our visit, we were fortunate to receive a presentation from Mike Fuchs, who provided valuable insights into Cyberport's organizational structure. Cyberport is organized into six key clusters, each specializing in a distinct area: Applications: FinTech, Smart Living or Smart City, Digital Entertainment and Technological: AI and Big Data, Blockchain, and Cybersecurity. 

Over the past two decades, Cyberport has attracted over 1,900 community members, with 800 currently on site and the remainder having graduated from support programs or moved to other work locations. Among these members are notable success stories such as GoGoX, and Klook, each making significant contributions to their respective industries. It was also pointed out that Cyberport is a melting pot of cyber culture, where the majority of the members are locals. However, Cyberport embraces a diverse and inclusive culture, with founders hailing from Hong Kong, mainland China, and various parts of the world, including Western countries like Australia, the US, the UK, France, and Belgium, as well as Asian nations such as Japan and South Korea. The organization's support programs are open to innovators from across the globe, as long as they have a promising idea and a viable proposal. Cyberport boasts impressive infrastructure with interconnected phases. Currently, in Phase 3, they are building Phase 4 with the University of Hong Kong and plan to finish Phase 5 by 2025, emphasizing digital entertainment and related ventures.

Nonetheless, the organization is not only about physical space but also about providing a nurturing environment for startups. It offers a range of support programs and networks to help startups thrive. These include the Micro Fund, Incubation Program, and a host of networks like the Enterprise Network, Investors Network, Technology Network, and Professional Services Network. The Micro Fund, for instance, provides funding of HK$100,000 to support aspiring entrepreneurs with innovative ideas. 

In conclusion, our visit to Cyberport provided a comprehensive view of an organization dedicated to fostering innovation, supporting startups, and shaping the future of technology in Hong Kong and beyond. We look forward to witnessing the continued growth and success of Cyberport and its community members as they contribute to the global digital landscape. 

Authors: Sabina Nadarevic and Danijel Levnajic

GEOSPATIAL LAB: Dr. Kenneth Tang, Chairman of Spatial Data Infrastructure Committee 30.08.2023 | morning

On the third day of our Field Trip to the Greater Bay Area, we had the opportunity to visit the Geospatial Lab in Hongkong. With the Development Bureau of Hong Kong as a main sponsor, the lab’s mission is to support the development of a smart city and educate the public on the importance of collecting and using geospatial data. The Geospatial Lab is operated by the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals and is connected to the Smart City Consortium (SCC) and the Common Spatial Data Infrastructure (CSDI). The lab also entered worldwide collaborations with countries like France, the USA, Hungary, Switzerland, Egypt, and Israel. Dr. Kenneth Tang, the Chairman of the Spatial Data Infrastructure Committee, gave us a glimpse into the world of smart city development and geospatial data, highlighting its importance to Hongkong's urban planning. One of many interesting use cases Dr. Tang presented was the combined use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to be able to integrate a digital building into the surrounding environment. This allows for example to analyse how the noise levels in the neighborhood impact the different areas of the integrated building. Given Hongkong's limited land supply situation, urban planning is crucial.


Smart city development is based on four pillars: technology, data, talents, and policy. Dr. Tang emphasized that the implementation of policies is of high importance as they serve as regulations for the other pillars. During the visit, we learned that Hongkong's smart city plan covers areas like finance, transportation, economics, and pollution control. Data is acquired through satellites, sensors, cameras, transportation networks and other technologies. The collected data is then stored in the Common Spatial Data Infrastructure (CSDI), an integrated platform which provides a direct access to different datasets.  

Even though some data might be difficult to collect due to privacy concerns, the lab is actively involved in educating people on the importance of spatial data to create trust and to develop smart city solutions. By providing a space for students and start-ups to share and explore ideas on the use of spatial data in different sectors, the lab positively impacts the quality of life of the residents of Hongkong. They do this by offering online or offline events, providing on-site advisory or consulting services or by providing a venue equipped with all necessary computing devices.  

In conclusion, our visit to the Geospatial Lab was a great experience. Dr. Kenneth Tang and his team introduced us to the significance of geospatial data in smart city development followed by a lively Q&A session. We even had the chance to get a tour of their lab, where we could test and learn about their equipment and urban planning programs. 


Rudy Alberto López Varela

Gisèle Beuchat

The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST)

Prof. Zheng Rong, Dean of HKUST Business School30.08.2023 | afternoon

On Wednesday afternoon, we had the opportunity to visit the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). Prior to the official program, we savoured a traditional lunch at one of the campus's restaurants. Following that, we enjoyed a tour through the robotics institute and engaged in valuable discussions with students from the Master of Information Systems Program. 


HKUST is a relatively young university established in 1991. It is a research-intensive institution with a strong focus on engineering, technology, business and management, as well as humanities and social sciences. HKUST is highly regarded, consistently ranking among the top 100 universities worldwide. The university has around 17,000 students, with nearly 40% of them being international students, primarily from mainland China. HKUST graduates are highly valued in the Hong Kong job market due to the university's international reputation. 


As of 2022, HKUST has played a significant role in fostering over 1,600 active startup companies, resulting in an economic impact of over HK$400 billion. Many of these startups were founded or co-founded by faculty or alumni, such as DJI, Googol Technology, and 4Paradigm. Professor Li Zexiang, known as the "Godfather of Hidden Entrepreneurship in China," has encouraged entrepreneurship within the university. 


Robotic Institute 

Our initial visit took us to the Robotic Lab, where a team of enthusiastic young researchers greeted us. They eagerly presented their cutting-edge work in drone technology. We witnessed a captivating live demonstration featuring two drones from DJI, both of which were developed within their laboratory. 


The first drone, the DJI Air 3, boasts the capability of detecting barriers in its path. Equipped with state-of-the-art sensors, it halts immediately upon nearing an obstacle, overriding any contrary commands from its operator. This innovative technology has been the students' focus since 2021. The other drone, the DJI Spark, was their second exhibit and is designed to respond to hand gestures. Introduced in 2018, this technology now allows the drone to operate within a 10-meter radius of the user, catering mainly to personal users who aim to capture selfies or panoramic videos. 


The team's ambition doesn't stop there. Their upcoming venture is to merge the features of both drones. The objective is to craft a drone adept at recognizing hand gestures and obstacles, working closely with their main project sponsor DJI. 


The next stop of our guided tour within the lab: “The Robotic Arms Laboratory”. 

They showcased a robotic arm using advanced algorithms and machine learning that were fully developed at HKUST. This arm can independently turn pages, potentially offering valuable assistance to people with disabilities. Additionally, the arm's technology is reused for other MVPs like an arm that can differentiate balls of various colors from a container and pick up a chosen color.  



Business Information Management Class exchange 


Following our tour of the Robotic Lab, the university representatives introduced us to the business school department. There, we had the opportunity to interact with students from the Management of Information System program. 


The dean of the business school presented the details of their Master's program in Management of Information Systems. He then invited us to outline our program to compare and contrast the two curriculums. Emanuele and Stephan took over to present our study Program at FHNW. In general, the following similarities and differences have been detected: 



After the formal discussion, we had about one hour for a cross-cultural dialogue with the local students. Notably, most of the students we engaged with come from mainland China. Given their different educational system, they were considerably younger than our group. In our reflection session, we pooled together our interactions and experiences with the students.  


During our visit, we encountered highly curious and open-minded students who were interested in learning about our educational system and professional experiences. Their academic environment appeared to be very intense, with significant pressure on students to excel in a competitive atmosphere. We believe this might also be why they fear making errors or mistakes more than we do.  


Contrary to what we heard, we observed that there is also some cultural shift. They are seeking greater work-life balance and young women, in particular, are focusing on their careers and choosing to marry later in life. 

Overall, meeting the local students and having such an open-minded exchange was a great experience.  


Miriam Dall'Agnolo

Jessica Costantini

Macau Young Entrepreneur Incubation Center (MYEIC)

  31.08.2023 | morning

During our visit to Macau we were invited to tour the facilities of Macau Young Entrepreneur Incubation Center (MYEIC). The facilities are located at the seaside of macau close to the port. After arriving there by bus we were received by a team of employees that would show us around.


The Macau government established the Incubation Centre in 2015 in order to nurture young entrepreneurs and help them establish their companies in macau, mainland china as well as other portugese speaking countries.


First we heard a short presentation about their mission, vision but also their history and some of the start ups that came through their door.


After the introduction we went on to tour the company grounds. The facilities were nice and new, as they were opened recently in 2017, but everything was much smaller than for Instance at cyberport.


Special is, that there are many free things offered to the companies like office space, basic consulting by Deloitte, helping to find investors, lunches with important executices and scholars, as well as roadshows. Rent is free for the first year, but if certain criteria are met the lease can be expanded. The office space is open 24 hours a day.


After the tour, one of the founders of an incubated company held a pitch and answered questions for the group


In the afternoon we could enjoy a nice day in the beautiful city before having to head back earlier due to the incoming typhoon. Macao offers many things to visit like the old town, Ruínas de São Paulo, the Great Pandas and many more things. Luckily all the Students got back to Hong Kong safely.


Leandro Meyer

Vinojan Vignarajah

Shenzhen Technology University (SZTU) • 01.09.2023

Since we have spent the past few days in Hong Kong, visiting SZTU required us to start our day early. Equipped with a breakfast package, we started our way to cross the Chinese border. During the drive, we could feel the winds getting stronger an impact of typhoon Saola, that was expected to make landfall in the following night.


Shenzhen Technology University (SZTU) was established in 2018 as university of applied sciences. SZTU strives to be an open and innovative university with Chinese characteristics. Since their founding, they have not only established cooperations with different companies to bring real world problems into classrooms but also extensive collaboration with universities of applied sciences, for example from Germany and Switzerland but also many other countries.


We already knew that SZTU features an extensive campus, but arriving at the campus own hotel, which was equipped with a cute service robot, was an impressive experience. Soon after our arrival, we were warmly welcomed by a group of SZTU students in the cafeteria, and we got to know each other a bit. Time flew by while exchanging names, hobbies, WeChat information and comparing our universities before we knew it, it was time for lunch. SZTU features a spacious two-level canteen offering a variety of food, and we were all invited to pick whatever we liked. After this delicious refreshment, we were ready to see more of SZTU.


Our guided tour started with the modern, generous library. A place, where SZTU's strong connection to German speaking universities is especially visible, as there is a big section of German books. But it's not only books - depending on their major, some students learn German and have the opportunity to participate in an exchange.


Next, the College of Urban Transportation and Logistics presented us their unmanned supermarket, which is open for students to shop with their university card. The college also houses a student leisure club developing new cars, with which SZTU participates in international competitions. Depending on the their success, the club can gain more funding for their ideas. Additionally, the college is currently working on establishing an on-campus delivery system using drones.


After that, the College of Big Data and Internet welcomed us with a video of the "RoboMaster 2023" tournament, where the SZTU team participated. Then, we had the pleasure to witness a show of drones and dog-like robots "dancing" to the music, and some of us could try to steer the robodogs by ourselves.


Unfortunately, we had to finish our visit soon typhoon Saola was slowly approaching us, and it was time to go back to the hotel. Back at the hotel, we could see that preparations for the typhoon were in full progress: Sand bags have been placed to secure doors, glass windows were protected with metal covers and so on. As it was strongly advised not to go outside, we all met each other for dinner. And when Saola finally hit Shenzhen in the night we felt safe.


Sandra Meier

Anastasia Alfeeva

Karolina Paulauskaite

Authors: Corina Stampfli


04.09.2023 | afternoon

In the afternoon, we had the opportunity to explore Time Valley, a "Valley" dedicated to the crafting of precise timepieces. Situated in the heart of the Futian district, Time Valley boasts a rich history spanning over four decades. Their expertise extends to crafting watches not only for discerning private customers but also for astronauts and military personnel. What truly sets Time Valley apart is the seamless integration of its suppliers and producers within a single location.

Time Valley is committed to nurturing young talents by providing them with exceptional working conditions. Furthermore, the advantageous presence of a free trade agreement in Shenzhen bolsters their competitive edge.

Given Switzerland's preeminence in the watch industry, China has fostered a close partnership with the Swiss, recognizing the immense potential of this collaboration. Time Valley also contributes to the production of Swiss Watches, exploiting the Swiss law stipulating that a minimum of 60% of a watch's production must occur in Switzerland to earn the coveted "Swiss Made" label.

In terms of technological advancements, Time Valley has ambitious plans to invest in cutting-edge technologies such as Big Data, Blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence. Their aim is to enhance efficiency and reduce costs, with a notable shift in focus towards considering smartphones, rather than traditional Swiss timepieces, as their primary competitors.

It's noteworthy that within the watchmaking industry, there are over 1,000 companies, with Shenzhen accounting for a remarkable 50% of this vibrant ecosystem. In conclusion, the collaboration between Switzerland and Shenzhen is poised to deepen, as both entities seek to harness the unique advantages they bring to the world of precision timekeeping.


Karolina Paulauskaite and Corina Stampfli


05.09.2023 | afternoon

In the quietude of a Sunday morning, as you savor your coffee, you may suddenly hear an unmistakable buzzing sound. Your heart might skip a beat, and you find yourself thinking, "Oh no, not again!" But today, we invite you to celebrate these uninvited guests that have taken over our skies – drones!

On the sunny afternoon of September 5th, our group had the incredible privilege of visiting the DJI (Dà-Jiāng Innovations) Headquarters in the bustling city of Shenzhen. This company, founded in 2006 by Frank Wang, has emerged as an undisputed leader in the world of drones and has a remarkable journey to share. DJI's presence extends globally, with offices strategically positioned across North America, Europe, and Asia. Their products, celebrated for their quality and innovation, have reached over 100 countries. From the picturesque landscapes of New Zealand to the bustling streets of Tokyo, DJI's drones have earned a special place in the hearts of enthusiasts, photographers, filmmakers, and professionals worldwide. At the core of DJI's success lies a diverse product lineup designed to cater to a wide spectrum of users. From the consumer-friendly Mavic series to the iconic Phantom series that revolutionized aerial photography, and the professional-grade Inspire and Matrice series, DJI offers a drone for every need. Market dominance is an apt descriptor for DJI's position in the industry. In some years, estimates have suggested that DJI held over 70% of the global drone market share, a testament to their unyielding commitment to innovation and excellence.

During our visit, we had the chance to be guided through all DJI products by the PR person in charge, a technical specialist, a sales rep. and on top, the Swiss consul from Guangdong joined us. Over the years, their products have evolved in remarkable ways. From the early models that required a fair amount of technical expertise to operate, DJI has consistently pushed the boundaries of accessibility. Today, their drones are designed with user-friendliness in mind, allowing beginners to capture breathtaking aerial footage with ease.

We also had the opportunity to witness a drone performance. Like that, drones can be equipped with audio speakers to enhance their capabilities for broadcasting sound or music during events, and to aid in public announcements, crowd control, or communication in various law enforcement scenarios.

What we've learned is that DJI incorporated the Garage-Thinking into their DNA. That they could grow from a small apartment in Shenzhen to a global technological powerhouse. They have redefined the drone industry, offering a glimpse into a future where the skies are not limited but opportunities waiting to be explored.


Rjion Mushkolaj


Vivian Luca Gyr 

Chinese EV Maker Arcfox and Baidu Launch New Self-Driving Car 

06.09.2023 | morning (I)

During our field trip to Shenzhen, we had the opportunity to get a ride in cutting-edge robo-taxis crafted by Arcfox, powered by Baidu's advanced technology. It was quite the experience, gradually getting used to the idea of autonomous vehicles effortlessly navigating the bustling streets. It's fascinating to consider how, in the not-so-distant future, such technology will likely become the norm, removing the initial sense of novelty.

Arcfox, a prominent Chinese automotive brand, was a key highlight of our visit. Specializing in electric vehicles (EVs), Arcfox has carved out a significant niche in the global electric mobility market, operating under the umbrella of the esteemed BAIC Group.

The company's journey began in 2016 when it emerged as a subsidiary of the Beijing Automotive Industry Group Co., Ltd (BAIC BJEV). BAIC's illustrious history in the automotive industry lent credibility to Arcfox's mission. They are driven by a commitment to developing high-quality EVs that excel not only in performance but also in design and technology.

One highlight of our visit was learning about Arcfox's partnership with Baidu in the realm of self-driving taxis in Shenzhen. Collaborating with Baidu Apollo, Arcfox has successfully deployed self-driving electric vehicles in the city. These vehicles rely on advanced sensors, artificial intelligence, and high-precision mapping data to navigate safely and efficiently. It's a groundbreaking initiative that showcases Arcfox's commitment to technological innovation in mobility. The company's dedication to innovation reflects China's leadership in electric mobility and autonomous vehicle technology, promising a future filled with exciting developments in sustainable and intelligent mobility.

After this eye-opening encounter with the future of transportation, we couldn't resist indulging in a cup of coffee from our favorite local robo-barista. It was a moment of reflection on the incredible advancements we had just witnessed.


Rudolf Christen


Vivian Luca Gyr 

KK Mold Shenzhen Co., Ltd. • 06.09.2023 | morning (II)

First, we thought we missed the chance to visit a our first Chinese-managed company and encounter Asian way of thinking and working attitude due the the impact of typhoon Saola in Shenzhen. Fortunately, thanks to Yingbo Seiler, the visit could be rearranged. In his private office, we were warmly welcomed by the KK Mold chairman, also known by his nickname KK.


KK Mold, founded in 2004, is a medium-sized industrial mold manufacturer. It started with automotive and accessories parts. Today KK Mold specializes in tool design, tool making, precise injection molds for prototypes and production. Furthermore, KK Mold offers production as a service to its foreign business partners worldwide, including consultancy and project management until the end product is developed.


During our visit, the chairman introduced us to the development and history of KK Mold, which started with producing molds for automotive parts and accessories, such as car keys and car door handles, then expanded to molds for household appliances, such as hoovers.

In the Covid period, KK Mold was also affected by the lockdown and caused a supply chain disruption. Where threats are, there are opportunities: A sudden massive demand for medical equipment arose, leading KK Mold to rethink its strategy to focus on domestic manufacturing in medical injection molding technology.

KK Mold consists of four branches:

·         KK-Mold

·         KK-Pson

·         KK-Tech

·         KK-Med

When we were introduced to the manufacturing site, we felt the company was a big family working together for decades and driven by the chairman's passion. The chairman exceeded our expectations; he organized a typical Chinese lunch at his company's canteen.

In conclusion, we experienced the efficient adaptation of a company's success and survival driven by passion at its fullest. The employees' collective positive mindset and willingness are crucial intrinsic motivational features that cannot be ignored for success.


Andrea Ky

Han`s  robot • 06.09.2023 | afternoon (I)

On the same day in Shenzhen  we had the opportunity to visit Han's Robot company, a respected entity in the intelligent robot industry, founded by in 2017. The company, with bases in Shenzhen and Foshan City, has a notable presence globally, offering varied robotic applications across different sectors. Han`s robots operates in more than 100 countries and regions worldwide. Their customer base spans from Asia, such as China, Korea, and Japan, to the Americas, including countries like USA, Canada, and Brazil, as well as European nations such as the UK, France, Germany and Russia.

The company's showroom was a focal point of our visit, revealing the robots in great detail. Here, we had a calm and detailed look at the various robots, observing their design and functionality, allowing us a glimpse into the sophistication inherent in each model. The showroom provided a thoughtful reflection on the integration of mechanics, technology, and innovation.

We were introduced to the operational processes of the robots and had the chance to understand how the software controlling them assigns tasks with precision. Observing the operational finesse of the robots provided a clearer picture of the automation possibilities within robotics, underscoring their potential to transform various aspects of our daily lives. It was astonishing to see the finesse with which the software, the brain behind the machine, commands and controls the robots, assigning them tasks with precision and coherence.

We built a strong impression that Han’s Robot Company is well-known and well-established, supported by Han's Laser Technology Industry Group Co., Ltd, and is a symbol of reliability and progressive thinking in the robotics arena. The company’s diverse applications in sectors such as logistics, healthcare, and services demonstrated its commitment to leveraging robotic technology across different fields, indicating its transformative impact.

This visit was informative, offering us valuable insights into the world of intelligent robots. The exposure to the various dimensions of robotic applications and the understanding of how they are catering to diverse needs globally was enlightening. The meticulous approach and the forward-thinking vision of Han’s Robot Company has provided us with a sober reflection on the advancements and the potential future trajectory in the field of intelligent robotics. 


Sandra Meier

Anastasia Alfeeva

Shenzhen Dashi Intelligent Co., Ltd.  • 06.09.2023 | afternoon (II)

We had the privilege of touring the corporate offices of Shenzhen Dashi Intelligent Co. on Wednesday afternoon. Our visit gave us valuable insights into the company’s operations within the Smart IoT sector, with their primary mission to intelligently connect everything and thus adhering to the values of providing a benefit to all the people in the world with perseverance. The company was founded in 1995 and was listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in June 2010.


Shenzhen Dashi Intelligent Co. has positioned itself as a trusted leader in the development of IoT applications, platforms, and perception layer products. These cutting-edge solutions enable the company to offer a wide array of IoT services, particularly in sectors such as smart healthcare, smart infrastructure, and smart transportation.



The organizational culture at Shenzhen Dashi Intelligent Co. revolves around the principle of "sharing." They prioritize social responsibility and employee engagement, exemplified by their pioneering employee stock ownership programs or the quarterly bonus system. This is also reflected in the low fluctuation rate. Additionally, their dedication to fostering and maintain investor relations is praiseworthy, as they host regular investor relation events to provide investors with a platform for exchange to gain insights into the company's history, organizational structure, and long-term goals.


The Dashi Building that we visited was built in 2015 and put into operation in 2020. It is the first in China to earn the Carbon Neutral Certificate, reaffirming their commitment to sustainability. They have also obtained other certifications like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (Leed), Green Building Design Label, and Shenzhen Green Building Certification. The building itself is fully equiped with their intelligent building management system, which is connected to more than 20’000 IoT devices. This allows an impressive statistical power in different areas related to the building, such as energy consumption, parking utilization, traffic flow or the inside temperature. Also smart regulations come into effect where needed. The temperature inside of the building for example gets regulated by AI services depending on how many people are inside of the building and the level of humidity.


In conclusion, our visit to Shenzhen Dashi Intelligent Co. was an inspiring journey into the world of Smart IoT. Their innovative products, strong corporate culture, and commitment to sustainability make them a remarkable success story in the technology industry.


Rudy Alberto López Varela

Gisèle Beuchat

Tupin Camp

06.09.2023 | afternoon (III)

In the afternoon, we had the opportunity to visit Tupin Camp in Qianhai bay. 

It is a limited company with international holdings and is also the only state-owned in the industrial group in Shenzhen with logistics track. It is engaged in the formation of new enterprises developing intelligent applications and provides customized services to Hong Kong customers. The building we visited came into operation in August 2021, the business positioning is IOT plus industrial ecology. 82.43% of the building has already been rented for the whole year and all those established enterprises are gazelle enterprises in digital technology, also unicorn enterprises and leading enterprises participating in the support and services of this building. The location is on an area covering around 4000 square meters. Tupin Camp has more than 20 enterprises in UAV, robots and intelligent dryer manufacturer, as well as intelligent balance router in incubation services for IOT, related enterprises such as HexCube is one of the important partners and one of the major features in the integration between Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

Tupin Camp offers three to six months of free rental services for companies or talents returning from other countries to Guangdong or coming from Hong Kong. Qualification includes, for example, that the founder of that company must be president during the first time that the company is registered, team members must own more than 25% of the company's shares and have at least three-month rental fee. The building offers virtual rooms which are available for those who have already studied abroad for a period and then return to China and the main founder (the founder of the main team members) has graduated from one of the top 100 universities listed by the US ranking. Now Tup in Camp has 28 resident teams and the incubation rate is 59.655%. For example, one of the listed companies mainly focuses on providing glasses for elderly people with vision problems, another company named human Medicare focuses on genes tweeting woman and own two floors (2700 square meters) in straight line, they have many facilities, such as; office room, conference room, water bar, and classrooms.

On the 6th floor there are many separate rooms for different teams and has a minimum of four seats and a maximum of a large room which can accommodate 33 people, working in this room is easier, because there is a pleasant atmosphere. In each room there are authentic paintings on the wall that are copyrighted and we can also see the signatures of the painters. There is also a room called women's training where since its official start in August last year (2022) they have already performed more than 20 events in the Tupin Camp.

Besides we could observe in real time a startup which was engaged in the virtual sale of noodle soups through Alipay app. We also met the founder of the drone company Zerozero robotics and were able to experience the handling of an autonomous drone. After the visit we were treated to a great and exquisite aperitif.

We are deeply grateful to Tupin Camp Team for their invitation and warm welcome, as well as their presentation and wonderful information. We were captivated by the spectacular host. We would also like to thank to Hexcube team for the support and organization provided and make this visit possible.


Andrea Calazacon

HEX Space - Creative Space for Overseas Talent
07.09.2023 | morning (I)

We had the chance to visit one of the five co-working spaces of Hex Space: Entrepreneurship Island for Returned International Talents (EIRIT). The focus is set on international talents, both from overseas as well as returnees that come back home to China. Attracting these kinds of talents is what differentiated this incubator from the others we had the pleasure of visiting. 

EIRIT's draw for international talents stems from its focused approach and services tailored to key industries. EIRIT identified the industries with the most potential in the Greater Bay Area: 

·      Intelligent manufacturing

·      Electrical & Electronics

·      Biomedicine

These sectors are not only high growth but also align with global trends, making them attractive for talents seeking opportunities.

Besides getting some general insights into their offer for returnees and international talents, we had the great pleasure of hearing from two of them. One returnee from the USA and one from Australia. They are both in very different stages of their start-ups and focus on different topics. Our group was very interested in learning directly from them, how they see the differences between how China does business versus the Western world. We subjected them also to the variances between the cultures and values and why they chose to return. In summary, they emphasized that the differences are less than we might perceive. East or West – people are the same. Especially in higher management levels, the hierarchy and style are more similar. They have been drawn back to their homes, due to the obvious advantages, like being close to the hardware supply chain. EIRIT is attractive to them since they can find and meet through them key resources, like engineers, suppliers, and consultants. When asked about what learned element they incorporated from their time overseas, they highlighted the importance of digital marketing, both to connect with their stakeholder and also for example to get funding via a Kickstarter campaign. The use of Western-driven social media sparked further questions from students after the formal session concluded. 

One surprising revelation was their short-term focus and planning, their planning horizon reaches one to two months ahead only, very dynamically adapting to how things unfold. While they talked about not being high stakes driven, when it comes to growing their businesses fast, but rather enjoying the process, connecting to people instead of chasing money intensely, they also both opened their introduction, with them having just finished their workdays only in the early morning,  just hours before, being tired and exhausted. Like many founders and entrepreneurs around the world, East or West. 

To find more information about Hex Space and EIRIT, visit their website, LinkedIn page, or Instagram as well as our summary of their offer below. 

Hex Space' comprehensive support hub offers similar benefits as other incubators in the area with the twist of the focus on supporting talents with international backgrounds. Here is how they try to appeal to potential talents:

·      Policy Expertise and Resources:  Understanding government policies and gaining access to resources are often stumbling blocks for newcomers. Hex Space bridges this gap by providing policy consultation, resource matching, and connections to industrial parks and financing institutes. This support eases the startup journey.

·      Free Office Space: Hex Space's provision of free office space for up to 12 months. It liberates entrepreneurs from the burden of immediate rent, allowing them to invest their resources where it matters most – in their ideas and businesses.

·      Thriving Community: Hex Space doesn't stop at office space; it fosters a thriving entrepreneurial community. The opportunity to connect with fellow entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds and regularly engage in entrepreneurial events. This sense of belonging can be a powerful incentive for talents seeking to establish themselves.

·      Knowledge Empowerment: EIRIT doesn't just provide physical space; it empowers talents with knowledge. Through seminars on policies, finance, taxation, and legal matters, they ensure that entrepreneurs are well-equipped to navigate the complex business landscape of China.

·      No Age or Nationality Restrictions: Hex Space opens its doors to all, irrespective of age or nationality. This inclusivity breaks down barriers and encourages talents from around the world to embark on their entrepreneurial journeys.

·      Holistic Assistance: Beyond business support, Hex Space offers a holistic package to support newcomers with the often-daunting task of adapting to a new country.  


Domenico Dongiovanni

Sarah Castratori

iMakerbase - International Hardware Accelerator
07.09.2023 | morning (II)

During our recent field trip, we were fortunate to experience firsthand the vibrant ecosystem of iMakerbase, a hub that stands at the intersection of education, partnerships, product development, and investment. Its dedication to fostering innovation and transforming raw ideas into tangible products was nothing short of inspiring. The rapid speed at which startups can connect with reliable suppliers and develop their products paints a hopeful picture for all budding entrepreneurs. 

One of the crowning jewels is the Maker School, a nurturing ground for creativity and technical skills. We were captivated by the enthusiastic spirit present during our visit. This space encourages learners to evolve into creators, making it a breeding ground for innovation and new ideas. Moreover, the iMakerbase doesn’t just stop at helping invent products; it nurtures them to market readiness through insightful branding and marketing strategies, offering a roadmap to success in the domestic and global markets. 

During our visit, we also had the chance to explore their product design and development team. Here, we witnessed the transformation of creative ideas into standout products, a process fueled by a team committed to innovation and excellence. We also delved into the comprehensive support provided in terms of investments, a critical tool for startups to scale their ideas effectively. The collaborative events and one-to-one meetings fostered by the business matchmaking service impressed us, proving to be vital opportunities to build connections and learn from potential partners and collaborators. 

Our learning experience at iMakerbase was rich and filled with new insights. The incredible achievements showcased, including the realization of over 150 ideas and numerous successful projects, left us awe-struck. The hands-on approach to learning and the emphasis on precision and quality in manufacturing services offered are testimony to the opportunities available here. As we left, we carried with us not just knowledge but a newfound excitement to explore the infinite possibilities that lay before us, thanks to the eye-opening experiences at iMakerbase. It truly is a place where dreams are forged into reality, promising a bright future for all young innovators and entrepreneurs.


Domenico Dongiovanni

Andrea Ky

AIRS - Shenzhen Institute of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics for Society 07.09.2023 | afternoon

In the afternoon, we had the incredible opportunity to visit the Shenzhen Institute of Artificial Intelligence and Robots for Society (AIRS). AIRS stands as a pioneering institution in the field of artificial intelligence technology and robotics. AIRS has set out to redefine the traditional research institution by developing a unique and modern research institute model. With an integration of university knowledge and innovative endeavors, the institute is actively fostering international partnerships while addressing the demands of various industries. This endeavor positions AIRS as a hub that attracts experts from around the globe. The institute is home to Chinese and international academicians, scholars, and industry professionals who specialize in various facets of robotics, including special robotics, intelligent robots, micro-nanorobots, swarm intelligence, and machine learning. To successfully implement AI applications across industries and healthcare, AIRS has set forth several key objectives. These include identifying and nurturing future leaders in the field and advancing the industrialization of AI and robotics. Moreover, AIRS is committed to ensuring that these technologies are accessible to society, ultimately establishing a global hub for AI and robotics innovation.


The AIRS institution has made significant strides toward achieving its goal of becoming a globally recognized institute, attracting the best academicians and talents from around the world. Their research has gained recognition and acceptance at prestigious conferences such as the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) and the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS).


During our visit, we had the privilege of exploring the Science & Art Joint Lab, a collaborative effort between AIRS and Shenzhen University Benyuan Design and Research Center, led by Director SHEN Shaomin and Dr. DING Ning, Executive Associate Director at AIRS and Director of the Center for Special Robots. The installations at the lab beautifully demonstrated the fusion of AI, robotics, philosophy, humanity, and the arts. It expanded our understanding of the fascinating intersection between technology and culture.

The exhibition delved into the realms of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics through three distinctive areas: Virtual Reality Connection, Ground-Air Stack, and Future Archaeology. It took us on an enthralling journey across space and time dimensions, seamlessly blending the boundaries between virtuality and reality. Among the captivating installations, we would like to highlighten two featured in the photo above. In the VR Connection section, "The In Finite of Mirrors" (upper left) installation beckoned with its six mechanical arms arranged in a circular formation, akin to participants in a roundtable meeting. These arms held mirrors that reflected upon one another, symbolizing self-identity and consciousness. The mirrors served as criteria for assessing self-awareness. Within this intricate reflection of mirrors, the lines between the subject and object of reflection blurred into the abstract realm of the mirror itself. This artistic interpretation transcended the human-centered perspective, embracing the essence of observation, scrutiny, examination, and cognition. The mirrors metaphorically alluded to multiple realities and internal contemplations, offering a profound philosophical reflection on the subject of machine learning.

In the adjacent Ground-Air Stack area, we encountered the "Metabolism Mediator" installation (upper right). This interactive artwork unfolded within an inflatable space filled with carbon dioxide gas. The contours of the inflatable structure undulated and shifted in response to the presence and movements of viewers. Human footsteps triggered expansions that pressed against the passageway, creating a dynamic interplay. Carbon dioxide, as a fundamental component of organic matter and an essential element in the context of life's interaction with the environment, served as a pivotal medium for respiratory metabolism and photosynthesis. This installation reflected contemplation and mapping of carbon neutrality, encapsulating the intricate relationship between living organisms and their surroundings.

Overall, these installations provided an unexpected but also thought-provoking experience and at the same time we would expand our understanding of the profound intersections between technology, culture, and the human experience.

Authors: Sabina Nadarevic and Danijel Levnajic

Shenzhen Smart City Group - Mr. Xu Hao, Head of Operation Service department 08.09.2023 | morning

Paving the way for Future Cities...

On the last day of our study trip, we had the chance to visit the Shenzhen Smart City Group. The Smart City Group, a state-owned high-tech enterprise, was established in 2018 and is directly managed by the Shenzhen Assets Supervision and Administration Commission. By the following year, it was operational and en route to embodying its vision of a true smart city.

Now, you might wonder, "What exactly is a smart city?" If you cast your mind back to the geospatial lab visit in Hong Kong, you'll remember that a smart city's core objective is to provide its citizens with a high-quality living environment. That's precisely what the Smart City Group aims to do: enhance overall development, increase the people's livelihood, and potentially influence the urban blueprint of other cities.

The Smart City Group

Shenzhen Smart City Group focuses on building a foundational platform for smart city construction by merging various urban elements. They further offer digital government solutions by providing a system that promotes efficiency, collaboration, and modernized urban management via a cloud network base. During our visit, we also learned that they are responsible for the data as well as for setting new policies for the smart city. Further, they explained that they aim to create an overall solution by creating one system for everything. So far, they have been focusing on buildings and traffic.

For their digital twin, they develop high-resolution rendering software in-house. The use it to convert 2D models into 3D models of the city. Apparently, 80-90 % of the 3D models are being created through AI. They also set policies for the construction of new buildings. Even before the building is built, they already know where they want the relevant sensors placed (e.g., air conditioning and other energy usage).

They strongly collaborate with one of their twelve holding companies regarding traffic optimization. They closely monitor the traffic and make complementary use of AI to predict the traffic. During rush hour the AI model will calculate how many cars might drive over the crossing in the future. Depending on the amount, the traffic lights might turn on green for longer to enhance the traffic flow. Indeed, we had quite some experience driving across the city for our company visits. Despite rush hour and traffic, we never really felt that we were stuck in one place.

Interestingly, the next important policy is not for self-driving cars. Because the integration would require more detailed 3D modelling of the city. The next pressing topic is delivery drones. They’re examining the option to allow delivery drones to fly in the lower sky area which is 50m over the ground.

The Smart City Group also plans to offer its solution outside China and collaborate with the Middle East. As per the Group’s information, Shenzhen ranks in the top 30 of the World Smart City developments. Even though there are possibilities to focus on revenue and monetize the system, their current emphasis lies in the improvement of the livelihood of their citizens.

Another important topic is the data gathered through the smart city. For traffic regulation as an example, the company uses raw data gathered from cameras, satellites, and mobile phone activities. The content of the data material belongs to the government. The company is only allowed to use the generated data of the government dataset to train the algorithm to enhance traffic regulation. There are different data classifications with different regulations. Even though some of the data is open source, other data must be officially requested. For example, if a company wants to use data to train their models for new products.

In this context, a significant concern for us Europeans when collecting data is the regulation surrounding data privacy. In Europe, this is referred to as GDPR, a legal framework that, while ensuring privacy, can sometimes slow down rapid technological advancements. Meanwhile, China introduced its first thorough legislation on personal information and data privacy known as the Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL). Although there are similarities between PIPL and the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, the former has certain ambiguities that remain open to interpretation, leading to potential regulatory uncertainties. On the other hand, it also allows faster development of new technologies – since datasets can be used to train different AI projects.

We further inquired with Mr. Xu Hao about their partnerships with other cities and their collaborative approaches to advance their projects, since we heard about similar projects in Hong Kong from Geospatial Lab. They were not sure if they specifically collaborate with their Pendant from Hong Kong. However, they closely cooperate with several Hong Kong universities to share experiences and cooperate on innovative technologies that enhance the city’s intelligence. There are some channels, where citizens can share experiences and possible improvements. Nonetheless, there is currently no further active involvement of the citizens in the decision-making process, the governmental departments are mainly in charge of deciding development-related questions.

In a world racing towards digitalization, it's reassuring to see, that it is possible to build cities that are not just smart, but also responsible and sustainable.


Miriam Dall'Agnolo

Jessica Costantini

Hetao Shenzhen - Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation and Cooperation Zone, HTCZ

• 08.09.2023 | afternoon

After an insightful two weeks, we last visited the Hetao Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone (HTCZ). Today the zone covers 3.89 square kilometers and is located in the Heteo districit. The institution is state-owned and was founded in 2018 by two companies that jointly invested CNY 10 billion to form the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Zone Ltd. One of the first programs in HTCZ and at the same time a major initiative in Shenzhen, is the Hetao Innovation Center which is placed as a life science research and development platform in HTCZ. The goal of this complex is amongst others to integrate scientific research, laboratory and supporting service. There are also more aspects to the cooperation zone. It is the only synergy platform between Shenzhen and Hong Kong along the river and across the border, as well as the only main platform that features science and technology innovation. Moreover, it is interconnected through different cross-border pathways: three major ports, three roads of which two are bridges, and railway connections. The overall cooperation has been of major interest of the Chinese central government since 2017 when in the presence of Xi Jinping a framework agreement was signed which aims to deepen the cooperation among Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao to promote the construction of the Greater Bay Area (GBA). In 2020, Xi Jinping emphasized during his speech at the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone the importance and accordingly the need to plan and realize such a cooperation zone. Only one year later, the 14th five-year plan projected to further strengthen the collaborative development of Guangdong and Hong Kong and specifically to promote the constructions of national science centers that should facilitate the exchange of cross-border innovation elements. As a result, it comes as no surprise that the six major fields of HTCZ identified are: medical technology, big data and AI, micro-electronics, new materials (e.g., chips and semi-conductors), robotics, and finance technology. To make talents and enterprises settle in this zone, four major support packages are provided:

1.                Measures to Support Scientific Research and Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the HTCZ Shenzhen section.

2.                Joint Policy Package for HTCZ.

3.                Measures to Support Technological Research and Industrialization and Innovation in the HTCZ Shenzhen section.

4.                HTCZ Shenzhen section’s funding scheme for youth internship, employment, innovation, and entrepreneurship in Hong Kong and Macau

Overall, this last visit was once again an impressive example of a top-down approach which in this instance aims to promote cross-border trade. Lastly, the location may have been one of the most impressive for the whole of our group during the previous two weeks. Then, the visit took place to a landmark building called Heteo Alpha, created by Richard Rogers who already won the Pritzker Architecture Prize (Noble price in architecture) in his career. This is the highest building in this specific area and accordingly we had an outstanding view from the 68th floor over the respective zone, Macao by good weather as it is only 80 km away and especially the mangroves which are a living space for leopard cats and black ducks. Furthermore, the area is also resting place for around 100 different bird species that travel from Siberia to Sydney when the seasons change. This factor is also the reason why there are height limitation to buildings in this area. Although the HTCZ is not meant to be used for industrialization, the space is limited and already some satellite areas are identified where organizations can settle. Nevertheless, the price to rent a floor in the Heteo Alpha building is with 220 RMB very moderate and could be an interesting opportunity for new incubators, such as from Switzerland.


David Grossenbacher 

Andrea Calazacon