History of the partnership

The following is a chronological list of the most important meetings and activities that have taken place to date within the context of the State Partnership between Basel-Stadt and Massachusetts.

2017

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24 April 2017: Exchange student reception at Basel Town Hall

Ulrich Maier (Head of Secondary School Education and Vocational Training) welcomed the group of exchange students from Massachusetts in Basel Town Hall.
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Ulrich Maier (Head of Secondary School Education and Vocational Training) welcomed the group of exchange students from Massachusetts in Basel Town Hall.

Around 30 exchange students from high schools in Natick and Reading in the US Federal State of Massachusetts were welcomed by Ulrich Maier, the Head of Secondary School Education and Vocational Training, at Basel Town Hall. In his address, Ulrich Maier said he was delighted that every year young people have the opportunity to get to know a different culture and language and to conduct an exchange programme across the Atlantic as a result of the sister-state agreement between Basel and Massachusetts.

2016

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19 April 2016: Exchange student reception at Basel Town Hall

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Photo: Juri Weiss

Around 30 students from the Wakefield Memorial High School and the Natick High School in Massachusetts attended a reception hosted by State Councillor Lukas Engelberger and the deputy headmistress of Gymnasium Leonhard as well as the deputy headmaster of the Wirtschaftsgymnasium Stefan Binkert and students from both grammar schools. Following an unique and impressive tour led by the former head of the immersion programme, Oswald Inglin, the exchange students were invited to the Great Council Chamber. In his speech, referring to his own experience, State Councillor Engelberger praised the education system in Basel and asked his guests to return to the city in the future if they got the chance, “perhaps to launch a career and benefit from our high standard of living”.

2015

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October 2015: Marketing presence in Washington D.C. and Boston

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State Councilor Basel Baschi Dürr and the Governor Charlie Baker in State House with the Swiss Consul General in New York, Ambassador André Schaller.

The Canton of Basel-Stadt organised a marketing event in Washington D.C. and Boston from 6 to 9 October 2015. The occasion was provided by an exhibition of two private collections from Basel in the renowned Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. and the 15th anniversary of swissnex Boston. As part of the swissnex anniversary celebrations, the Canton of Basel-Stadt and the State of Massachusetts resolved to step up their long-standing partnership. The appearances in Boston and Washington confirmed Basel’s standing as an international centre of art and culture and its status as an innovative research centre.

On 9 October 2015, on the occasion of Basel’s marketing presence, the Governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, and Basel State Councillor Baschi Dürr met to discuss the Sister-state Agreement between the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Canton of Basel-Stadt as well as further cooperation in the context of their partnership.

April 2015: Pupil Reception

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Vice-President of the Government, Eva Herzog, welcomed the group of pupils from Massachusetts at Basel City Hall.

Around 30 pupils from the US state of Massachusetts visited Basel as part of a school exchange programme. They were greeted at Basel City Hall by Vice-President of the Government, Eva Herzog. Secondary schools Gymnasium Leonhard and Wirtschaftsgymnasium Basel have been involved in a lively exchange with high schools from the Boston region for 12 years. The Department of Presidential Affairs supports this intercultural project as part of the partnership between the Canton of Basel-Stadt and the US state of Massachusetts.
Herzog’s address demonstrated her belief that intercultural exchange is of great value to education. “During the school exchange, which came into being as a result of the Sister State Agreement between Basel and Massachusetts, young people have the opportunity to come into contact with another language and culture and to share experiences with people of the same age from a different continent.”

 

2014

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April 2014: Student Exchange

The students were welcomed in the Grand Council Hall of the Basel Town Hall by State Chancellor Barbara Schüpbach-Guggenbühl.
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The students were welcomed in the Grand Council Hall of the Basel Town Hall by State Chancellor Barbara Schüpbach-Guggenbühl.

Around 30 American students visited Basel as part of the successful student exchange programme. The students from the Reading and Natick high schools in the Boston area were welcomed in the Grand Council Hall of the Basel Town Hall by State Chancellor Barbara Schüpbach-Guggenbühl and Chargé d'Affairs Jeffrey Cellars of the U.S. Embassy in Bern, on the 28th of April. They stayed with their host families in Basel for two weeks whilst attending classes at the Gymnasium Leonhard and the Business High School in Basel.

Originally initiated by the "Friends of Massachusetts" association, the student exchange programme has become one of the partnership’s great successes. The exchange programme has proven to be not just academically very valuable, but also on a personal level, by bringing young people together, who often stay in touch long after the actual exchange has finished.
 

2013

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February 2013: Delegation trip Boston / Cambridge

From left to right: Sebastien Hug, Swissnex Boston, Nina Ryser, Office for Economy and Labour, Dr. Christoph Klöpper, i-net innovations network switzerland, Deborah Strub, Basel Chamber of Commerce, Prof. Antonio Loprieno, Rector of Basel University Hospital, Dr. Eva Herzog, State Councillor of Basel-Stadt, Michal Preminger, Executive Director of the Office of Technology Development at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Felix Moesner, Consul/Director of Swissnex Boston, Dr. Dieter Scholer, University of Basel, Florian Eggli, External Affairs and Marketing.
A visit by the Basel delegation to Boston, where the interests of science, industry and innovation came together.

A high-level Basel delegation from the areas of business, education and innovation visited the research-intensive environment of traditional science sites in Boston and Cambridge for four days. These are in the American state of Massachusetts, with which the Canton of Basel-Stadt has maintained an official partnership for eleven years now. The objective of this Agreement is the mutual exchange and mutual strengthening as internationally important research sites in particular in the field of life sciences.

Dr. Felix Moesner from Swissnex Boston, State Councillor Dr. Eva Herzog, MIT President Prof. Raphael Reif, Prof. Antonio Loprieno, Rector of the University of Basel, Basel-Area Manager Iris Welten and Claude Canizares from MIT.
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The delegation, led by University Rector Prof. Antonio Loprieno, State Councillor Dr. Eva Herzog and Basel-Area manager Iris Welten visited the Massaschusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The overlap between science, industry and innovation were at the heart of the visit in mid-February 2013. Contacts with institutions that focus on the transfer of the knowledge of these interfaces were intensified during theses four days.
The visit revolved around experiencing the personal encounter, but also the rich environment for the promotion of ideas. Therefore we visited not only the Swiss industrial company SOTAX headquartered in Allschwil and the Harvard Medical School, for example, but also the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) and the innovation laboratories of Harvard and the MIT. The CIC is specifically designed for start-up companies and offers office space with facilities, which correspond to the latest state of the art.

The MIT Media Lab supports business operations and innovation.
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The MIT Media Lab supports business operations and innovation.

The i-lab at Harvard University and the media lab of the supporting business and innovation between the various universities bring together the interests of the student body outside the school. Both Prof. Dr. Antonio Loprieno, Rector of the University of Basel, and the State Councillor Dr. Eva Herzog were fascinated by the spirit of innovation and the ubiquitous optimism they encountered.

The outcome of this trip, along with the admiration for the enormous optimism in progress, remains the positive self-recognition that Basel need not shy away from its achievements as a location for both business and education.

2012

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April 2012: Student exchange

The popular student exchange between Basel’s Commercial High School and the Leonard High School along with selected high schools in the State of Massachusetts took place again this year and was, as ever, very popular. American students from the high schools of Wakefield and Natick were warmly received in the Grand Council Hall of Basel-Stadt by the President of the Government Council of the Canton Basel-Stadt, Dr. Guy Morin, on the 24th of April and welcomed with an official speech. Both the representative of the American Embassy, Mr. Alexander Daniels, and also Dr Oswald Inglin and Stefan Binkert, the Deputy Head of the two Basel high schools, welcomed the students personally and wished them a memorable time during their two-week stay in the Swiss partner city.

2011

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Basel, 18th April 2011: Annual reception in the Basel City Hall (Rathaus)

For the eighth time, a selection of students from high schools in Wakefield, Gloucester and Natick in the US-American state of Massachusetts has taken part in the student exchange programme between the partner states. The Department of Presidential Affairs of Basel-Stadt supports this inter-cultural project within the framework of the Basel - Massachusetts State Partnership, and invited the guest students to an official reception in the City Hall. The welcoming address was given by Barbara Schüpbach-Guggenbühl, State Chancellor of the Canton of Basel-Stadt. Alex Daniels, the Press & Cultural Attaché of the US-American embassy in Bern, also had a few words for the exchange participants.

2010

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October 2010: Delegation visit

On the initiative of the Office for the Economy and Labour (AWA) of the Canton of Basel-Stadt, a delegation of business promotion organisations from North-Western Switzerland will be visiting Boston. The main focus will be on exchange of expertise and meetings of experts within the context of the events at Swissnex Boston.

April 19, 2010: Student reception

As in every spring, guest students from Massachusetts will be received by representatives of the government of the Canton of Basel-Stadt. In the presence of a representative from the US Embassy, the students from Massachusetts, who are participating in a exchange programme of the Gymnasium Leonhard and the Wirtschaftsgymnasium, were received in the Parliament Hall (Grossratssaal) of the Basel Town Hall (Rathaus).
More about the student exchange.

2009

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April 27, 2009: Student reception

Welcoming a group of students from Massachusetts in the Basel Town Hall.
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Dr. Guy Morin welcoming a group of students from Massachusetts in the Basel Town Hall in 2009.

As in every spring, guest students from Massachusetts will be received by representatives of the government of the Canton of Basel-Stadt. In the presence of a representative from the US Embassy, the students from Massachusetts, who are participating in a exchange programme of the Gymnasium Leonhard and the Wirtschaftsgymnasium, were received in the Parliament Hall (Grossratssaal) of the Basel Town Hall (Rathaus).
More about the student exchange.

2008

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May 2008: Boston College in Basel

Welcoming a group of students from Massachusetts in the Basel Town Hall.
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Former State Councillor Dr. Ralph Lewin welcoming a group of students from Massachusetts to Basel in 2008.

As in the year before, group of students of economics at Boston College visit leading companies and institutes in Basel.

February 21, 2008: New adhesive tape from Masssachusetts and Basel

In a joint research project, scientists at the Biozentrum of Basel University, MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital have developed a new adhesive tape for doctors The tape has been inspired by the gecko. More.

2007

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September 28, 2007: Novartis – MIT Center for Continuous Manufacturing

The pharmaceutical company Novartis and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) start a long-term research cooperation to develop new methods for the production of pharmaceuticals.

July 31, 2007: Biozentrum and MIT develop a fungicidal surface

Scientists at the Biozentrum of Basel University and at MIT present a process by which medicinal products such as needles or catheters can be covered with a fungicidal surface. More.

July 19, 2007: Successful cooperation in nano sciences

An international team of researchers at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute of Basel University, MIT, Harvard University and Bell Labs succeeded in experimentally proving a promising quantum state in semiconductor nanostructures. These ground breaking experiments are an important step towards the development of a topological quantum calculator.

May 2007: Boston College in Basel

A group of students from Massachusetts on the Basel ferry.
Students from Massachusetts visited Basel in 2007.

A group of students of economics at Boston College visit several companies and institutes in Basel.

May 2007: BIO 2007 in Boston

Several representatives from Basel (politicians and economic leaders) participate in BIO 2007, the global fair for biotechnology.

April 23, 2007: Renewal of the Sister State Agreement

Governor Deval L. Patrick, who was elected in November 2006, renews the Sister State Agreement between Massachusetts and Basel in a proclamation presented to the Basel Government by exchange students of Gloucester High School.

2007: Drug management project

University Hospital Basel and Brigham Hospital at Harvard Medical School start a joint drug management project.

2006

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October 2006: Economic relations are intensified

BaselArea (Economic Promotion Basel), the Amt für Wirtschaft und Arbeit des Kantons Basel-Stadt and the Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment intensify their cooperation.

2004

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March 2004: Joint Master course in eBusiness/eGovernment

The Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz, Boston College and Babson College offer a joint international Executive Master in eBusiness/eGovernment.

2004 to 2006: Exchange on «NursingCare»

University Hospital Basel and Beth Israel Hospital in Boston start an exchange on «Effects of Rationing on Nursing Care».

2004 to 2006: Exchange on civil engineering projects «Urban Geoscience»

The Department of Geosciences of Basel University initiates an exchange on civil engineering projects with MIT in Cambridge. The exchange is called «Urban Geosciences».

2003

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September 2003: Going to Boston

A group of students of Gymnasium Leonhard in Basel enjoy a visit to Memorial High School in Wakefield. This is the start of an exchange programme between several partner schools (Gymnasium Leonhard, Wirtschaftsgymnasium, Wakefield Memorial High School, Gloucester High School and Natick High School). Every year, students of Basel and Massachusetts visit each other.

May 8 to 10, 2003: Welcoming visit to the new Governor

State councillor Ralph Lewin visits the new Governor Mitt Romney. Together with former Governor Jane Swift, Lewin receives the «Julius Adam Stratton Prize for Intercultural Achievements» awarded by the association «Friends of Switzerland».

2002

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June 20, 2002: Sister State Agreement is signed

Governor Jane Swift and President Carlo Conti sign the Sister State Agreement between Basel-Stadt and Massachusetts in Boston.

May 2002: NIBR Headquarter in Boston inaugurated

Novartis opens its global research headquarters at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in Cambridge.

2000

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November 3, 2000: The association «Friends of Massachusetts» is founded

The «Friends of Massachusetts» are founded as a private non-profit association. This association will lay the basis of the future partnership and initiate a number of projects.

October 2000: SHARE Boston is opened

State Councillor Ralph Lewin is invited by the Swiss Federation to open the first Swiss research consulate SHARE (Swiss House of Advanced Research and Education) world wide in Boston.

May 22, 2000: Memorandum of Understanding is signed

Substitute Governor Jane Swift visits Basel on a trade mission. Along with president Ralph Lewin, she signs a Memorandum of Understanding, in which both states agree to extend their relationship. The Memorandum is the first step on the path to an institutionalized partnership.