DECENTRALIZATION AND LOCAL DEVELOPMENT IN ALBANIA
Our Institute of Business and Regional Economics specializes in helping public authorities to become more effective in their management. The "Decentralization and Local Development Project (dldp)" in Albania exemplarily shows what can be achieved.
The Lucerne School of Business consultant Stefan Pfäffli had started to support dldp around ten years ago. Other partners in the project were the Swiss Development Cooperation SDC and the Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation. The project covered around 40% of the Albanian territory. However, many of the development interventions had a country-wide impact. One important project component was dedicated to public financial management PFM of municipalities and to decentralization.
In spring 2019 the project came to an end. However, the Lucerne School of Business' technical support continues in Albania with two new Swiss projects which started recently with the aim of continuing the reform work.
With a global workforce of around 600, the Swiss company Geistlich Pharma specializes in biomaterials for the regeneration of bone, cartilage and tissue. It develops and manufactures medical devices and pharmaceuticals which are marketed via more than 70 distribution partners and affiliates worldwide.
When asked about a topic for its off-site team-building and training event, the Geistlich Pharma Corporate Communications team raised an interest in better understanding the Chinese culture to improve its cooperation with colleagues, customers and partners from China and approached the Lucerne School of Business for support.
Lecturer and researcher Sebastian Huber, who had formerly lived, studied and later worked in China for several years, teamed up with Taiwan-born sinologist Dr Claudine Chen from the Lucerne School of Business' Language Centre and Marcus Gladers, a part-time lecturer and China entrepreneur. Together, the three experts developed an intensive one-day training programme for the Geistlich Pharma's Corporate Communications team of about 30 people that included insights and lectures on the economy, culture and history of China as well as a wide variety of team-focused activities to develop skills in understanding and better managing Sino-Swiss relationships.
After the day, the management team from Geistlich Pharma expressed their gratitude for the preparation, execution and follow-up of the workshop by suggesting to other departments within the company to turn to the Lucerne School of Business for their training needs - be it on China or other business topics. We look forward to cooperate with Geistlich Pharma again in the future and make the Lucerne School of Business' broad range of knowledge and expertise available to practitioners from industry in Switzerland and abroad!
Switzerland offers excellent conditions for FinTech companies, as shown by the FinTech hub ranking published by the Lucerne School of Business. This has led to a continuous growth of the domestic FinTech sector with over 350 mostly internationally oriented companies as of the end of 2018. Swiss universities are a significant driver of this development. Over the last few years, the Lucerne School of Business, and in particular its Institute of Financial Services, have built up a reputation in the FinTech sector, which has led to a wide variety of international projects with partners from the academia, industry and government.
Some of the most recent projects include:
- Collaboration with the Spanish Embassy in Switzerland in order to connect Spanish FinTech companies with institutions from the Swiss financial sector
- Oranisation of an annual FinTech Colloquium with the aim of presenting new ideas from both the academia as well as the practice; at past events speakers came from Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy and the United Kingdom, among others.
Besides these projects, the Institute of Financial Services was increasingly involved as a competent partner in the field of Distributed Ledger Technology. This has not come as a surprise, given its location in the heart of the so-called Crypto Valley in and around the city of Zug. Examples of collaboration in the respective field include the ongoing collaboration of the Institute with a leading Swedish university in order to analyze the characteristics of Bitcoin investors based on a proprietary database, as well as a series of guest lectureships on the functionality and applications of Distributed Ledger Technology at the Universidad de Desarrollo in Chile.
The Institute of Financial Services was also represented at the Future of Money event "Blockchain in FinTech" held in Beijing, by taking part in the event's panel discussion on the current stage of development of the Blockchain technology, as well as challenges and opportunities for respective applications in the financial sector. Similar and other topics will also be discussed at our FinTech Conference held on March 4, 2020. If you are interested, please find further information about the event here.