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Welcome Message by Regierungsrat Dr. Conradin Cramer

Welcome to Basel! We are proud to host such an eminent group of scientists in our city. On the other hand, we may modestly say, that this location is ideal for a high level symposium on molecular science in general and on cancer medication in particular.

Basel is a hot spot for Life Sciences. The Life Sciences form the basis of our economy and are an important source of our public wealth. Moreover Basel has an all-embracing scientific ecosystem in the Life Sciences.  The two global players Novartis and Roche alone contribute a volume of about 6 billion Swiss francs from Life Science Research. Although financed at a much lower level our University has a strong focus and hits well above its size in the Life Sciences – a knowledge pipeline beginning with the basic research at the Biozentrum and continuing along a translational path to the clinical research and practical application in the University Hospitals. The University is associated with renowned research institutes such as the Friedrich Miescher Institute of Novartis and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), which, like the University is a public institution. Of course the University also cooperates with top Universities in Switzerland – especially the ETH Zurich – and worldwide. There is also a close cooperation with our regional University of Applied Sciences.

If you look out of the window you will see the Life Science Campus arising, on which you soon will find the ETH-Department of Bio Systems and Systems Engineering in close vicinity to our university-institutes, such as the departments of Chemistry and Physics, the Biozentrum and the Department of  Biomedical Science. In the same area we find the campus of our University hospital. We thus combine all of the essential components for a successful translation from high end research to clinical application in an area less than a square kilometre.

How can this be done by a little administrative region such as Basel City with only 190‘000 inhabitants? It is possible because of strong regional partnerships, especially with our neighboring county, that sends the greatest cohort of students to the University of Basel. Our entire region is proud of its university and participates to its wellbeing, financially, culturally and emotionally. And of course there are the subsidies of the federal government as well as national and international research grants which are acquired with great success by our university and provide the fuel for the research engine. The whole ecosystem is embedded in a trinational region, where the three nations France, Germany and Switzerland meet and form one of the strongest Life-Science clusters of the world. A region of frontiers, ideally prepared to test and move beyond the frontiers in molecular sciences!

In Basel you encounter a curious combination of small town with a strong identity and a worldwide scientific impact. We believe this to be a unique strength of this area. The short distance between centres of excellence facilitates free exchange between scientists and leads to an openness to other cultures and a profound commitment to the improvement of life quality worldwide. Your meeting here is a fine signal of this Ambition.

With this brief welcome note I hope to have shown, that you have chosen excellent surroundings for your congress. I wish you inspiration, a good atmosphere and of course scientific success. However, please don’t forget to explore our other highlights: the fine architecture of Basel, the cultural highlights and, of course, the culinary opportunities. In short: I hope you will also find a little time for leisure and enjoyment during your stay here.