Dr. Franco Vigliotti, Dean of EPFL Middle East, was recognized as the Swiss Business Personality of the Year 2017 by the Swiss Business Council Abu Dhabi. His dedication has made EPFL Middle East and EPFL a catalyst for Swiss-UAE cooperation since 2009.
The Swiss Business Council Abu Dhabi recognized on Thursday 12 October Dr. Franco Vigliotti, Dean of EPFL Middle East, as the Swiss Business Personality of the Year 2017, and H.E. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, as the UAE Business Personality of the Year 2017. The awardees were honored in the presence of H.E. Jürg Stahl, President of the Swiss National Council and his Predecessor, Mrs Christa Markwalder, EPFL President Prof. Martin Vetterli, H.E. Maya Tissafi, Ambassador of Switzerland to the UAE, H.E. Chris Watts, Consul General and Director of the Swiss Business Hub, Jean-Marc Suter, President of the Swiss Business Council Abu Dhabi and 150 guests. Also a guest of honor, Martin Vetterli gave the concluding remarks, a seminar on Swiss innovation, the successes of the past, and the challenges and opportunities of digitalization.
The Swiss Business Council Award is given by the Swiss Business Council Abu Dhabi under the patronage of the Embassy of Switzerland in the United Arab Emirates and presented by IWC Schaffhausen, to give recognition to one Swiss and one UAE personality of the year.
Franco Vigliotti was honored in recognition of his dedication, which has made EPFL Middle East and EPFL a catalyst for Swiss-UAE cooperation, making an invaluable contribution to Ras al Khaimah, the UAE and Switzerland. Research projects since 2009 have heralded Energy efficiency and Sustainability in the UAE across many disciplines. His work contributed to creating the Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai, the first building under "MINERGIE" standards in the MENA region, an edifice which consumes only a third of the energy of similar standing school buildings in the UAE. Similarly, the activities continue to support the Ras al Khaimah government in the conception and implementation of its waste management strategy and other efficiency-driven programs.
Finally, the institution and the EPFL master program "Energy Management and sustainability", accredited OAQ/CTI and now in its 7th edition, was instrumental in the creation of several start-ups. One of them "Enerwhere", located in Dubai, provides solar energy solutions for offand on-grid applications, and currently employs some 40 people in Dubai.