Switzerland Makes a Very Positive Assessment of Solar Impulse’s American Adventure

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Presence Switzerland (PRS), the office responsible for Switzerland’s image abroad, which supports the project, has made a very positive assessment of Solar Impulse’s “Across America Mission,” the solar airplane’s crossing of the United States. The nearly four-month aeronautical voyage strengthened Switzerland’s image across the Atlantic and highlighted its assets in the areas of innovation, science, and education.

The Swiss representations in the United States shared their network and institutional contacts to make the Solar Impulse’s work, particularly that of the two pilots André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, as easy as possible. During their stop in Washington, D.C., the two pilots were able to meet U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. At the conclusion of their crossing, they were officially received by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon at the United Nations headquarters in New York, after having been welcomed by several hundred people at JFK Airport when they landed. In a message, Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg saluted Solar Impulse’s innovative approach and underlined its impact on future generations.

The purpose of the PRS-managed “Across America Mission” agreement binding Solar Impulse and the Swiss Confederation was to support the project and at the same time strengthen the image of Switzerland across the Atlantic. Those objectives were largely met: the slogan “An idea born in Switzerland” as well as the visibility of the airplane and its two pilots very closely connected the project with its country of origin.

The U.S., international, and Swiss media closely followed the journey of the Solar Impulse. In that context, the Swiss representations in the United States organized various events with U.S. personalities from the political, economic and scientific arenas to draw their attention to the quality of education and institutions of higher learning in Switzerland as well as to the partnerships between the public and private sectors.

The Swiss Confederation will continue its support. The Federal Council has made a commitment to keep up its contributions until the Solar Impulse’s around-the-world tour scheduled to take place in 2015. Under the coordination of Presence Switzerland, a total of five federal departments (the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport, Federal Department of Finance, Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications, Federal Department of Home Affairs, and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs) are committed to supporting Solar Impulse and capitalizing on the project to promote Swiss innovation.

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Salome Ramseier, Head of Communications
Embassy of Switzerland
+1 (202) 957-5201
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