Managing innovation
A relay between research and industry, our technologies help the Swiss economy remain competitive. Since its creation by the Swiss federal council in 1984, CSEM has enjoyed significant political support. In legal terms, the center is a not-for-profit organization.

CSEM is a research and technology organization (RTO) and a public–private partnership. We realize our mission of ensuring the competitiveness of Swiss industry by collaborating with our extended network in academia, research, and the economy. This mirrors how our shareholding is distributed. Around one-quarter of the shares are publicly held, either by the ETH domain (Swiss federal institutes of technology and related research bodies), and therefore by the Swiss confederation, or by either the canton or the town of Neuchâtel. The remaining three-quarters are held by leading actors from across Switzerland’s industries and economy. CSEM’s unique relationship with the Swiss confederation, local authorities, and private companies enables us to combine excellence and innovation by fusing technology leadership with our total commitment to customer satisfaction.

The center is governed by a carefully balanced combination of its Board of Directors, its Executive Board, a matrix of its divisional and functional heads, and its Scientific Advisory Board.

Board of Directors

The current Board of Directors embodies how CSEM functions as a public–private partnership. Board members include representatives from the fields of watchmaking, medtech, and energy. Key figures from the political milieu also sit on the board. 

  • Claude Nicollier, Chairman
  • Jacques Baur, Vice-Chairman, Rolex SA
  • Fabio Bongiovanni, Conseiller communal, ville de Neuchâtel 
  • Pierre-André Bühler, Fondation en faveur d’un Laboratoire de Recherches horlogères - FLRH
  • Mougahed Darwish, EM Marin, Swatch Group SA
  • Jerôme Faist, Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Zurich - ETHZ
  • Josette Frésard, Viteos SA
  • Marc Gruber, Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne - EPFL
  • Georges N. Hayek, Swatch Group SA
  • Jean-Nathanaël Karakash, Conseiller d'Etat, République et Canton de Neuchâtel
  • Stefan Launer, Phonak SA
  • Monika Maire-Hefti, Conseillère d'Etat, République et Canton de Neuchâtel
  • Edouard Mignon, Richemont International SA
  • Jean-Pierre Musy, Patek Philippe
  • Jean-Daniel Pasche, Fondation en faveur d’un Laboratoire de Recherches horlogères
  • Renato Sturani, BKW Energie SA
  • Martin Vetterli, Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne - EPFL

Executive Board, divisions, and functions

The Executive Board supports the CEO in the management of the company. An extended management board oversees the management of divisions and functions. 

Executive Board

Mario EL-Khoury
Chief Executive Officer

Georges Kotrotsios
VP, Marketing &
Business Development

André Laville
Chief Financial Officer

Philippe Steiert
Director of Regional

Divisional & Functional Heads

Christophe Ballif
VP, Photovoltaics

Christian Bosshard
VP, Center Muttenz

Michel Despont
VP, Program Manager

Harry Heinzelmann
VP, Chief Technology

Helmut Knapp
VP, Center Alpnach

Jens Krauss
VP, Systems

Jean-Marc Masgonty
VP, IT, Risk & Quality

Michele Palmieri
Micro&Nano Systems

Alain-Serge Porret
VP, Integrated &
Wireless Systems

Dieter Ulrich
VP, Center Landquart

Scientific Advisory Board

CSEM’s Board of Directors appoints the center’s Scientific Advisory Board. The appointment is approved by the presidency of EPFL, one of the two Swiss federal institutes of technology. The board is also presided over by a representative of EPFL, currently by Nico de Rooij.

The Scientific Advisory Board helps set general directions for applied research. These maximize CSEM’s relevance and the benefits the center creates for industry, today and tomorrow. The board is made up of visionaries and experts from the worlds of industry and academia. This arrangement ensures a productive balance between market-driven, economic goals and the relative freedom of the academic milieu with its highly constructive peer-review process.

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