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This article presents a case study about Switzerland's initiative to promote its science and technology, higher education and innovation environment. This is accomplished through a worldwide network of science and technology outposts run by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education and Research in cooperation with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. In this article, we specifically discuss the outpost located in Boston. swissnex Boston acts as a physical and virtual environment to foster closer ties between Switzerland and the Boston region in various fields of interest to academia, industry, business and society. We present the history and mission of swissnex Boston, its role and organizational structure, and a benchmarking analysis of other nations’ initiatives. We further discuss the required leadership and performance measurement of swissnex Boston and the main challenges it has surmounted in its 10 years of operation.


This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Place Branding and Public Diplomacy. The definitive publisher-authenticated version [Fetscherin, Marc, and Pascal Marmier. 2010. Switzerland's nation branding initiative to foster science and technology, higher education and innovation: A case study. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy 6 (1): 58-67.] is available online at:

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Place Branding and Public Diplomacy