Around the world in a solar airplane : Solar Impulse – An idea born in Switzerland

News locali, 09.02.2015

The Swiss pioneers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg aim to become the first humans to fly around the world in a solar-powered aircraft (HB-SIB).

Solar Impulse - around the world in a solar airplane

They want to use this unique adventure both to show that with clear vision it is possible to go beyond what is currently thought to be possible and at the same time to campaign for the more sustainable use of resources. This project is in line with Switzerland's commitment to the promotion of clean energy, which is why the Swiss Confederation has supported the project since it began. Awaiting the solar airplane’s departure on its adventure early March, it stands as a showcase of Swiss pioneering spirit reaching across the globe. The Embassy of Switzerland in the UAE is proud to be able to associate itself with Solar Impulse in this unique endeavor through various interactions and events. On the occasion of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2015, which counted with the presence of the State Secretary for Energy of Switzerland, Mr. Walter Steinmann, the Embassy held an event that allowed for an opportunity to celebrate Swiss innovation of the present and the future with Swiss Cleantech and water companies present in the capital city.


Other Embassy events in the context of solar Impulse were as follows:

February 18, 2015: Cocktail Reception to bid farewell to Si2: State Secretary for Economic Affairs of Switzerland, Mrs. Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch & Ambassador of Switzerland in the UAE, Mrs. Andrea Reichlin, addressed an invited audience of key political, economic and commercial networks with interests in Switzerland alongside talks from André Borschberg.


February 20, 2015: Open Doors to bid farewell to Solar Impulse: the event reached out to over 450 members of the local Emirati-Swiss and International community, targeting the next generation of innovators with an interactive schedule of talks from Piccard and the Si2 team as well as educational activities.


The Swiss Embassy also joined forces with other Swiss Si2 partners in the run-up to its departure, attending VIP ‘under the wings’ events. “These milestone events, in tandem with our other activities over the last two months, have been instrumental in tangibly demonstrating Switzerland’s ability to foster entrepreneurship and reach out to global markets through innovation and invention" , said Ambassador Reichlin.


March 9, 2015: Take-off from Abu Dhabi: the Ambassador and her team with visiting Head of Presence Switzerland, Ambassador Nicolas Bideau, were present at Al Bateen airport for the Si2 take-off for its Round-the-World flight. André and Bertrand: we wish you Bon Voyage and we look forward to seeing you back in Abu Dhabi!


For more information on the Swiss Confederation and Solar Impulse, please refer to and see our photo gallery for images from these events.