The SWISS SCC Winter Seminar in the past, present and future
Dr. Franziska Wandrey
Head of Research, Mibelle Group Biochemistry
Dr. Fred Zülli
Business Development Director or Mibelle Biochemistry Switzerland
A conversation with Dr. Fred Zülli, Founder & Business Development Director, and Dr. Franziska Wandrey, Head of Research, Mibelle Group Biochemistry
EURO COSMETICS:We are pleased that this year the Swiss SCC Winter Seminar can take place again in person in Davos. What can we particularly look forward to after the long break? Dr. Franziska Wandrey: We are also very happy that we can hold the seminar again this year. The program is very interdisciplinary with the concept “People – Cosmetics – Science” and thrives on the interactive participation of the audience during the lectures as well as afterwards at the joint dinner. These interactions are what makes this seminar so valuable.
EURO COSMETICS:The starting signal for the 39th winter seminar will be given on February 05, this time under the title “Cosmetamorphosis”. What is behind this topic? Dr. Franziska Wandrey: In this seminar we try to illuminate general trends, such as rapid transformation of knowledge, consumer needs, markets and cosmetic products from different angles with experts from science, marketing and sales.
EURO COSMETICS:Dr. Zülli and Dr. Wandrey, in your function as seminar leaders you always have current topics in mind. Which topics are particularly in demand and which areas in the cosmetics industry will play a greater role in the future? Dr. Fred Zülli: We are convinced that the topic of “sustainability” will remain a big topic for a long time to come. What is completely new are the difficulties in supply chain management. We have acquired prosperity through globalization and may now have to backpedal a little. The rapidly increasing regulation in all areas and in all countries will play an even more important role in the future and will put pressure on companies’ innovative strength and margins.
EURO COSMETICS:What is special about the Swiss SCC winter seminar? Dr. Fred Zülli: The seminar takes place in a small informal setting. The presentations are very interdisciplinary and allow participants to think outside the box. The speakers and experts come from different fields and present their content in a larger framework.
EURO COSMETICS:Renowned industry experts will speak on current and crosssector cosmetics topics and discuss them with the participants. What seminar content can participants look forward to? Can you give us a brief overview? Dr. Franziska Wandrey: As keynote speaker on Sunday evening, we were able to win Prof. Collin Ewald from ETH Zurich. He will give us an insight into the topic of “Longevity”. In his research he investigates the molecular mechanisms of longevity. The aim is not only to extend life expectancy, but also to extend the healthspan, the years living in complete health. Then another exciting speaker is Boris Oak from the USA. He is the founder of the cosmetic brand EVOLVh. He will give us an insight into the development and marketing of an indie brand.
EURO COSMETICS:And is there a presentation that you would particularly recommend? Dr. Fred Zülli: The presentation by Rainer Vögeli, Senior Lead Scientist at DSM, will certainly be exciting. He talks about skin problems, skin care and perception of female facial expression in different ethnic groups.
EURO COSMETICS:In 1982, the first Winter Seminar was launched in Champfèr. What is the significance of the Winter Seminar at SWISS SCC since then? And what in particular has changed since its beginnings? Dr. Fred Zülli: The Winter Seminar is now in its 39th year and has moved from Champfèr near St. Moritz to Davos. In the first seminars, mainly formulators (no women at that time) met to discuss their product development challnges. Over the years, both the topics and the composition of the participants became more diverse.
EURO COSMETICS:What impact did the pandemic have on the association? Dr. Franziska Wandrey: In 2020, we were just able to hold the winter seminar in February. In 2021 and 2022, we unfortunately had to cancel the seminar. A virtual seminar did not seem to make sense to us, as the value of this seminar is very much based on personal exchange. All the more we are looking forward to seeing all the loyal participants again in person this year.
EURO COSMETICS:What accumulated needs do you see in the industry and what would you like to focus on in the future at the Winter Seminar? Dr. Fred Zülli: As mentioned earlier, the physical interactions of the various disciplines in the industry represent a need that could not be met in the past couple of years. Therefore, the Winter Seminar is an ideal place to again have an informal exchange with all these experts.
EURO COSMETICS:Thank you for your time and the interview.
Franziska Wandrey completed her PhD in biochemistry at ETH Zurich
in 2014. Since 2015, she has been working at Mibelle Biochemistry, where she scientifically contributes to the development of novel cosmetic active ingredients. In 2017, Franziska was awarded the “Maison G de Navarre Young Scientist Prize” by the IFSCC. In 2020, she completed an MBA pro-gram with a master's thesis on innovation management. In 2021, Franziska became Head of Research at Mibelle Biochemistry and joined the board of the Swiss SCC.
Dr. Fred Zülli
Business Development DirectoratMibelle Biochemistry Switzerland
Dr. Fred Zülli is the Business Development Director of Mibelle Biochemistry Switzerland a business unit of Mibelle Group which develops and produces active ingredients for the personal care industry. He founded Mibelle Biochemistry more than 30 years ago and invented a large number of patent protected actives based on different technologies. He previously worked at the Nestle Research Centre in Switzerland. His research focussed on molecular biology and genetics of commercial baker’s yeast strains. Dr. Fred Zülli studied chemical engineering at the Technical Engineering School of Winterthur Switzerland and continued his studies at the ETH in Zürich to study molecular biology and biophysics. In his Ph.D. thesis at the ETH he investigated the thermo stability of bacterial enzymes. Currently he is active as vice president in the Swiss Society of Cosmetic Chemists and was responsible for the scientific program of the IFSCC conference 2015 in Switzerland.
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