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Interview with CTO of CyanoGuard, Mathias Cherbuin, on product development and its Swissness

July 30, 2020

The term “Swiss Made” was initially coined in the late 19th century for watches made in Switzerland. The label later became so popular that the Swiss legal system had to regulate the use of the term according to clearly defined requirements. As the name often represents an assurance in product quality, reliability, and precision, it is also primarily adopted across other industries like engineering and software.

Given the upcoming celebration of Swiss National Day on August 1, we interviewed Mathias Cherbuin, CTO of CyanoGuard, on his view as a Swiss on “Swiss Made” and how this is woven in his daily work and product development within CyanoGuard.

1. Speaking as a Swiss, what is your perspective of “Swissness” or “Swiss Made”?

I think the word “Swiss Made” not only stands for high standards in product quality but also for the dedication to create something innovative and sustainable that pushes the industry benchmark further. For me, it also means engineering solutions that last and combine cutting-edge technology with usability.

2. Tell us how much Swissness is in your daily work and the product development of CyanoGuard’s cyanide monitoring solution?

The company is based in Wädenswil, Switzerland, by the Lake of Zurich. R&D and manufacturing are also done in the same place right from the beginning when we founded the company. It is not the place with the lowest costs to operate, but being in Zurich also forces us to continually look for best-practices to be efficient and become even more cost-effective. For example, right now, we are in the process of commissioning a robotic arm to manufacture the test cartridges that can ramp up our production by 300-500%. Likewise, being in Switzerland also means we have access to a highly qualified and international workforce that has the experience and capabilities to develop niche, innovative technologies like ours and launch them to the global market.

3. How has your year been so far, and what are you “cooking” in your lab?

This year has been different – not only because of the COVID-19 pandemic but that we managed to close our seed funding in April and had expanded our team. So, things are accelerating and “cooking faster” in terms of product development. Right now, we are working on a few product and software upgrades. For example, for the CyanoSmart handheld device, we are working on an even smaller analyser where you can insert the cartridge and have the results displayed on our mobile app that is compatible with any smartphone. Likewise, we are also adding more functionalities to our cloud platform, the Cyano.IO, especially in the area of predictive analytics and increased user experience.

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