Switzerland Innovation


Who we are

For years, Switzerland has been the most innovative country in the world. What makes us so successful?

The key word is education. Swiss schools and universities are among the best in the world and form the foundation of our innovative strength. Yet for our leading education and research to create marketable products and services, our universities must have the best possible links to the economy.

This is where Switzerland Innovation comes in, with six sites nationwide offering universities and companies the opportunity to network. This exchange between science and the economy allows ideas to be developed further – to create products and services that can be marketed successfully. At the same time, working together closely in a single space accelerates the development processes for all parties. This leads to successful innovation.

Switzerland Innovation forms an ecosystem for domestic and international companies allowing them to further their research activities in partnership with universities and higher-education institutions. The sharing of ideas between researchers, talented individuals, and innovative entrepreneurs creates breeding grounds for innovation.

For Switzerland, the launch of Switzerland Innovation with its six sites nationwide represents a milestone. Because innovation is the basis for our nation’s economic success – and thus the guarantee for our prosperity.

Switzerland Innovation

  • forms an ecosystem that allows universities and innovative companies to collaborate and use their research results for the development of new marketable products and services;
  • provides breeding grounds for innovations; and
  • strengthens Switzerland as one of the most innovative countries in the world.


Switzerland Innovation has the following objectives:

  • Realizing successful R&D collaborations between private companies, Swiss universities, and other research partners
  • Generating domestic and foreign R&D investment
  • Localizing domestic and foreign companies and research partners that create jobs and develop new marketable products, services, and processes
  • Creating a platform to accelerate the development of research results into marketable solutions
  • Creating attractive conditions for research groups and start-ups as catalysts for the localization of established companies
  • Securing our attractiveness and competitiveness through clear competence profiles at the sites as well as excellent conditions and services for our customers

The Switzerland Innovation Foundation is the national organizing institution of Switzerland Innovation, and provides services to the various sites. It deals with those issues that need to be approached from a foundation-wide perspective, thus covering all sites.

The foundation takes on the following tasks:

  • The international positioning and marketing of Switzerland Innovation on the basis of attractive offers that are defined by the sites using uniform criteria
  • Supporting the sites with financing solutions, both through the use of federal guarantees and by creating financial instruments in collaboration with the financial industry
  • Coordinating and networking the sites and ensuring efficient cooperation with the federal authorities while providing a coherent umbrella brand
  • Ensuring uniform quality standards at the sites on the basis of the Conference of Cantonal Directors of Economic Affairs (VDK) criteria catalog and its further development in the context of continuous improvement processes



Federalism is the basis for the Swiss success model, which is why Switzerland Innovation comprises several regional sites for research and innovation. International companies are attracted to the overall potential of an area. A successful innovation site in Switzerland must therefore

  • network and pool its strengths;
  • ensure quality above all else; and
  • create a unified public image.

Therefore, Switzerland Innovation operates with six legally independent sites and a national organizing institution.

Switzerland Innovation

Foundation Board

The Foundation Board is the highest body of the foundation. It ensures the observance of the foundation’s objectives and supervises the activities of the bodies of the foundation. It is responsible for the strategic positioning and the further development of Switzerland Innovation. 


Ruedi Noser, Noser Management AG, Member of the Council of States, President of the Foundation Board
Andreas Rickenbacher, Andreas Rickenbacher Management AG, Vice President of the Foundation Board
Jörg Bertogg, Zurich Insurance Company Ltd
Dr. Christian Brönnimann, innovAARE AG
vacant, President of the Cantonal Councillors for the Economy (CCCE)
Dr. René Buholzer, Interpharma
Frédéric Chautems, MPS Micro Precision Systems SA
Dr. René Cotting, ABB Switzerland Ltd
Professor Matthias Egger, President of the National Research Council
Professor Yves Flückiger, President of swissuniversities
Andreas Gerber, Credit Suisse Group Ltd
Dr. Thomas Gfeller, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Switzerland Innovation Park Biel/Bienne Ldt
Professor Hans Gut, Swissmem
Dr. Harry Heinzelmann, CSEM SA
Professor Michael Hengartner, President of the ETH Board
Philippe Leuba, Member of the Government of the Canton of Vaud
Professor Joël Mesot, President of ETH Zurich
Stefan Nünlist, Swisscom Ltd
Karin Oertli, UBS Switzerland Ltd.
Dr. Didier Raboud, University of Geneva
Professor Christian Rüegg, Director of the Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen
Monika Rühl, economiesuisse
Edouard Schmid, Swiss Re
Dr. Gian Schmid, General Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs of the Canton of Zurich
Dorothea Strauss, Swiss Mobiliar Cooperative Company
Dr. Christian Studer, Schindler Management Ltd
Dr. Luciana Vaccaro, Vice President of Innosuisse
Thomas Weber, Member of the Government of the Canton of Basel-Landschaft
Gabriela Winkler, Winkler Communication
Professor Hans-Florian Zeilhofer, Associate Vice President Innovation, University of Basel

Board Committee

The Foundation Board Committee prepares the business of the Foundation Board and is the public face of the foundation. It is responsible for the overall financial results of the foundation and decides on how the sites are supported.

President of the Foundation Board Committee

Ruedi Noser, Noser Management AG, Member of the Council of States

Vice President of the Foundation Board Committee

Andreas Rickenbacher, former Member of the Cantonal Government of Bern, Andreas Rickenbacher Management AG

Further members

Dr. René Buholzer, Interpharma
Dr. René Cotting, ABB Switzerland Ltd
Andreas Gerber, Credit Suisse Group Ltd
Professor Joël Mesot, President of ETH Zurich
Professor Christian Rüegg, Director of the Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen
Thomas Weber, Member of the Government of the Canton of Basel-Landschaft

Economic Advisory Board

The Economic Advisory Board is composed of members of sponsoring companies. It nominates the representatives of the private sector to the Foundation Board and can provide advice to the Foundation Board in specific matters.


Ruedi Noser, Noser Management AG, Member of the Council of States, President of the EAB
Dr. René Buholzer, Interpharma
Andreas Conzelmann, TRUMPF Schweiz AG
Dr. René Cotting, ABB Switzerland Ltd
Urs Grob, Credit Suisse Group Ltd
Professor Hans Gut, Swissmem
Dr. Fritz Gutbrodt, Swiss Re
Pirmin Meyer, Zurich Insurance Company Ltd
Professor Rudolf Minsch, economiesuisse
Ian Schoch, UBS AG
Dorothea Strauss, Swiss Mobiliar Cooperative Company
Dr. Christian Studer, Schindler Management Ltd
Roger Wüthrich-Hasenböhler, Swisscom Ltd


The office supports and advises the Foundation Board and its Committee in carrying out their duties. It implements the decisions of the Foundation Board and Committee and secures the operational activities of the foundation.

Raymond Cron, CEO
Raphaël Tschanz, Deputy Head
Sylvie Mauron, Executive Assistant



Innovation Partners

During the five-year start-up phase of Switzerland Innovation, sponsors from the private sector financed the operation of the national foundation. In the next years, private companies will act as innovation partners and allow Switzerland Innovation to facilitate innovation projects that address socially relevant, cross-industry issues and promote cooperation between the innovation parks, thereby strengthening the network's ecosystem.

In this context the intiative "Switzerland Innovation Tech4Impact" was launched. Its objective is to facilitate the realization of innovation projects in collaboration with the innovation parks of Switzerland Innovation focusing on selected themes of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The following companies support the initiative as innovation partners:

Innovation Partners

In 2012, the Swiss Parliament approved the total revision of the Research and Innovation Promotion Act (RIPA), thereby creating the legal framework for providing federal funding for a Swiss Innovation Park, yet leaving plenty of leeway as to how the park should be set up. However, the law does state that the park should be spread over several sites. Furthermore, the cantons, higher-education institutions, and private sector should determine the focus areas and partners (and so influence the form the park takes).

The Federal Council approved the configuration proposed by the Conference of Cantonal Directors of Economic Affairs (VDK) in the late summer of 2014. Under this proposal, the innovation park would have two hub sites centered on the two federal institutes of technology in Zurich and Lausanne and two network sites in the Canton of Aargau and Northwest Switzerland, forming a single network. In May 2015 the Federal Council decided to add Biel to this configuration, on the recommendation of a group of independent experts.

Federal measures

The current federal funding instruments for research and innovation can also be used for activities at the Swiss Innovation Park’s sites. In the fall of 2015, parliament approved two new measures to finance the innovation park:

  • Federal guarantee: Framework credit of CHF 350 million to be used as collateral for earmarked loans. This guarantee allows the innovation parks to obtain capital funding on preferential terms to facilitate loans to finance research infrastructure (equipment, laboratories, facilities, etc.) for innovation projects of companies settled in the parks.
  • Land use: In order to support the innovation park, federally owned land will be leased with construction rights. However, ground rent must be paid at a rate current with the market.

As it plays a subsidiary role in research and innovation promotion, the Confederation will not be directly involved in the operation of the park, but will conclude an agreement under public law with a national sponsor in accordance with RIPA. 
Federal dispatch on the organizational structure and financial support of the Swiss Innovation Park (German only)
Further information can be found at: State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI)