The most innovative country in the world must constantly launch new initiatives to attract R&D activities if that lead is to be maintained, and Switzerland Innovation is doing just that – by showcasing the opportunities that the Swiss Innovation Park holds for innovative companies around the world.
Switzerland Innovation was created as a public private partnership and officially launched on the 18th of January 2016. The mission is to promote Switzerland as an innovation location based on the excellence of the partner universities of the Swiss Innovation Park and other factors that make Switzerland an attractive country to work in like political stability, excellent economic framework conditions, and quality of life.
In more tangible terms, the objective of Switzerland Innovation is to help to generate additional private R&D investment in Switzerland. Top locations provide access to the expertise of world-leading universities and research institutions, among them the prestigious Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology ETH Zurich and EPFL.
Switzerland Innovation creates a platform where groundbreaking researchers, innovative companies, and entrepreneurs can work together. By providing the right framework conditions and creating the right ecosystem of actors, this should lead to an acceleration in the process of turning the results of research into commercial products and services.
Seeing as the basic mission of Switzerland Innovation is to attract R&D investment into Switzerland, the focus is on established companies with significant investment capacity. However, if you go to the Swiss Innovation Park you will find startups as well. They are very important for the ecosystem and have a catalytic effect as well.
There are three key elements that describe the offer of Switzerland Innovation: the innovation focus areas, the portfolio of expertise and innovation services that are available at the park, and the information and services around providing infrastructure.
Switzerland Innovation provides access to the expertise of leading Swiss universities and research institutes. This expertise is used to make innovations in the areas of health and life sciences, energy, the environment and natural resources, industrial production processes, ICT and mobility and transportation marketable. Thus, Switzerland Innovation offers many companies the chance to engage with a community and ecosystem with strong knowledge in these specific areas of expertise.
By extension of these specific competencies, there are a range of innovation services available at the Swiss Innovation Park. For example, companies with a lab at the park have direct access to professors, PhD students and post-docs working at partner universities, who can provide a range of research services. Finally, each of the parks offer infrastructure to innovators, whether it be office and laboratory space to rent, or access to sophisticated technology platforms.
Switzerland Innovation is a generation project. It takes time to set up partnerships, build trust, and then let such projects grow and flourish. Thus, the success of the initiative is connected to the success of the wider Swiss innovation ecosystem. It will be measured in the coming years in terms of products developed, R&D francs invested, and the vibrancy and occupancy of the Swiss Innovation Park.