Switzerland Innovation

About us

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 produce marketable products and services, our universities must have the best possible links to the economy.

This is where Switzerland Innovation comes in, with five sites nationwide offering universities and companies the opportunity to network. This exchange between science and the economy allows ideas to be developed further – to produce 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 creates a platform for domestic and international companies of all kinds – a platform allowing companies to further their research activities in partnership with our 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 five 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

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

Mandate

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 Swiss Innovation Park 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

ORGANIZATION

SWITZERLAND INNOVATION: 
ONE INNOVATION PARK AT FIVE SITES

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 five 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. 

Members

Ruedi Noser, Noser Management AG, Member of the Council of States, President of the Foundation Board
Andreas Rickenbacher, former Member of the Cantonal Government of Bern, Andreas Rickenbacher Management AG, Vice President of the Foundation Board
Albrecht Bereuter, Zurich Insurance Company Ltd
Christoph Brutschin, Member of the Government of Basel-Stadt, President of the Cantonal Councillors for the Economy (CCCE)
Frédéric Chautems, MPS Micro Precision Systems SA
Dr. René Cotting, ABB Switzerland Ltd
Professor Matthias Egger, President of the National Research Council
Dr. Patrick Frost, Swiss Life Ltd
Andreas Gerber, Credit Suisse Group Ltd
Dr. Thomas Gfeller, Chairman of the Board of Directors of InnoCampus Ltd
Professor Lino Guzzella, President of ETH Zurich
Jean-Jacques Henchoz, Swiss Re
Professor Michael Hengartner, President of swissuniversities
Prof. Denis Hochstrasser, Vice-Rector/Vice President of Geneva University
André Hoffmann, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd
Dr. Urs Hofmann, Member of the Government of the Canton of Aargau
Jean-Nathanaël Karakash, Member of the Government of the Canton of Neuchâtel
Daniel Kündig, CEO of innovAARE AG
Philippe Leuba, Member of the Government of the Canton of Vaud
Dr. Matthias Leuenberger, Novartis Pharma Inc.
Christoph Lindenmeyer, Swissmem
Dr. Fabienne Marquis Weible, Association suisse pour la recherche horlogère (ASRH)
Professor Joël Mesot, Director of PSI
Monika Rühl, economiesuisse
Bruno Sauter, Office for Economy and Labour (AWA) Zurich
Urs Schaeppi, Swisscom Ltd
Professor Andrea Schenker-Wicki, Member of the Board of Directors of Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area
Dr. Fritz Schiesser, President of the ETH Board
Dr. Gian Schmid, Deputy General Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs of the Canton of Zurich
Walter Steinlin, President of the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI)
Dorothea Strauss, Swiss Mobiliar Cooperative Company
Professor Martin Vetterli, President of EPF Lausanne
Professor Andrea Vezzini, Head of BFH-CSEM Energy Storage Research Centre
Roger von Mentlen, UBS Switzerland AG
Carmen Walker Späh, Member of the Government of the Canton of Zurich
Thomas Weber, Member of the Government of the Canton of Basel-Landschaft
Karl Weinberger, Schindler Management Ltd

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

Professor Lino Guzzella, President of ETH Zurich
Dr. Matthias Leuenberger, Novartis Pharma Inc.**
Christoph Lindenmeyer, Swissmem
Professor Joël Mesot, Director of PSI
Roger von Mentlen, UBS Switzerland AG
Prof. Dr. Martin Vetterli, President EPF Lausanne
Thomas Weber, Member of the Government of the Canton of Basel-Landschaft**

* Share one vote each.
** Share one vote each.

Stiftungsratsausschuss

Economic Advisory Board

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

Members

Ruedi Noser, Noser Management AG, Member of the Council of States, President of the EAB
Bischoff Roland, Sika (Schweiz) AG
Dr. Stefan Catsicas, Nestlé Ltd
Dr. René Cotting, ABB Switzerland Ltd
Dr. Patrick Frost, Swiss Life Ltd
Dr. Fritz Gutbrodt, Swiss Re
Philip Hess, Credit Suisse Group Ltd
André Hoffmann, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd
Markus Hongler, Swiss Mobiliar Cooperative Company
Dr. Steve Hottiger, UBS Inc.
Dr. Dietmar Hüglin, BASF Schweiz AG
Christoph Lindenmeyer, Swissmem
Professor Rudolf Minsch, economiesuisse
Dr. Stephan Mumenthaler, Novartis Pharma Inc.
Jean-Daniel Pasche, Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH
Adrian Schär, TRUMPF Maschinen AG
Dr. Angel Serna, Zurich Insurance Company Ltd
Karl Weinberger, Schindler Management Ltd
Kaspar E.A. Wenger, Holcim (Schweiz) AG
Roger Wüthrich-Hasenböhler, Swisscom Ltd

Office

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

 

Geschäftsstelle

Sponsors

The foundation is funded entirely by the private sector. It is financed by
19 renowned Swiss companies and trade associations.

Sponsors

Background

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. Once the Swiss Innovation Park has been launched, the foundation of the same name will be responsible for further developments in the site portfolio.

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. With this capital on hand, the new foundation will be able to obtain capital funding at advantageous conditions and so provide the entities responsible for the sites with the loans needed to finance research infrastructure (equipment, facilities). The guarantee is limited in duration and earmarked for specific purposes; the Federal Council will release funding in stages.
  • 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.
Communication on the organizational structure and financial support of the Swiss Innovation Park (German only)
Further information can be found at: http://www.sbfi.admin.ch

Companies in the Park

Advanced Accelerator Technologies
Aerotain
Crystallies
Excelsus
GRATXRAY
InterAx
Lead Pro
NOMOKO
novoMOF
Swiss Hydrogen