More research investments, more jobs, more start-ups – a new innovation park is to be created in Eastern Switzerland. The Switzerland Innovation Foundation Board is submitting an application to the Swiss Federal Council, marking a new chapter in research and innovation for the region, its companies and its educational institutions. The Foundation Board has also approved the association of the innovation parks in Central Switzerland and Ticino.
The sixth innovation park of Switzerland Innovation – Switzerland Innovation Park East – will be created at the Lerchenfeld site in St. Gallen and in Buchs (Canton of St. Gallen). It will provide targeted support to Swiss and foreign SMEs and large companies working in research and development and promote interdisciplinary research and innovation projects. As a new entity responsible for a site, Switzerland Innovation Park East will join the Switzerland Innovation network.
Focusing on the strengths of Eastern Switzerland’s industry and universities
The planned innovation park will focus on the core competencies of Eastern Switzerland’s economy and universities, specifically on the core innovation themes of health, digitization in the economy, and the mechanical, electrical and metal industry. On the research side, Empa in St. Gallen and the St. Gallen Cantonal Hospital are involved in the Health and Medical Technology area, while the MEM Industry area will include research by the Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences and the RhySearch research institute in Buchs (SG). The University of St.Gallen will contribute its scientific expertise in developing new services, processes and business models. With access to the Lerchenfeld campus close to Empa and the Buchs campus, Switzerland Innovation Park East has locations offering a high-quality infrastructure with plenty of room for development.
Significant support from political, economic and scientific organizations
Switzerland Innovation Park East enjoys wide support from political, economic and scientific organizations. In terms of public authorities, the Canton and City of St. Gallen, the Cantons of Thurgau, Appenzell Ausser- and Innerrhoden and the Principality of Liechtenstein are backing the project. On the scientific side, Empa, the University of St.Gallen and the St. Gallen Cantonal Hospital are contributing financially. Prominent companies from the private sector are represented in the funding body. Start-up financing from the Canton of St. Gallen for CHF 10 million has secured the development phase. Eventually, the innovation park is to be financed by providing research services, space and infrastructure.
Decision of the Foundation Board on the association of the innovation parks in Central Switzerland and Ticino
At the meeting on November 25, 2020, the Foundation Board of Switzerland Innovation approved the request by the innovation parks in Central Switzerland and Ticino to be linked to the Switzerland Innovation Park Zurich. The link will be made official once an association agreement between the two applicants and the Switzerland Innovation Park Zurich Foundation has been signed. This is scheduled to take place by March 31, 2021.