On September 2, 2021, in St.Gallen, representatives of the 21 founding shareholders launched Switzerland Innovation Park Ost AG, marking another milestone for the Switzerland Innovation Park East generation project.
In spring 2021, the Swiss Federal Council approved the addition of the Switzerland Innovation Park Ost as the sixth entity in charge of sites in the Swiss Innovation network. Extensive work is currently being done behind the scenes to accelerate the project’s development. On September 2, another interim goal was achieved with the founding meeting of Switzerland Innovation Park Ost AG, which will function as the responsible body for the Switzerland Innovation Park Ost in the future.
Giving Eastern Switzerland a Competitive Edge
Beat Tinner, Head of the Department of Economic Affairs, underlined the strategic significance of the Switzerland Innovation Park Ost for the entire region in his opening address: “By improving the framework conditions for innovation and actively promoting a network between business, research and educational institutions, we are doing the groundwork to give Eastern Switzerland a competitive edge in the race to attract the leading experts.” According to Tinner, the fact that every canton in Eastern Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein had the same aim in applying to be a full-fledged network site of Switzerland Innovation was crucial to the success of the project.
Bringing Top Talents Together
Roland Ledergerber, Chairman of the Board of Directors, explained that the main objective of Switzerland Innovation Park Ost AG is to generate additional private investments in research and development, to improve Eastern Switzerland’s capacity for innovation and create new, attractive and, above all, future-proof jobs. The next step will be to recruit a management team and staff for the office. “We want to develop working structures and, in particular, establish relationships with those partners and research institutions with which we can identify promising innovation projects for the medium term. Our aim is to have all this in place by the end of 2022,” explained Ledergerber.
A Generation Project
The Chairman of the Board of Directors expects Switzerland Innovation Park Ost AG to reach full performance capacity by 2025 and to break even in 2031. “There’s no doubt that the development of the park is a generation project. It will demand a lot from all those involved. That said, the benefits for Eastern Switzerland and the huge potential of this project justify the effort involved.”
The intention is for the Switzerland Innovation Park Ost to become an essential, effective ecosystem in ten years’ time – a place where researchers from universities and innovative companies can work together to develop new, market-ready products and services and create attractive jobs in Eastern Switzerland.
Appointing the Board of Directors
Apart from the approval of the founding documents and the articles of incorporation, the main item on the agenda at the founding meeting in St.Gallen was the election of the Board of Directors. Along with the Chairman, Roland Ledergerber, the following people were elected: Andrea Berlinger Schwyter, Gian-Luca Bona, Andreas Christen, Beat Hirt, Thomas Hirt, Stefan Scheiber, Gabriela Senti and Paul Sevinç.