The presentation of this year’s Tell Awards by Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE), with the theme of “Inspiring Innovation”, was held in mid-June in New York. Every year since 2004, the Tell Awards have been awarded to US companies who make very successful and significant investments in Switzerland that help to create added value and jobs within the country.
The biotech company Biogen was presented with the Tell Award in recognition of its extensive investments in a state-of-the-art biopharmaceutical production facility in Switzerland. The new production site is set to go into operation in 2019 and will create around 400 new jobs. Furthermore, the medical company Accuray, leading in the area of radiation therapy and based in the Canton of Vaud, and the company Sportradar based in St. Gallen were also presented with an award.
Investing in the Future: The Keys to Growth
Following the presentation of the awards, representatives of the winning companies and Raymond Cron, CEO of Switzerland Innovation, took part in a panel discussion moderated by Martin Naville, CEO of the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce, and talked about the advantages of Switzerland as a location for investment and research and development activities. The panel participants all agreed that Switzerland offers excellent conditions for foreign companies due to its central location in Europe, political stability, modern infrastructure and outstanding education system, and highlighted the direct and uncomplicated communication with the authorities as a further advantage.
Also discussed was the fact that the direct access Switzerland offers to globally leading research institutes, such as the two federal institutes of technology in Lausanne and Zurich, and the availability of talented individuals and experts with specialist knowledge make the country particularly attractive for research-intensive companies like Biogen and Accuray. Raymond Cron made the point that Switzerland’s huge innovation potential is made possible by the openness of the economy and the country’s strong focus on education and research – not only in top universities but also throughout the dual education system –, and that it must continue to focus on these areas in order to maintain its success as an innovation country.