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Innovation hub

Is innovation an important factor of success for your company? Switzerland and the Greater Zurich Area in particular are world leaders in research, knowledge and innovation. The established exchange between academic institutions and the private sector as well as access to highly qualified specialists make the Greater Zurich Area an innovation hub.

For several years now, Switzerland has been considered the leading innovation hub in terms of highly innovative research and patent applications. Since 2011, Switzerland is number one in the INSEAD Global Innovation Index.  And according to the Regional Innovation Scoreboard, the city of Zurich is the most important hotspot for innovation in Europe. The Greater Zurich Area plays a key role in the Swiss innovation network and is the motor of Switzerland's innovative strength.

The constant good results in numerous innovation rankings have several reasons:

  1. Switzerland has a successful and well-established dual education system.  
  2. Innovation is fostered by the close cooperation between research institutes and the private sector.

  3. The Greater Zurich Area has a large and diverse availability of qualified workforce.

  4. Thanks to innovation-friendly authorities. The Swiss authorities regulate without hindering innovation. They act pragmatically and progressively and are in constant contact with the industries concerned.

High innovation and research density

Innovation in Greater Zurich is strengthened by the high density of well-connected universities and research institutes. These include, for example, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH), the interdisciplinary research institute for materials science and technology Empa, the University of Zurich and various universities of applied sciences. According to the World University Ranking 2018, ETH Zurich is the best university in continental Europe and global leader in computer science. ETH Zurich has recorded an impressive number of 400 spin-offs in the last twenty years. One hundred of these are among the most successful Swiss spin-offs. This is further proof of the excellent cooperation between science and the private sector. In the most recent study of the World Economic Forum, Switzerland is even moving up first place regarding R&D collaborations. Patents are an important indicator of a country's innovative strength.  With 5.3 patents per 10,000 persons, the Greater Zurich Area has a high patent intensity in international comparison. Moreover Greater Zurich and recorded above-average growth, especially concerning world-class patents.

The dynamic innovation environment in the Greater Zurich Area has helped leading global companies such as Google (machine learning and artificial intelligence), Disney Research (computer graphics laboratory including video manipulation and encoding, 3D and perception study) and Microsoft (mixed reality and artificial intelligence) to jointly operate research laboratories with ETH Zurich.

Access to talent is guaranteed in the Greater Zurich Area

Highly skilled, productive and motivated employees for all corporate functions, a flexible job market and business-friendly regulations draw easily innovative global companies, SMEs and start-ups into Greater Zurich.  Furthermore, the high quality of life makes the area particularly attractive for top managers. Learn more about our talent pool.

A diversified, innovative environment

Innovations made in the Greater Zurich Area: The close collaboration between research institutes and the private sector as well as numerous accelerators and incubators create a dynamic environment for innovation in technologies such as life sciences, information technology, fintech and blockchain, robotics and intelligent systems and advanced production processes. Learn more about technological excellence in the Greater Zurich Area.

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