The Bio-Technopark Schlieren has established itself as the heart of the life sciences scene in Zurich and serves as a breeding ground for innovative start-ups and spin-offs. Mario Jenni, the CEO and co-founder of the Technopark, is at the centre of its rapid growth and research. Zürich Tourism talked to him about the founding, the recipe for success and the promising spin-offs that are shaping the life sciences world from this location.

Spin-offs, synergies & visions of the future: An interview with Mario Jenni
One of the laboratory buildings in the Bio-Technopark Schlieren.


As co-founder and CEO of the Bio-Technopark Schlieren, you are in charge of Zurich’s most important promotional institution for spin-offs in the life sciences sector. How did that come about?

After graduating from university, I gathered practical experience in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, and later founded my own startup in Schlieren together with three professors. I am now passing on this expertise and experience to up-and-coming enterprises and thus serve as a link between the startups and the infrastructure providers.


What is the Bio-Technopark’s recipe for success?

Flexibility, lean structures, and therefore also rapid decision-making paths. Coupled with decades of experience on the part of real estate providers, when it comes to building functional and affordable laboratory infrastructure. Another key ingredient is the excellent basic research in life sciences carried out at the ETH and the University of Zurich, which prevents the flow of innovative spin-offs from drying up.


 Of which spin-offs at the Bio-Technopark are expectations particularly high?

Of all of them, hopefully! Some of our firms currently have promising medications in the final phase of clinical testing, while others have succeeded in convincing major pharmaceutical companies to use their services. Nine startups have already been acquired by large corporates so far.

Some of our firms currently have promising medications in the final phase of clinical testing, while others have succeeded in convincing major pharmaceutical companies to use their services.
Spin-offs, Synergien & Zukunftsvisionen: Ein Interview mit Mario Jenni
Mario Jenni - CEO, Technopark Schlieren

In the Swiss life sciences sector, Zurich is the hub for eager, young companies, while Basel, with Novartis und Roche, is the established global player. Basel and Zurich – the perfect duo?

Our startup companies work with large firms all over the world. The interaction between Basel and Zurich symbolizes a well-established business model between small, innovative life sciences firms and large-scale industry. And with the Roche Innovation Center Zurich at the Bio-Technopark, the Basel arm reaches out into the Zurich region.


The Bio-Technopark is located in Zurich’s “wild west”. Where else do you take your visitors in order to show them the innovative strength of the life sciences hub Zurich?

To the ETH, the University and the University Hospital Zurich, as well as to Eawag and Empa in Dübendorf. Also fascinating is a visit to Balgrist Campus in Zurich, to the ZHAW with its business incubator, “grow”, in Wädenswil, to Toolpoint in Hombrechtikon, to the Technoparks in Zurich and Winterthur, and to StartSmart in Schlieren.

Life Sciences in the Greater Zurich Area

Life Sciences in the Greater Zurich Area

Do you want to be close to major players, innovative start-ups and leading research institutes in the life sciences space? The Greater Zurich Area has evolved into a dynamically expanding life sciences hotspot, thanks to the region’s academic excellence, business-friendly regulations, IP protection, large international talent pool and R&D collaborations between universities and start-ups, as well as large multinational corporations.

Contact us

Can we put you in touch with a peer company or research institute? Do you need any information regarding your strategic expansion to Switzerland's technology and business center?