Annual Report Greater Zurich Area 2023

年度报告 Annual Report 2023

Innovation, value creation, sustainability: 
89 settlements in the Zurich economic region

The year 2023 was characterized by geopolitical uncertainties, inflation, and a general mood of crisis, directly impacting investment activity. Although company settlements are declining, the Greater Zurich Area Ltd (GZA) and its partners helped 89 high-quality, pioneering, and promising companies to settle in the Zurich economic region. 

One of last year's highlights was the announcement that the Boston Dynamics AI Institute will open a branch in Zurich in 2024. This "lighthouse" settlement, mainly due to ETH's cutting-edge activities in this area, underlines Zurich's status as a global research and innovation hub in robotics and artificial intelligence. The Greater Zurich Area has an ecosystem offering ideal conditions for international AI champions.

More quality, fewer settlements

The global economic situation has strongly impacted our region as well. Nevertheless, the GZA was able to realize significant settlements. Projects in life science, advanced manufacturing, and intelligent systems are particularly noteworthy. 

As part of GZA's strategic focus on quality and innovation, developments in 2023 varied depending on the market region. The figures from the individual markets provide insight into the dynamics and potential for future developments.

Settlements in Greater Zurich Area 2023

Market evaluation USA

Market evaluation USA

Significantly fewer IPOs in biotech. 

The number of settlements by US companies in the Greater Zurich Area decreased compared to the previous year. In 2022, 33 US companies expanded business into the economic region. This development reflects the macroeconomic and geopolitical challenges that US companies were confronted with. Companies from the biotech sector were particularly affected, facing considerable challenges due to the difficult financing situation and the near standstill in IPOs. 

There was growing interest in so-called "soft landings" by employers of record, which represents an innovative model for market entry and indicates a strategic adjustment of expansion efforts.

Market evaluation Europe

Market evaluation Europe

The number of companies relocating from Germany was continuously high. 

Due to geopolitical tensions and general economic uncertainty, European companies were less prone to expansions as well. The general decline in foreign direct investment in Europe also impacted the number of settlements in the Greater Zurich Area. 

Despite these challenges, the number of companies settling from Germany remained stable (11, 2023; 14, 2022). Regarding market development, German companies are increasingly interested in investing in Switzerland in 2024. 

Market evaluation Asia

Market evaluation Asia

Companies seek access to top talent. 

Asia and China recorded a positive development in terms of settlements in the Greater Zurich Area. A total of 12 companies have set up business in the economic area in 2023, whereas there were six settlements in the previous year. It is worth mentioning that two companies can be categorized in the cleantech sector. 

Chinese companies' strategic adjustments due to weak domestic demand and geopolitical uncertainties increased their interest in the Swiss market. Proximity to customers, access to top talent, and the presence of innovative start-ups were decisive factors that led Chinese companies to settle in the Greater Zurich Area.

International functions require a highly educated workforce

84% of the newly settled companies in Greater Zurich in 2023 will perform international functions from their new location, and only 16% will focus exclusively on Switzerland. This high international focus is a significant indicator of the dynamic and attractiveness of the business location. The increased presence of internationally active companies has a direct impact on the requirements profile of the workforce. 

The 89 companies will create 359 new jobs in the Greater Zurich Area, with a forecast of 1,463 jobs over the next five years.

Number of jobs created and international focus of settled companies in Greater Zurich in 2023
GZA is committed to effective and sustainable location marketing. This is crucial to attract companies that take their economic and social responsibilities seriously and actively contribute to a future-proof location.
Sonja Wollkopf Walt
Sonja Wollkopf Walt - Managing Director, Greater Zurich Area Ltd.

New players in the ecosystem

The settlement of innovative companies with high added value is important for the economic region and supports the necessary structural change. A selection.

High-tech cameras of impressive quality

High-tech cameras of impressive quality

Shotover is a global leader in the development of camera technology that offers ultimate stability and versatility. The settlement brings a touch of Hollywood to Zurich. For the spectacular shots in the action film "Top Gun: Maverick", precision maneuvers were filmed at low altitudes using Shotover's technology.

Shotover settles in Greater Zurich in 2023

Zurich as top research and innovation hub for robotics and AI

Zurich as top research and innovation hub for robotics and AI

Boston Dynamics' Robotics and AI Institute opens a branch in Zurich in 2024. The Robotics and AI ​​Institute researches the use of AI in robotics independently of Boston Dynamics' parent company, Hyundai. Marco Hutter, director of the ETH Center for Robotics, will be in charge of the Zurich location. 

The establishment of the Robotics and AI ​​Institute has a global impact and underlines the importance of Zurich as a research and business location for robotics. Chris Anderson, former editor-in-chief of the tech journal "Wired" once described Switzerland as the "Silicon Valley of robotics."

Boston Dynamics AI Institute settles in Greater Zurich in 2023. Image: Boston Dynamics AI Institute

Space technology in Ticino

Space technology in Ticino

The Canadian company QSTC has set up business in Tecnopolo Ticino. It is a research and development-based space engineering company that specializes in satellite and robotics technology. 

Although QSTC is still a young company, it is growing quickly and has already worked with important customers such as NASA, SpaceX, ESA, and Ruag in Switzerland. The company plans to employ over 200 highly qualified employees in Ticino.

QSTC settles in Greater Zurich in 2023

The shooting star among biotechs

The shooting star among biotechs

The Californian biotech company Cytokinetics is developing, among other things, a new heart drug to treat hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a chronic heart disease.

Cytokinetics settles in Greater Zurich in 2023
Artificial Intelligence in the Greater Zurich Area

The AI ecosystem

Artificial intelligence offers opportunities for transformative innovation. The Greater Zurich Area has everything AI champions worldwide are looking for. - A selection of initiatives from the ecosystem.

Firs-class location factors are very important

SWitzerland has the greatest growth potential in generative AI (PwC).

Administration with AI project

The framework conditions for using artificial intelligence are often unclear. Therefore, the Canton of Zurich has launched the "Innovation Sandbox for AI" as a test environment.

Leading AI research center

The AI Center in Zurich aims to work with experts from various disciplines to research major challenges such as climate change, global health, and demographic change.

Start-up power in the Technopark

An innovation cluster for AI is being created at the Technopark in Zurich. The mission is to enable groundbreaking AI and data science developments through collaboration.

Innovative study program for AI

The University of Applied Sciences Graubünden launches the "Artificial Intelligence in Software Engineering" degree. It provides in-depth knowledge of computer science, software development, and AI.

Innovation, added value, sustainability

The GZA is committed to meaningful and sustainable location marketing. Five principles that are of essential importance:


We want to preserve Switzerland's advantages for future generations and play a positive role in shaping the future

Quality of life

We are aware that our high quality of life is a key location advantage that needs to be preserved

Building bridges

We listen and see ourselves as bridge builders between preservation and sensible structural change thanks to innovation

Technology expertise

We stand for technological expertise in the most reliable environment in Europe

Innovation & sustainability

We focus on ecosystems in which innovation and sustainability go hand in hand

Your contacts

Sonja Wollkopf Walt Portrait
Sonja Wollkopf Walt
Christian Lüscher Portrait
Christian Lüscher
Sabine Müller Portrait
Sabine Müller