Life sciences

With around 150 companies and a workforce of over 14,000, Switzerland boasts the world’s highest per capita biotech density.

Overall, the country’s innovative capabilities, as a result of a sophisticated scientific environment, produce strong results in life sciences, micro-nanotechnology, and biotech equipment. The very favorable tax environment, a short product registration cycle, the easy access to markets, and the supportive administrative and regulatory framework for companies further enhances the attractiveness of the Swiss biotech industry.

Canton of Vaud has distinguished itself through numerous top-notch science parks and incubators, which foster the development of highly innovative start-up companies. Each science park and incubator provides the latest laboratory equipment, facilities, and state-of-the-art resources. Namely, Biopôle and the Science Park of EPFL and Y-Parc ensure a constant source of inspiration to the life sciences industry.

The canton of Vaud is one of the principal research clusters in Europe in the life sciences field.

Life sciences companies have access to a highly skilled and motivated workforce through the vast network of universities and research institutes in the canton of Vaud.

The most prestigious research centres include Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV), the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC), the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics or the Biomedical Engineering Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL) and the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Lausanne.

Merck-Serono, Europe’s leading biotechnology firm, has its main production and pharmaceutical research institution in the canton of Vaud, in Corsier-sur-Vevey.

At the regional level, the canton of Vaud is also at the heart of the BioAlps, a life science cluster forming a global centre of excellence together with the neighbouring cantons (Geneva, Neuchâtel, Fribourg, Valais).

Moreover, Biopôle SA, situated on the communes of Lausanne and Epalinges, has started the construction of a site entirely dedicated to welcome companies active in the areas of biotechnology and health technologies, the Biopôle.

Vaud hosts some 70 companies employing more than 2,000 people in the life sciences sector, ranging from start-ups to multinationals such as Debiopharm, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Medtronic and Beckman Coulter.

A few examples of companies