Welcome to Aargau – the Swiss high-tech canton with a Triple A rating. In Aargau, where the number of people working in R&D is twice the Swiss average, you will find the best environment for your company to succeed: new technologies and a highly qualified and motivated workforce.
Switzerland has been rated the most innovative country in the world for the last few years. Strength in innovation is an important driver of a country’s competitiveness. The key factors here are knowledge and technology. Various studies show that knowledge and technology transfer strengthens a company’s capability to innovate. Businesses that collaborate with scientific institutions are far more successful than others. Their production runs more efficiently and cost-effectively. In addition to that, they are much more export-driven and offer outstandingly innovative products. Nowadays, technology used in production processes of any kind is becoming increasingly complex and demands knowledge of various disciplines. That is why working with scientists means a competitive advantage. With its leading universities, technology transfer and technology parks, Switzerland’s strengths are clear for all to see. Switzerland is well positioned in terms of the number of patents and ranks among the top countries in the world.
Aargau – Region of High-Tech Industry
The canton of Aargau is ideally placed within Switzerland and one of the country’s foremost driving forces in the technology sector. The region is number one in energy and electrical engineering, nanotechnology and plastics. Many companies in the plastics sector develop and manufacture medical devices. Other key sectors in Aargau are the life sciences industry, information and communication technology, and also the machinery and metalworking industry. How did Aargau come to be a centre for high-tech industries? Aargau became industrialised very early on due to its geographical location and abundant supply of water. For example, the Brown Boveri Company (BBC), which was the predecessor of the industrial giant ABB, was founded in the canton in 1891. The municipality of Baden-Dättwil in Aargau is now home to the largest of the ABB Group’s seven research centres around the world. Some 220 staff from 40 nations carry out research here in the fields of power electronics, electrical engineering, materials sciences and industrial automation.
Cutting-Edge Key Technology Made in Aargau
Everything from rapid charging of electrical vehicles, drive technology in railways through to uninterrupted power supply in data centres relies on power electronics. It is regarded as a key technology in terms of energy and resource efficiency and as a result is an important focal point of research at the ABB Group’s Corporate Research Centre. ABB has been operating a unique competence centre for power electronics with a team of highly qualified staff in the geographical triangle of Baden-Dättwil (research), Lenzburg (semi-conductor technology) and Turgi (converter technology) for decades. The geographical proximity is an important factor in the operation. “It makes it possible to bring together stakeholders from research, development and production with the aim of developing innovative and marketable products and services along the entire value-added chain as rapidly and sustainably as possible”, says Stefan Ramseier, Director of ABB’s Corporate Research Centre in Baden-Dättwil. ABB regards power electronics as having great potential for boosting energy efficiency in various fields of application in the future as well. That is why ABB Switzerland invested 18 million Swiss francs in the new power electronics research laboratory opened in Baden-Dättwil last year.
Speed to Market Thanks to Highly Efficient Technology Transfer
Aargau is the place to be for innovative companies. Due to its proximity to renowned research institutions such as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), companies are certain to find strong R&D partners. The government of Aargau places great stock in research and development as well as the transfer of knowledge to SMEs. For this reason, the Cantonal Executive Council launched the “Hightech Aargau” programme three years ago. Hightech Aargau promotes exchanges and collaboration between SMEs, universities and research institutes, as well as large international corporations.
In the context of “Hightech Aargau”, the institution Hightech Zentrum Aargau was founded in 2012. This high-tech consulting centre makes it easier for resident SMEs to gain access to know-how, technology, universities and industry partners. It performs innovation check-ups, analyses innovations, and looks for solutions, appropriate innovation partners and financial support. SMEs can reduce the risks that the innovation process poses to the business and thereby save on the costs of innovating. They also spend less time looking for the knowledge, technology and partners required, and conduct their own initial analysis. Companies can also take advantage of an active network of public and private research facilities and technology providers. The Hightech Zentrum Aargau also provides access to financial support at either cantonal, national or EU level. The key concept here is speed the speed to maket.
PARK innovAARE, the High-Tech Business Park
Being home to the PSI, the largest research centre for natural and engineering sciences in Switzerland, Aargau offers even more opportunities for innovative companies. The Paul Scherrer Institute is the largest research centre for natural sciences and engineering in Switzerland.
The PSI is a strong advocate of applying research results to the development of new industrial products and procedures. A collaborative project of the canton of Aargau and the PSI is PARK innovAARE, a high-tech business park. It will be located right on the doorstep of the PSI in Villigen. Businesses that settle at PARK innovAARE will profit from the institute’s top-flight research and unique infrastructure. Companies that settle there benefit from the proximity and direct access to the PSI’s unique large-scale research facilities, its experts and specialists and their particular and detailed know-how. Moreover, they profit from a widely ramified international network of universities, research institutions, knowledge transfer establishments and internationally active enterprises. PARK innovAARE will be part of the Swiss Innovation Park, a nationwide initiative to promote innovative businesses in Switzerland.
Attractive Production Factors Ensure Growth
A large number of specialist suppliers and Aargau’s competitive production costs – low taxes, wages and real estate prices in comparison with other Swiss cantons – ensure that the local companies’ innovation projects will progress rapidly. Moreover, the high-tech canton of Aargau is particularly well located to develop the market. It lies at the heart of Switzerland’s strongest economic region, within easy reach of the international airports in Zurich, Geneva, Berne and Basel. The dense rail and motorway infrastructure that is perfectly linked to the European transport network allows companies to benefit from short distances to customers, suppliers and business partners worldwide.
Aargau Services Economic Promotion
Rain 53, CH-5001 Aarau
Phone: +41 62 835 24 40
Fax: +41 62 835 24 19
Aargau Services Economic Promotion:www.aargauservices.com
Paul Scherrer Institute:www.psi.ch
Website of the High-Tech Aargau Programme:www.ag.ch
Hightech Zentrum Aargau:www.hightechzentrum.ch