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Basel is a hotspot for innovation

Annett Altvater

Basel is an international hub for innovative companies. This has been found in a ranking of Global Hotspots for Corporate Innovation. At number 12, Basel is the only city in Switzerland to make the top 15.

The ranking of the Global Hotspots for Corporate Innovation has been compiled by the information platform Innovation Leader. This stems from the recognition that it is not enough to simply bring talented employees together in one place and hope that innovation will result. Rather, Innovation Leader explains that a variety of different influences are needed to create the right constructive context, with an array of such factors defined to prepare this ranking. These include the presence of startups and necessary funding structures, proximity to top-notch universities, corporate headquarters of large companies and accelerator programs that help new ideas and business models take shape.

The list put together by Innovation Leader comprises 15 international cities. While Beijing has been placed at number one, five European cities follow, namely London (2), Stockholm (6), Amsterdam (8), Berlin (10) and Basel (12). With the exception of Tel Aviv (3), all other top 15 cities are located in Asia. Basel is not just the only Swiss city on the list, it is also the smallest of all. Nonetheless, Innovation Leader highlights it as a major center of scientific innovation, demonstrated by it being home to the headquarters of NovartisLonza and Roche. In terms of spending on research and development, Novartis and Roche are the only Swiss companies in the top 20 worldwide.

The important role of the Swiss economic development agency was also noted. The Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area managed by provides office and lab space to fledgling companies. Based on information from, Innovation Leader reports that 600 life sciences companies are located in the Basel region, as well as hospitals, universities and various research centers. Basel not only impresses in the life science sector. For example, the major retailer Coop also has its headquarters in Basel.

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