News Overview

Switzerland’s densest innovation ecosystem

Arianna Ramirez

Meet Switzerland’s innovation ecosystem

Located in the heart of Europe, our vibrant ecosystem provides an ideal breeding ground for cutting-edge ideas, groundbreaking solutions, and collaboration.

Find out what innovation means to us, what role collaboration plays in it and why the Basel Area is one of Switzerland’s densest innovation ecosystems.

Discover the Basel Area

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” 

– Helen Keller

To us, innovation means turning groundbreaking ideas into practical solutions that improve the everyday lives of the people within our communities. 


The only way to achieve this at a large scale is through collaboration. When we share our resources, communicate openly and support each other beyond business goals, we create a positive environment where progress can happen.

Discover our unique innovation ecosystem of startups, entrepreneurs, educational institutions, supportive government, large customer market and global industry leaders through the digital version of our Innovation Map (visible on desktop version or live at our Innovation Lounge), showcasing the map of Basel Area’s life science ecosystem.

Innovation in Switzerland

Switzerland has long been synonymous with quality, productivity and innovation. Among many other prestigious titles, Switzerland has just been crowned as the most innovative economy in 2023 — for the 13th year in a row.

A robust educational system with capable academic institutes guarantees a constant turnover of top talent and important research. A supportive government enables companies to operate with few restrictions and the unique placement in the heart of Europe draws highly skilled workers in from anywhere.

Besides the economic factors, Switzerland is a beautiful, safe and comfortable country to live in. Having fulfilled virtually all basic needs for everyone, society can freely focus on chartering into new territories.

Famous inventions from Switzerland


Invented in 1941 by Swiss engineer George de Mestral, Velcro is a widely used fastening technology inspired by how burrs clung to his dog’s fur.


Invented by Swiss chemist Jacques E. Brandenberger in the early 20th century, cellophane is used all over the world to package food thanks to its low permeability to air, grease and bacteria.

World Wide Web

The internet itself has its roots in Geneva. Englishman Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989 while working at CERN..

DNA discovery

In 1868, Swiss scientist Friedrich Miescher discovered nucleic acid, which later led to the identification of DNA, a crucial milestone in the field of life sciences​.

Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)

Discovered by Albert Hofmann in 1938, LSD is a powerful hallucinogenic drug known for its psychological effects​.

Scanning Tunneling Microscope

Invented by Heinrich Rohrer along with Gerd Binnig in 1986 at  IBM Zurich Research Laboratories, this microscope is crucial for observing surfaces at the atomic level​.

Innovation in the Basel Area

With a rich life sciences and technology history, it’s a magnet for pioneers in digital health, biotech, life sciences and advanced manufacturingbiotech, pharmaceuticals, medtech and industry 4.0.  

Startups and entrepreneurs come together with industry giants, research institutes are among the best in the world and its location at the tri-national border to France and Germany grants unique access to talent and customer markets.

The region also boasts an incredibly high quality of life, with Basel placing 9th in the 100 Europe’s Best Cities ranking.


BaselArea_Session_1_Roche_5 Jean Jacques Schaffner

Innovation needs collaboration

Innovation is not a solo effort — it thrives on cooperation.

Our world is extremely fast-paced. Challenges are constantly evolving. Bringing together brilliant minds and capable teams beyond one company or institution is the key to overcoming those challenges. Sharing ideas, pooling resources and leveraging collective expertise is indispensable to creating transformative impact at scale.

An environment where this collaboration is facilitated and desired is a true innovation ecosystem.

We tailor all our services and initiatives accordingly.

With our sites, we offer three unique coworking spaces in Jura, Main Campus and at the Novartis Campus. Everything your biotech, medtech, digital health, healthtech or industrial transformation company needs, you’ll find here. State-of-the-art lab space, a managed front office and access to a vibrant community are all part of the deal.

We’re home to some of the most innovative, forward-thinking startups and companies, like Engimmune Therapeutics, Bottneuro AG and 70 other residents.

We’ll also introduce you to the key players of the Basel Area’s innovation ecosystem to help you make the right connections.

If you want a non-committal glimpse into the Basel Area, you can join our free events. We regularly host guest speakers from our partner network and from all over the world.

You can also check out some write-ups of past events, like medtech synergies between Switzerland and Brazil, innovation and collaboration to prepare your company for the future or rewatch our online event Healthcare meets the Metaverse:

Players of the Basel Area’s innovation ecosystem

University of Basel

The University of Basel was founded in 1460. Ever since, it has stood as a pillar of academic excellence and research innovation in the Basel Area. It’s ranked among the best universities in the world. With a strong focus on life sciences and medicine, it’s a crucible for nurturing the next generation of researchers and innovators.


Novartis, a multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Basel, is a key player in the region’s innovation ecosystem. With its pursuit of advancing healthcare through innovative medicines, Novartis contributes significantly to the life sciences sector.

Basel Area Business & Innovation

Basel Area Business & Innovation connects startups, SMEs and multinational enterprises to foster innovation in the region. By offering a plethora of services ranging from business support and lab space to networking events and innovation promotion, it helps businesses collaborate and grow together.

700+ more life sciences companies

Over 700 life sciences companies in the Basel Area are a testament to the region’s ecosystem. These companies range from fledgling startups to global powerhouses. With a talent pool of over 32,500 people, their collective endeavors in R&D, along with a collaborative ethos, drive the continuous evolution of life sciences. This helps positioning the Basel Area as a global hub for pharmaceutical, biotech, industry 4.0 and medtech innovations.

Visit Switzerland’s most innovative ecosystem!

If you want to take a look around the Basel Area yourself, you need a place to start. We invite you to visit our Main Campus Innovation Lounge.

The Main Campus Innovation Lounge

Our campus is located in the middle of Europe’s life sciences cluster number one at Bachgraben innovation district. It borders directly to Germany and France. The main arteries of Basel, the EuroAirport and the city center can be reached within only 15 minutes.

It’s a space for inspiring storytelling and community activation where we showcase innovative companies and projects that are part of the Basel Area ecosystem. At the core of it, our Innovation Map

Explore the Basel Area and all its 700+ key players in a fun and engaging way by navigating the map of the Basel Area on a large touchscreen display.

To bring this feeling of exploration to your home, we integrated the Innovation Map on this page! 

Have a virtual trip to Basel and it’s dense innovation ecosystem:

Try the Innovation Map online

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