Life Sciences Cluster Mapping Basel Region

In which key therapy areas are Basel life sciences companies active? From where do the spin-offs originate and with which functions are settlements in Basel active?

These and many further questions cannot or substantiated with data until now. Therefore, the initiative Basel Life Sciences Cluster - including also the Economic Development Unit of the Canton of Basel-Stadt- is working on the project “Cluster Mapping” and surveys these data on companies in the life sciences sector of the Basel region.

Data situation on the life sciences sector in the Basel region

In the year 2015 37.8% of the nominal total value added of the Canton of Basel-Stadt was generated by the life sciences sector. Over 30,000 jobs in the Basel region were created by life sciences companies. In the Canton of Basel-Stadt are working whereby over 10% of employed persons in the life sciences sector. These are only some of many key figures that show the central role of life sciences for the canton’s economy. These key figures are important for gaining an overview of the total economy of a region. They also serve as important basis for making economically important decisions.

Nevertheless, many questions that are relevant for partners in the initiative, but also for further players in Basel remain open. Which companies other than the “Big Pharma”, have created 30,000 jobs in the Basel region and generated 37.8% of the nominal total value added? Where are these companies located? How are they connected with each other? The goal of the mapping project is to answer these and other questions. With a profound and detailed analysis on a company level, it will contribute to creating a better comprehension of the life sciences sector of the Basel region. Although they, in this respect, can be of central importance, information on companies of a location is rarely available in a complete and clear form. This shall now be remedied for the Life Sciences Cluster of the Basel region.

Use for various areas and a wide public

One of the goals of the life sciences strategy 2014-2017 is to recognize strengths and “gaps” in the life sciences value added chain and to take appropriate measures. Within the scope of the Life Sciences Cluster Mapping project, the data basis shall be developed and an analysis carried out, in order to be able to achieve the described goal. The project is under the management of the Economic Development Unit of Basel-Stadt. This should also be used to facilitate the location marketing and operate in a more goal-oriented manner. Furthermore, the data will be used to provide the public, companies, and politics with interesting information. It can be used in order to further upgrade the already existing internet presence of the Basel Life Sciences Cluster. Further, the findings from the project are very helpful with regard to corporate support in the region.

Detailed description of the project

In a first phase data on the companies will be collected from already existing and publicly available databases as well as from internet research. During online research, the company websites will primarily be considered. The difference to the existing databases lies therein that this data will now be available to all of the cluster’s companies on one platform. The project focuses on companies of the core area of the life sciences industry, but suppliers and providers are also of interest. The catchment area of the cluster includes the cantons of Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft and Jura as well as the regions of Fricktal and Dorneck-Thierstein. An extension of this area constitutes an attractive option at a later point.

In a further phase, interesting questions will be developed as a result of the data collection. These questions should then be answered with the help of focused qualitative methods (for example company surveys). Finally, the findings of the entire project shall be made available through various communication channels to those interested and thus allow for a clear communication of the Basel Life Sciences Cluster. This will be done in various steps and initiated in spring 2017. A first preview of which type of information will be derived from the project can be seen in the depiction of the distribution of the sub-sectors within the Life Sciences Cluster. The collection of company data is repeated every two to three years. This serves to update the data and provides an overview of the development of the cluster over the course of time.

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Life sciences strategy

Since 2005, at regular three year intervals, the cantons of Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft, together with the Chamber of Commerce Basel, define a common life sciences strategy. This strategy is based on findings and suggestions of the strategy platform of Bad Schauenburg. There, top-level representatives from politics, management, economy, universities and hospitals meet, in order to define together a course for the Basel life sciences sector.

Life Sciences Cluster Initiative Basel Region

Within the scope of the initiative Basel Life Sciences Cluster the Canton of Basel-Stadt works together with the Canton of Basel-Landschaft, the Chamber of Commerce Basel, BaselArea.swiss and the Switzerland innovation Park of the Basel Area to further improve of the regional framework conditions specifically for life sciences-specific.

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Figure: Percentage distribution of companies within the Life Sciences Cluster Basel according to prior data from the Life Sciences Cluster Mapping project.

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