Basel is Europe’s most important Life Sciences centre
The Basel region is Europe’s most important centre for the life sciences. No other location can boast a similarly high cluster density of life sciences companies and match Basel’s diversity of industry-specific job types.
The Basel region is Europe’s most important centre for the life sciences. No other location can boast a similarly high cluster density of life sciences companies and jobs covering the entire value chain. The sector has seen consistently positive development for years and has become the economic engine of the entire region of Basel. In the past five years alone, the life sciences’ share of nominal gross value added in the Canton of Basel-Stadt has grown from 38% to 44%, or by the equivalent of 18.6 billion Swiss Francs. In the year 2018 the sector employed 11% of the labour force in the Canton of Basel-Stadt.
A comparison to other leading global life sciences centres further corroborates the sector’s eminently positive development in the Basel region. Only Singapore reports higher growth rates in real gross value added and employment over a period of ten years. A characteristic feature of Basel is the co-existence of international corporations, research and development activities as well as high-tech manufacturing. Large groups such as Novartis, Roche and Syngenta help shape the location as much as do Lonza, Bayer, Straumann or Medartis. The ongoing metamorphosis of former industrial areas into sites suitable for modern economic activities will continue to provide companies with space for additional growth. Good examples for the trend are the Stücki Park which is home to the Technologiepark Basel and the Rosental Mitte area in close vicinity to the train station Badischer Bahnhof. New spots for collaboration and innovation keep popping up across the Basel region. Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area only recently announced the opening of an additional subsidiary on the soon to be inaugurated Novartis Campus. At the core of the life sciences biotope Basel is a cluster of 700 companies, building an ecosystem of exciting start-ups, agile SME and international corporations that renders the local business scene truly unique.
Further evidence for the region’s strong appeal to companies and professional talent is provided by the BAK Attractiveness Index. The index emphasizes that the Basel region’s attractiveness as a global centre for the life sciences is based on a diverse range of factors including excellent continental accessibility, a business-friendly regulatory environment and labour market, as well as relatively low corporate tax rates.
Situated within the border triangle of Switzerland, Germany and France, the region is also home to many internationally renowned research institutes and a flurry of important and reputable institutions of higher education that are highly interconnected and networked with the local economy. The research institutes advance scientific progress at the highest levels and are indispensable for the creation, dissemination and transfer of knowledge in the region.
The Canton of Basel-Stadt also fares extraordinarily well globally in the BAK Quality of Universities in the Life Sciences Index (cp. table 3). This is a crucial metric for the region, as the academic institutions not only develop and advance local talent, but also manage to attract researchers and professionals from all over the world.
And only recently was it announced in Credit Suisse’s Locational Quality Indicator (LQI) that the Canton of Basel-Stadt is considered Switzerland’s most attractive corporate location for the first time ever, key reasons being low corporate taxation, a highly skilled labour force and a modern infrastructure.
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- Sources: BAK Economics, CWTS Leiden Ranking
The Economic Development of the Canton of Basel-Stadt is actively working to support and further improve the extraordinary market position of life sciences companies and start-ups with operations in the region. The agency makes every effort to guarantee the best possible economic framework and conditions for the future success of these companies. Only if we keep optimizing the business environment, will we manage to reach out to global entrepreneurial excellence in the life sciences.
Life Sciences Manager