Switzerland is home to one of the world's most unique life science clusters. Alongside chemical and pharmaceutical corporations such as Novartis, Roche, and Syngenta, there is also a dense network of companies from the medical technology, biotech, and nano technology sectors. The life sciences industry has a distinct international focus, with 98 percent of sales generated abroad. Chemical-pharmaceutical products make up 42 percent of Swiss product exports, making them Switzerland's most exported class of goods. Switzerland has many highly-skilled scientists thanks to its position as an international leader among universities and the many well-funded pharmaceutical companies conducting research there.
Switzerland retained its top spot in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2016 for the sixth year in a row. In particular, Switzerland is well ahead in terms of innovation output, which is measured against criteria such as new patent registrations and the number of startups and high-tech companies. Switzerland's strength in innovation is also the direct result of its sizable investments in research and development. Swiss R&D spending amounts to almost 3 percent of the country's GDP, or CHF 16 billion. Two-thirds of this can be attributed to the private sector.
Compared to other top international centers, the Swiss life sciences sector reports the highest labor productivity. Most recently, this economic sector generated CHF 286,000 per employee.
As a highly specialized production location for pharmaceutical products, Switzerland enjoys an excellent reputation the world over.
Switzerland holds a leading position worldwide in the medical technology sector.
Switzerland is one of the strongest biotechnology hubs in Europe.