The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) believes innovation holds the key to unlocking unutilized potential in rural regions. The thinktank for industrialized countries has therefore launched a new initiative aimed at improving the growth prospects of rural regions and making these less reliant on state aid.
In this context, an OECD delegation visited Switzerland, and the canton of Jura in particular, in October 2021. According to a report in the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs’ (SECO) magazine “Die Volkswirtschaft”, the delegation was impressed by the professional, committed and varied nature of the support awarded to innovative stakeholders in the region.
In its report, the OECD formulated four recommendations. For example, innovations should also be supported beyond the export sector. Support should also reach young and older workers, women and migrants. The coordination of the offers could be improved, as could the cooperation between the institutions for promoting innovation and agricultural advisory organizations.
The canton intends to implement the recommendations in conjunction with Basel Area Business & Innovation, the regional investment and innovation promotion agency for the two Basel cantons, Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft, as well as the canton of Jura. In so doing, the organization will seek to focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), primarily in the area of medical technology. It also intends to strengthen the integration of the canton of Jura in the Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area, an aspect which it is hoped would help to bring skilled workers back to the Jura after completing their studies outside the canton. Basel Area also operates two funding programs for innovation in the Jura. Finally, more female entrepreneurs are to be supported as well.