Top Stories from Western Switzerland (March 2024)

From innovative approaches in cardiac care and sustainable plastics to enhancing spinal cord injury therapies and advancing virtual power plants, discover Western Switzerland's top stories from March 2024.

From innovative approaches in cardiac care and sustainable plastics to enhancing spinal cord injury therapies and advancing virtual power plants, discover Western Switzerland’s top stories from March 2024.

Foreign direct investment in 2023: Western Switzerland confirms its attractiveness

Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the GGBa and its cantonal partners, Western Switzerland attracted 76 new foreign companies in 2023, creating more than 600 jobs. These investments, mainly from France, China and the US, highlight the region’s strengths in life sciences and digital technologies, while reaffirming Western Switzerland’s status as a globally attractive hub for innovative business ventures. In the face of geopolitical uncertainty, GGBa’s focused, impact-driven approach signals a robust future for foreign direct investment in the region.

Bern researchers unveil groundbreaking cardiac care method

Bern researchers have developed a new cardiac care technique for treating Microvascular Obstruction (MVO) post-heart attack, potentially revolutionizing patient outcomes. By using a specialized balloon catheter combined with fluid mechanics and biological insights, the ARTORG team can deliver medication directly to blockages in the heart’s smallest branches. This interdisciplinary approach, bridging academia, clinical practice, and industry, offers hope for effectively diagnosing and treating a condition that affects 40-60% of heart attack survivors in Switzerland.

FONGIT Innovation Fund backs HeroSupport and SmellRS to advance healthcare innovation

FONGIT Innovation Fund has invested in Geneva-based startups HeroSupport and SmellRS to propel healthcare innovations. HeroSupport received a CHF 100,000 seed loan for developing medical devices that improve cancer treatment precision and patient experience. SmellRS was awarded CHF 50,000 for its technology aimed at early Alzheimer’s detection and smell restoration.

EPFL develops sustainable plastics from agricultural waste

EPFL researchers have developed a sustainable method to produce high-performance plastics using agricultural waste, offering an eco-friendly alternative to traditional fossil fuel-based materials. This innovative approach utilizes a sugar core extracted from biomass to create polyamides with comparable durability and performance.

Bluefactory start-up Yord’s smart energy optimization awarded in Fribourg

Yord, a Bluefactory-based start-up in Fribourg, won the first Fribourg Energy Prize and CHF 10,000 for its AI-driven device that autonomously regulates heating in buildings, potentially saving up to 30% in energy. Launched in October 2023, Yord’s technology is now aiding cities and municipalities across Western Switzerland in reducing heating costs and consumption.

Neuchâtel’s innovation hub expands with groundbreaking JD7 building

Led by Silatech SA, Neuchâtel’s JD7 project introduces an innovative hub designed to bridge the gap between major institutions and foster collaboration and sustainability. With an investment of CHF 70 million, this project aims to add over 10,000 square meters of adaptable space for offices, labs, and collaborative areas, primarily hosting CSEM and start-ups.

ONWARD Medical secures EUR 20 million to expand its spinal cord injury therapies

ONWARD Medical, a leader in spinal cord stimulation therapies, has raised EUR 20 million through private placement and IPO, extending its financial runway to mid-2025. This fund aims to support the approval and launch of innovative products enhancing lives of individuals with spinal cord injuries. Originating from EPFL, ONWARD’s therapies like ARC-EX and ARC-IM have shown promising clinical results and received FDA Breakthrough Designation.

A virtual power plant developed by Studer-Innotec and OIKEN in the canton of Valais

OIKEN and Studer Innotec are collaborating on a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) in Valais to integrate small energy producers, mimicking a larger power station’s capabilities. This innovative solution targets the challenges of decentralized solar energy’s unpredictability by enhancing the management of these resources. Supported by The Ark Foundation and developed with the Icare Research Institute, the project will begin testing in 2024.

Handbook for Investors

Our Handbook for Investors provides valuable information about technologies and production costs, taxes and financing, as well as the legal system and infrastructure in Switzerland. Browse through the complete handbook online or download the chapters most relevant to you.




Official program