The study was conducted by Professor Georg von Krogh and doctoral student Nina Geilinger of the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH), in collaboration with Canton Zurich’s Business and Economic Development Division of the Office for Economy and Labour. Von Krogh explained in an interview on the ETH’s website that expertise from limited fields of knowledge was often insufficient to develop innovations. In this way clusters have an advantage.
Geilinger added that companies in Zurich’s biotech and ICT clusters would benefit from each other because they were prepared to swap knowledge. She said that many companies were aware that they could not survive in a vacuum. The exchange of ideas with universities is as important as it is with customers or competitors. Both are required in Zurich, which according to Geilinger is a key advantage of Canton Zurich’s “cluster eco-system”.
Von Krogh sees Zurich as the centre of the Swiss ICT industry. Here too, close proximity between companies and employees could speed up the innovation process.