Lonza and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland – Valais-Wallis signed a strategic partnership agreement in January 2020. The 10-year collaboration is based on five strategic axes. In the scientific field, the two partners will set up a joint research laboratory in order to develop industrial skills in the digitization, automation and control of biotechnological processes. The second area of collaboration is digital biotechnology, or how to apply Lonza's experience to advance engineering education. The third point focuses continuing education : the HES-SO Valais-Wallis will be Lonza's preferred partner for specialized training in the field of mammalian cell technology. Conversely, the university will be able to rely on Lonza to enrich its basic training courses. Last but not least, the HES-SO Valais-Wallis will provide qualified students to meet Lonza's staffing needs.
In Switzerland, the universities of applied sciences have a mission to provide qualified workforce to the local ecosystem, and to address the issues faced by companies and institutions. This partnership is part of this approach. “The kickoff of this long-term partnership represents an important milestone in meeting our needs for qualified personnel for the Visp site in a sustainable manner. It enables us to train today the experts of tomorrow, based on the needs of our company,” explains Renzo Cicillini, Lonza Visp site manager, in a press release.
For Christophe Darbellay, State Councillor and Head of the Department of Economy and Training, this initiative proves that Valais is setting up a comprehensive value chain encompassing training, research and industrialization.