Vaud: Innovation, Research, and High Quality of Life

Jean-Claude Mermoud, State Councillor for Economics for the Canton of Vaud
Jean-Claude Mermoud, State Councillor for Economics for the Canton of Vaud

The State Council for Economics for the Canton of Vaud oversees a thriving local economy in which foreign companies and residents play a vital role. Investors and residents are attracted by Vaud’s exceptionally high quality of life as well as its welldeveloped research institutions and infrastructure.

“The Canton of Vaud offers an excellent work/life balance which is attracting international decision makers to our area,” says Jean-Claude Mermoud, State Councillor for Economics for the Canton of Vaud. He notes that 30% of the canton’s residents are from abroad, and that local organisations include the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee.

Another attraction for business investment is that the canton has developed around 20 sector-specific zones – including technology and science parks – which offer everything a company needs to do business in its field. “We have zones in life sciences, biotechnology, the food industry, and logistics, for example. Vaud has a large territory so companies have a wide choice of locations, and we still have a lot of room to welcome new activities and companies,” Jean-Claude Mermoud says. The canton has made significant investments in ensuring that all these zones are equipped with the highest quality infrastructure.

Focus on innovation and research

Another key reason to set up a business in Vaud is the high number of academic and research institutions in the canton. “Vaud has a strong and developed research competence that other regions lack, and this has contributed to the large number of start-up companies here in life sciences and nanotechnology. We are more geared to innovation and start-up creation than the other cantons are,” Jean-Claude Mermoud explains. He adds, “Other cantons may have more industry players, but we have more academic and research players.”

Overall, Vaud’s economy offers ‘choice, diversity and volume’ unmatched by other cantons, according to Jean-Claude Mermoud. He believes that the canton’s top sectors for the future include information and communications technology, life sciences, nano-technology, biotechnology, medical technology, nutrition, agriculture, tourism, renewable energy, niche activities driven by innovation, and the establishment of companies’ international headquarters.

Investors attracted to Switzerland should be aware of Vaud’s competitive edge. As Jean-Claude Mermoud points out, “Thanks to its bilateral agreements with the EU, Switzerland offers the advantages of the EU without the drawbacks, and Vaud is fostering an innovative atmosphere with a high attention to quality that cannot be replicated elsewhere in Switzerland.”