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DeepTech: UK meets Switzerland

From March 27 to 30, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, or more precisely Présence Suisse, in collaboration with the Swiss Embassy in London, welcomed a delegation from the United Kingdom on the theme of DeepTech.

Innovation & science, the cornerstone of Swiss-British relations. 

As a leader in DeepTech in Europe, the UK continues to strengthen its cooperation with Switzerland, a breeding ground for entrepreneurs and innovative initiatives. This cooperation has been initiated and strengthened since 2022, with the development of bilateral relations in the fields of science and innovation, as well as even more concrete discussions and projects in areas such as space and quantum mechanics.  

It is this strong relationship between the two countries, and the desire to jointly develop innovative strategic, industrial, technological and digital projects, that has given rise to the call for entries issued by Innosuisse and Innovate UK. Managed by the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), participants from Switzerland and the UK are invited to submit proposals for joint projects in the fields of research and application development for innovative products with strong commercial potential. Open since April 17, 2023, the deadline for submissions is July 26, 2023. Find out more on the Innosuisse website

Networking & discovering regional clusters

In line with this strengthening of bilateral activities, a British delegation visited Switzerland at the end of March to discover its DeepTech ecosystem, in particular through its regional clusters in Romandie, Berne, Basel, Zurich and Ticino. At the request of the London embassy, Alp ICT was invited to this meeting as part of its mission to provide information and networking on digital innovation and promote digital industrial technologies. Based on its future Digital Observatory project in partnership with enovating, the crossroads of data mining and data visualization, Alp ICT, represented by Paul Merz, Chairman of the Expert Committee, shared a detailed mapping of DeepTech potential in Switzerland. This comprehensive set of information and statistics provides a better understanding of the ins and outs of the DeepTech dynamic (see summary and presentation below). 

It was a fruitful meeting, to which Alp ICT is delighted to have contributed its expertise, and which our President, Paul Merz, sums up as follows:

"These meetings are a concrete and pragmatic way of fostering synergies between our nations. They enable us to explore each other's specificities, strengths and complementarities. Switzerland stands out for its talent pool and dynamic innovation ecosystem, supported by a leading academic community in the generation of value-generating spin-offs. Although we have excellent projects and considerable know-how, financing is sometimes a challenge. Synergies become crucial. The UK's risk-taking culture, similar to that of the US in the world of business and finance, can effectively support the development of our Swiss start-ups in the seed or rapid expansion phase. A win-win approach!

DeepTech mapping in Europe & Switzerland

Presentation summary written in collaboration with jasper.ai

  • In Europe, DeepTech experienced strong growth and weathered market turbulence, raising $17.7 billion in 2021 and Q3/Q4 2022, making it the second best-performing segment, behind energy, year-on-year.
  • The four main emerging segments (artificial intelligence, future of computing - i.e. supercomputing, deep learning... -, energy and space tech) raised $4.4 billion in 2021, the highest amount ever.
  • The UK, Germany, France, Sweden and Switzerland are the largest DeepTech ecosystems in Europe, with schools such as EPFL, the University of Lausanne and Geneva at the forefront of research and education, while incubators and gas pedals such as Swisscom Digital Lab, FONGIT, MassChallenge and Seedstars World offer dedicated coaching and mentoring programs for SMEs and start-ups.
  • Among Europe's top 20 engineering and computer science universities, 2 Swiss institutions stand out:ETHZ and EPFL, ranked 4th and 20th and 9th and 19th respectively.
  • 2 establishments which are also among the top 10 European universities to have created the best spin-offs; ETHZ even topping the ranking thanks to its numerous unicorns (i.e. start-ups specialized in digital technologies created less than ten years ago and valued at at least one billion dollars); making Switzerland the 2nd best represented country in Europe in terms of value creation and 4th in terms of patent filings.
  • Mainly focused on artificial intelligence, biotechnology, cybersecurity, robotics and virtual reality, Switzerland is the 2nd country with the most DeepTech companies per capita.   

Download presentation below: Meeting Switzerland x United Kingdom - discovering Western Switzerland's digital clusters by Alp ICT

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