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State Aid in Life Sciences in Switzerland 

by Martin Zobl, Dr. iur., LL.M., Attorney at Law

Published: July, 2015

Submission: July, 2015


What Is the Size of the Market and What Are Current Trends in Switzerland? Life Sciences is one of the most dynamic and most rapidly growing sectors in Switzerland with respect to both the industrial and the academic dimension. In 2013, the total financ-ing volume amassed by Swiss biotech companies more than doubled compared to the previous year’s figure, reaching USD 325 million, which amounts to an increase of 112%.1 According to the Swiss Life Sciences Database, Switzerland is currently host to over 1,800 highly diversified Life Sciences companies.2 The country boasts a well-functioning market and a business-friendly environment for almost all types of investments while providing an extraordinarily high quality of life. This is also evidenced by the fact that the country constantly achieves top positions in major international economic rankings. For example, it currently ranks number 5 on the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom of The Heritage Foundation3 and number 3 on the UN Human Development Index4.

The Basel area alone belongs beyond doubt to the prime locations for the Life Sciences industry in the world. As such, it has attracted approximately 900 Life Sciences companies achieving an annual turnover of USD 100 billion and an annual profit of around USD 20 billion. With approximately 10,000 researchers employed in the respective companies today plus 5,000 academics (professors, researchers, Ph.D. students, etc.) and annual investments in research and development in the amount of USD 1.4 billion, the area pro-vides a huge potential and an inexhaustible source of know-how in Life Sciences.5








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