Member News

Invest in Switzerland News | Fall 2017

By Invest in Switzerland

Top of the News

Aurora Flight Sciences and Roivant Sciences received 2017 Tell Awards honoring their significant inward investment projects in Switzerland. The awards, named for legendary Swiss hero William Tell, were presented on September 26 by André Schaller, Ambassador and Consul General of Switzerland in New York at the “2017 Inspiring Innovation Conference” hosted by Bloomberg LLP. Initiated in 2004, Tell Awards have been presented to a total of 45 companies in a program supported by Switzerland Global Enterprise.

The Aurora award recognized expansion of its Aurora Swiss Aerospace facility in Lucerne where it works on the development of Aurora’s Centaur Optionally-Piloted Aircraft (OPA). On a related note, in October 2017 Aurora announced an agreement to be acquired by Boeing. Roivant was recognized for establishing Roivant Sciences GmbH in Basel for its new global headquarters. The biopharmaceutical company has amassed a pipeline of 14 drugs in only 3 years, and in August 2017 secured a $1.1 Billion equity investment led by SoftBank Vision Fund.

For the ninth consecutive year Switzerland ranks as most competitive nation in the world according to the World Economic Forum’s 2017-2018 edition of its Global Competiveness Report.  Switzerland is followed by the United States and Singapore. (more)


Wins and Updates

Hewlett-Packard of Palo Alto CAinaugurated its brand new EMEA headquarters in the Geneva industrial zone of Meyrin-Satigny. Dubbed “The Hive 02”, the new building has 7350 m2 spread over four floors. (more)

Goldman Sachs Group is expanding its trading activities in Switzerland by upgrading its Swiss trading unit, housed under Goldman Sachs International. The move is subject to approval from Finma, the Swiss financial regulator. (more)

Lonza, headquartered in Morristown, NJ, has launched Ibex, an innovative modular facility in biological development and manufacturing. It is based at Lonza’s site in Visp, canton Valais, the firm’s EMEA headquarters. (more)

Philip Morris, based in New York, plans to invest 30 million Swiss Francs with the installation of two new high-tech production lines of heated tobacco in its factory in Neuchâtel. (more)

Breadwallet, founded in 2013 in Palo Alto, CA, moved its headquarters to canton Zug.  The company develops and operates a decentralized bitcoin wallet application. (more)

General Electric agreed to sell its utilities equipment business to ABB for $2.6 billion. (more)

Johnson & Johnson is investing 22 million Swiss Francs at its site in Schaffhausen, where J&J subsidiary Cilag will expand its biotech pilot plant for the production of sterile products for clinical studies. (more)


Reverse Investments & Partnerships

Stadler Rail, the Swiss-based railroad vehicle maker,broke ground on a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Salt Lake City UT, where the company will build and assemble trains for transit properties throughout the United States and North America. (more)

TargImmune Therapeutics of Basel and Australia-based Race Oncology Limited are entering into a joint venture to develop new cancer therapies. The R&D work will be done in Basel. (more)

Nestléincreased its bets on organic and health-conscious foods with the acquisition of Sweet Earth, the Moss Landing CA maker of vegan meals and snacks from plant-based proteins. (more)

Evolva, the Basel-based ingredient manufacturer, has been awarded a contract by the CDC to develop a new form of protection against insects in an effort to combat mosquito-borne diseases like Zika. (more)


From The Foreign Desk

Rakuten, a Japanese internet services provider, has invested in the Zurich-based start-up company dacadoo which produces an app that helps users improve their health. (more)

A pioneer in the Chinese pharmaceutical industry, Luye Pharma, has established its new European headquarters in Basel to strengthen its existing investment platform and further expand in the European market. (more)

Fosun International, also from China, founded a pharmaceutical subsidiary in Lucerne. (more)

Merck, the German science and technology company, inaugurated a new medical packaging building in Aubonne, canton Vaud, that meets with the company’s current and future demands for biotechnological medicines. (more). Merck also announced creation of iOnctura, a spin-off dedicated to immuno-oncology in Geneva. (more)

Italy’s largest retail bank Intesa Sanpaolo has reached an agreement to buy Switzerland’s Banque Morval as part of a strategy to reinforce its presence in international markets in the private banking business.

Belgian-based LASEA, which specializes in high precision laser machining, has opened a branch in Biel (more)

Specialist currency manager Record Currency Management opened its first Swiss office in Zürich. The office will be led by Dr Jan Witte, who has re-located from Record’s head office in the United Kingdom. (more)


Other News from our Worldwide Sources  

Switzerland ranks number one in the Change Readiness Index (CRI) compiled by consulting firm KPMG. The CRI compares the ability of countries to deal with a wide range of change drivers for technological, economic and social change. (more)

Zurich-based Starmind has developed a program based on artificial intelligence for the US advertising agency J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT). It is designed to help the agency’s 12,000 employees locate the right expert within the company. (more)

Switzerland is ranked as the most innovative country globally, followed by Singapore and Belgium, in the annually published Innovation Indicator conducted by the Centre for European Economic Research and the Frauenhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research.

Pharmaceutical and chemical goods pushed Swiss exports to record highs in the first half of this year. The value of goods sold abroad peaked at CHF109.6 billion ($105 billion) in the first six months of 2017 – a 4.4% rise on the previous year – though the value of Swiss watches exported abroad fell 10% to CHF19.4 billion last year. (more)

CERN, the European nuclear physics research organization, is contemplating the development of a particle accelerator three times larger than the Large Hadron Collider that confirmed the existence of the Higgs boson, a move intended to match growing Chinese ambitions in particle physics. (more)

Five Swiss universities are again ranked among the top 100 globally in the annual “ShanghaiRanking” of best universities worldwide. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) maintains the position of best university in continental Europe. (more)


Did you Know?

Switzerland hospitals enlisted the help of Matternet, a Silicon Valley tech company, to create a drone delivery network. The drones in this network deliver medical supplies between hospitals, avoiding car traffic with which a normal delivery has to contend. Lugano was the first city in Switzerland to test these drones. (more)

For a second year, Switzerland will allow more foreign specialists to be recruited from countries outside the European Union, a move aimed at giving companies access to a larger pool of qualified workers. (more)

The world’s longest suspension footbridge in the Swiss Alps shaves a few hours off a hike, making for one of the more spectacular shortcuts imaginable. (more

Editor’s note:  Switzerland also has the longest and deepest railroad tunnel, and highest traffic bridge in the world.

Yet another example of the Confederation Helvetica’s biggest, best and longest: Europe’s largest freshwater Aquarium-Vivarium, AQUATIS, opened in Lausanne. The huge structure houses 10,000 fish from five continents and 100 reptiles in 20 different ecosystems. (more)

The US House of Representatives recently released a legislative text representing the most significant step towards tax reform in over 30 years, thus launching the first official phase of the tax reform process. The proposed Reform, which among others contemplates a significant reduction of the income tax rate and an immediate expensing of investment in capital assets, offers interesting opportunities for Swiss and foreign groups. Conversely, proposed new measures such as an excise tax on payment to foreign affiliates or a limitation of interest deductions may have significant impact, too. Swiss and foreign groups should thus thoroughly follow developments over the next weeks. In parallel, and with the help of modeling tools, they should estimate the potential impact on their structure and operations as well as thinking of ways to restructure their supply chain in order to mitigate or reduce the impact of possible new measures.

Sébastien Maury, expert for Swiss-US tax matters and Head of the US-Swiss corridor at KPMG Switzerland, sheds more light on the main elements of the proposal and assesses the impact on Swiss groups:


Compliments of the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York, a member of the EACCNY