BioValley ... breaking new ground
The R&D site in the rural Leimen Valley of Canton Solothurn has a long tradition when it comes to innovation and technology, having been previously the agro-biological testing station of Novartis. Following the restructuring of the chemical industry in and around Basle, combined with the multinational (Swiss, French and German) BioValley initiative, the need for laboratory and office space with state-of-the-art infrastructure is as great as ever.
The Witterswil Technology Center aims to contribute to this new growth and sees itself in the first instance as a launching pad for life science start-ups and spin-offs seeking a ready-made and affordable infrastructure for the initial phase of their development.
Besides the physical and technical facilities available, the companies present on-site also benefit substantially from the opportunities for know-how transfer between themselves and the support of the resident business consulting team. The mission is therefore to win recognition as the ideal initial location:
a green-field center for modern technology.
The Witterswil Technology Center is located 9 km to the south-west of the city of Basle, in a region widely acclaimed as a center of academic and industrial excellence, with a good network of road, rail and air services. The greater Basle area, as part of the Biovalley Region of the Upper Rhine, has one of the highest densities of start-ups and spin-offs in Europe. And being so close to the French Alsace, the Witterswil Technology Center is within short commuting distance for those who choose to live across the border in France.
The companies already on-site come largely from the life sciences sector, underlining the focus of the Witterswil Technology Center in this area. The potential for synergistic interaction is very high, on both the scientific and entrepreneurial level, and is a significant factor attracting further companies to move in.
Looking to the future
The Witterswil Technology Center quickly filled all the space available, confirming the correctness of the site redeployment strategy as defined between 1997 and 2000. To meet the demand for more space in the autumn of 2002, three prefabricated Pavillions were erected, each providing 423 m2 of valuable new office and laboratory space. The first new building Bau 260 was completed in December 2004 with a total area of 5000 m2 on three floors. An additional three-storey high-tech building B.250 with 4000-5000 m2 laboratory and office space is nearing completion and will be ready for occupation in summer 2008.