Switzerland report 2019

Business and the Canton of Bern: An innovative partnership

SYNERGY MEDIA SPECIALISTS

Switzerland’s largest industrial region, the Canton of Bern, has become a high technology hub driven by innovation.

While highly specialized small- and medium-sized enterprises are the backbone of the economy, many multinationals and Japanese companies have successfully established a presence in Bern. 

With a tradition of mechanical, electrical and precision engineering, many Bern-based companies have contributed to Switzerland’s world-famous medical technology and watchmaking industries.

The Bern Economic Development Agency is a one-stop shop for startups and companies that are looking to locate or open a subsidiary in the Canton of Bern and grow their business. The agency provides all the important information, useful contacts, comprehensive initial advice and expert support in the search for the ideal premises, completely free of charge. 

A perfect setting, the Canton of Bern offers businesses an ideal environment for innovation, with access to a highly qualified workforce and many opportunities to work closely with universities and other research institutions such as the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (part of the Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH)) and the University of Bern. 

There are also numerous knowledge and technology transfer platforms in Switzerland, including the Switzerland Innovation Park Biel/Bienne, the Swiss Smart Factory and the Swiss Institute for Translational and Entrepreneurial Medicine (sitem-insel), where the latest developments and findings in research and science join forces with the proven experience of local businesses.

During the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Japan in 2014, the Canton of Bern established the first friendship agreement between a Swiss canton and a Japanese prefecture. 

Nara Prefecture and the Canton of Bern promote the exchange of knowledge in the fields of tourism, culture, forestry, energy and environmental technology. Renowned Japanese companies such as Gilgen Door Systems AG (a subsidiary of Nabtesco Corp.), Fanuc Corp. and Montbell Co. Ltd. have already established a presence in Bern.

Bern’s unrivaled natural beauty and cultural attractions have positioned the canton as one of Switzerland’s top three tourism destinations. 

Japanese tourists looking for an authentic Swiss experience continue to enjoy the iconic Swiss village of Grindelwald, Jungfraujoch in the Bernese Alps, the majestic Schilthorn summit and UNESCO World Heritage site, the Old City of Bern. 

Looking forward, the Canton of Bern will continue to attract business and investment from Japan.