Switzerland: Showing Continued Strength in Life Sciences


The Swiss continue to dominate the global landscape in the area of Life Sciences. Ranking second globally for pipelines in all phases and boasting 14.1 per 1000 individuals in the labor force in Research and Development, Switzerland is 4.7 people ahead of the regional average. By comparison Germany had less than one individual fewer than Switzerland (per thousand); however, the cost of doing business was more than quadruple that of Switzerland, in the second quarter of this year.

Switzerland’s strengths include innovation, business sophistications and labor market efficiency. Their ability to both attract and retain skilled workers fosters a culture of quality and ensures continued but stable growth of the future contingent workforce. A perpetual world leader in the area of Higher Education the Swiss preserve their outstanding capacity for innovation, which is essential to the prosperity of Switzerland’s economy.

Universities, corporations and medical center research institutions locate themselves in close proximity to one another in three primary regions. This “clustering” phenomenon promotes collaboration amongst researchers and scientists from the bench scientist all the way to the top directors of the institutions who employ them. One such cluster located in Basel’s “Bio Valley” is home to an incredible 40 percent of the world’s pharmaceutical companies. This translates to over 600 pharmaceutical and medical technology companies, and 15,000 scientists, in this cluster alone.

The strength of the Swiss biopharmaceutical market lies in its ability to carry products to the final stage of development. Globally, the government of Switzerland is amongst the most transparent. Their fair and just economic climate attracts investment from multinational corporations, who perceive their intellectual property and workers’ conditions as being well protected. Their approach is in sharp contrast with some emerging countries, though the Swiss are still considered a less mature market as a whole. Emerging countries, such as Mexico and India, are still focused on gaining momentum in the global Life Sciences arena.

Over the past few quarters, continued growth of existing Life Sciences organizations in the local market, coupled with increased investment from international organizations, has had substantial positive impact on the growth in the local Life Sciences market. This is also demonstrated by increased hiring activity and more competitive hiring initiatives.