Micro- and Nanotechnology Switzerland

An Expert's View about Research Institutes in Switzerland

Posted on: 4 Oct 2010

Switzerland can stake a strong claim to being the "home of nanotechnology" – the enabling technologies of nanoscience, the scanning tunnelling microscope and the atomic force microscope.

Micro- and Nanotechnology ? Switzerland Sector Report Micro- and Nanotechnology Switzerland Updated by: Peter Mueller-McDougall, Trade & Investment Attaché, British Embassy Berne and Regula Hofer, Project Manager Trade & Investment, British Embassy Berne In collaboration with: Gaby Bloem, Science and Innovation Officer, British Embassy Berne Last revised September 2009 Whereas every effort has been made to ensure that the information given in this document is accurate, neither UK Trade & Investment nor its parent Departments (the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office), accept liability for any errors, omissions or misleading statements, and no warranty is given or responsibility accepted as to the standing of any individual, firm, company or other organisation mentioned. Published September 2009 by UK Trade & Investment. Crown Copyright © www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk Micro- and Nanotechnology ? Switzerland Table of Contents OVERVIEW 3 OPPORTUNITIES 3 CHARACTERISTICS OF MARKET 4 KEY METHODS OF DOING BUSINESS 5 MORE DETAILED SECTOR REPORTS EVENTS 6 CONTACT LISTS 7 www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk Page 2 of 7 Micro- and Nanotechnology ? Switzerland OVERVIEW Swiss economic brief Population: 7.5 million GDP: £296 billion GDP per capita: £40.643 Total spending on R&D: 2.9% of GDP Ratio public:private R&D expenditure: 70% public, 30% private Venture capital expenditure: 0.13% of GDP Economic data from OECD Science, Technology and Industry Outlook 2008 With its capacity for innovation and a very sophisticated business culture, Switzerland leads the overall ranking in The Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010 published by the World Economic Forum (www.weforum.org). To further increase innovativeness the Swiss government has increased public funding for research and innovation (£12.3 billion for 2008-2011) and created new public/private partnerships (CTI KTT) to improve science-industry relations, especially with small to medium- sized companies, and introduced measures to further enhance international collaboration at EU level and beyond. As a small, high-tech and export-oriented country, Switzerland is acknowledged to be one of the European leaders of innovation and scientific advancement in this broad new technology of st the 21 century, ahead of the US and other European countries on both nanotechnology rd publications and patents (European Commission 3 report on S&T Indicators, 2003, p 395 & 397). Switzerland can stake a strong claim to being the "home of nanotechnology" ? the enabling technologies of nanoscience, the scanning tunnelling microscope and the atomic force microscope, were both invented by Swiss researchers at the IBM Research Laboratory near Zurich in the 1980s. Since then, research in the field has been actively promoted by the government through the funding of special programmes. Nanotechnology research is pursued seriously as a result of the long Swiss academic and industrial tradition of continuing miniaturisation in micro technology, driven especially by strong Swiss sectors such as watch making, microelectronics and precision engineering. Nanotech in Switzerland is now also finding applications in the life sciences, in materials science, in chemical engineering and in manufacturing. Specific Swiss strengths can be found on page five of this report. There are around 100 companies from SME to multinational using applied nanotechnology in their products, including multiple spin-offs from universities. As nanotech is a near-to-market technology, R&D collaboration opportunities as well as sales, with both the Swiss private and research sector, are realistic expectations for UK companies. OPPORTUNITIES Tenders Due to nanotechnology's multidisciplinary nature, opportunities in the Swiss marketplace will be posted in the relevant industry section of the website (see ?Sectors?). UK Trade & Investment publishes international business opportunities gathered by our network of British Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates worldwide. These opportunities appear in the Opportunities portlet on the relevant sector and country pages on the UKTI website. By setting up a profile you can be alerted by email when relevant new opportunities are published. New or updated alert profiles can be set in My Account on the website. www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk Page 3 of 7 Micro- and Nanotechnology ? Switzerland CHARACTERISTICS OF MARKET Private sector There are around one hundred companies active in micro- and nanotechnology in Switzerland, ranging from multinational corporations to tiny start-ups. Research institutions Several Swiss institutions lead on international micro- and nanotechnology research: ? The National Centre of Competence for Research (NCCR) Nanoscale Science with its national and international research network, at the Department of Physics, University of Basel, founded in 2001. www.nccr-nano.org The NCCR is linked to several institutes and departments at the University of Basel: ? Condensed Matter Theory http://quantumtheory.physik.unibas.ch/ ? Department of Physics http://physik.unibas.ch/ ? Institute of Organic Chemistry http://www.chemie.unibas.ch/OC/index.html ? Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology http://www.pharma.unibas.ch/ ? Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polymers in Life Sciences http://www.chemie.unibas.ch/~meier/index.html ? Nano-Electronics http://pages.unibas.ch/phys-meso/ ? Professor Güntherodt Group http://www.physik.unibas.ch/dept/pages/en/personnel/guntherodt.htm ? Maurice E. Müller Institute for Structural Biology, Biocentre www.mih.unibas.ch ? CSEM, the Swiss Centre for Electronics and Microtechnology. This private institute has developed from a traditional centre of excellence for micro technology innovation for the Swiss watch making industry to a modern centre of excellence for micro- and nanotechnology innovation and continues to evolve. As such a recognised bridge organisation between industry and tertiary academic institutions also attached to pure research at the co-located University of Neuchâtel. www.csem.ch ? The First Lab for multidisciplinary micro- and nanoscience research and prototyping at the Federal Institute of Technology of Zurich, ETHZ. www.first.ethz.ch Other departments at the ETHZ engaged with nanotechnology are: ? Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, ETH Zurich www.chab.ethz.ch ? Nanotechnology Group ETHZ www.nanotechnology.ethz.ch ? Top Nano 21, ETHZ www.temas.ch/nano/nano_homepage.nsf/vwAllByKey/home%7Cde ? Nanophysics ETHZ www.nanophys.ethz.ch ? Research is also carried out at ETHZ?s Paul Scherrer Institute PSI. The PSI houses the laboratory for micro and nanotechnologies. It is also renowned for its Swiss Light Source (SLS), which makes high-quality synchrotron X-ray beams available to the research community. www.psi.ch ? Switzerland?s second, smaller but fast-growing international Federal Institute of Technology at Lausanne, EPFL. Home to several specialised research laboratories active in different branches of nanotechnology as well as the NCCR Quantum Photonics established in 2001. www.epfl.ch Two other departments engaged with nanotechnology at the EPFL are: ? NN Research Group EPFL http://nanotubes.epfl.ch ? IMT Samlab University of Neuchâtel http://samlab.epfl.ch/ ? The IBM Research Lab near Zurich, private and globally unique, with its nanotechnology tradition dating back to 1962. www.zurich.ibm.com ? The Swiss Federal Materials Testing Institute, EMPA, headquartered at Dübendorf near Zurich and with two smaller satellite institutes in Thun and St. Gallen. www.empa.ch www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk Page 4 of 7 Micro- and Nanotechnology ? Switzerland ? The Micro Center Central Switzerland AG, MCCS, in Sarnen collaborates with CSEM and conducts R&D in micro robotics, micro system technology, optics, communication and electronic design. www.mccs.ch ? University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, School of Engineering. www.fhnw.ch Areas of Swiss competitive advantage ? Cantilever tip and sensor expertise and applications ? a direct result of the invention of the scanning tunnelling and atomic force microscopes and their widespread application through miniaturisation. NCCR Nanoscale Science at the University of Basle and the IBM Zurich Research lab ? Nanobiology applications in the life sciences ? diagnostics applications to detect single molecules, nanocontainers. Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, EPFL ? Nanomanufacturing ? The Oerlikon Group is the Swiss corporate leader in large-scale industrial investment, manufacture and replication of nanocomposites layers and surface technologies to produce large batches of CDs, DVDs, flat display screens and computer chips. ? Smart prototyping ? Laboratory of Robotic Systems, Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne EPFL, is the leader in micro technology-derived nano self-assembly and nano- machining. Also involved are the Universities of Geneva, Berne and the Federal Institute of Technology of Zurich, ETHZ. ? Nanocomposite surfaces and materials ? research on carbon nanotube composites is ongoing at several institutes of the Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne EPFL, among them the institute of Physics of Nanostructure (IPN), the Institute of Physics of Complex Materials (IPMC) and the Institute of Composite Materials (IMX). ? Retrofitting vehicle engines with nanoparticle and denitrification filters. KEY METHODS OF DOING BUSINESS ? Swiss diaries can fill up months ahead. Please seek appointments in good time. ? It is important to make clear the purpose of any meeting in advance. ? Swiss business meetings tend to be direct with no small talk. ? Punctuality is important. Please arrive early. ? Most senior business people in Switzerland speak English, but it is wise to check. ? Average office hours are 0800-1700, with a long lunch break. ? Switzerland is one hour ahead of the UK. Other background information on doing business in Switzerland can be found on UKTI?s website. Simply go to Switzerland?s country page where you will find information on: ? Economic background and geography ? Customs & regulations ? Selling & communications ? Contacts & setting up ? Visiting and social hints and tips MORE DETAILED SECTOR REPORTS Research is critical when considering new markets. UKTI provides market research services which can help UK companies doing business overseas including: www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk Page 5 of 7 Micro- and Nanotechnology ? Switzerland ? Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS). Bespoke research into potential markets, and support during your visits overseas ? Export Marketing Research Scheme. In-depth and subsidised service administered by the British Chambers of Commerce on behalf of UKTI Contact your local International Trade Advisor if you are interested in accessing these services, or for general advice in developing your export strategy. When considering doing business in Switzerland, it is essential to obtain legal, financial and taxation advice. For further details, please contact: Peter Mueller-McDougall Regula Hofer Trade & Investment Attaché Project Manager Trade & Investment British Embassy British Embassy Thunstrasse 50 Thunstrasse 50 CH-3005 Berne, Switzerland CH-3005 Berne, Switzerland Tel: +41 31 359 7728 Tel: +41 31 359 7742 Fax: +41 31 359 7701 Fax: +41 31 359 7701 Peter.Mueller@fco.gov.uk Regula.Hofer@fco.gov.uk EVENTS Nano-Biotech Montreux www.nanotech-montreux.com, 16-18 November 2009, annual Main thematic areas are medtech and biotechnology. NanoMontreux takes in western Switzerland and draws on the region's French-speaking audience. It is a smaller event than NanoEurope, with a strong focus on academic presentations. NanoEurope www.nanoeurope.com, 25-26 November 2009, annual NanoEurope's three main thematic areas are medical devices, plastics and textiles. The NanoEurope trade fair and conference has positioned itself as the main meeting place for the Swiss nanotech industry over the last four years. The show is more of a national show rather than a European one, both in terms of event size and origin of exhibitors, who are mainly Swiss and from neighbouring German. However, the quality of the exhibitors and visitors is consistently high and past UK exhibitors have given positive feedback. UK Trade & Investment?s Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) can help eligible UK businesses take part in overseas exhibitions. Attendance at TAP events offers significant benefits: ? possibilities for business opportunities both at the show and in the future ? a chance to assess new markets and develop useful contacts ? grants are available if you meet the criteria ? UKTI staff overseas will be available to assist delegates Find out if you are eligible to apply to attend this event, and more about the support UKTI can offer. Details of TAP events can be found in the Events portlet on the Switzerland page. Other Market Visit Support may be available via your local International Trade Advisor. www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk Page 6 of 7 Micro- and Nanotechnology ? Switzerland CONTACT LISTS UK suppliers interested in pursuing business opportunities in Switzerland are advised to contact: UK Trade & Investment Kingsgate House, 66-74 Victoria Street London SW1E 6SW Tel: 020 7215 8657 Fax: 020 7215 8257 www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk British Embassy in Switzerland Thunstrasse 50 CH-3005 Bern, Switzerland Tel: +41 31 359 7700 Fax: +41 31 359 7701 http://ukinswitzerland.fco.gov.uk/en/ UKTI?s International Trade Advisers can provide you with essential and impartial advice on all aspects of international trade. Every UK region also has dedicated sector specialists who can provide advice tailored to your industry. You can trace your nearest advisor by entering your postcode into the Local Office Database on the homepage of our website. For new and inexperienced exporters, our Passport to Export process will take you through the mechanics of exporting. An International Trade Adviser will provide professional advice on a range of services, including financial subsidies, export documentation, contacts in overseas markets, overseas visits, translating marketing material, e-commerce, subsidised export training and market research. www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk Page 7 of 7
Posted: 04 October 2010