Center of innovation

The canton of Vaud is proud to be a leading European hub in terms of technology and innovation. Its research centers and technology parks attract large numbers of international specialists.

Switzerland is very much an international hub for innovation and this reputation is richly deserved, with its levels of expenditure in research and development activities among the highest around the globe (some 3.5% of GDP). Close ties between universities and institutes of higher education and industry promote the transfer of knowledge and technologies. Institutes on an international scale, such as the European particle physics laboratory (CERN) and the Paul Scherrer Institute devoted to natural and engineering sciences, attract specialists from all four corners of the globe.

Set-Up Guide

Innovation & Technology

«Research and development activities represent 3.5% of GDP »

Switzerland is regularly at or near the top of international rankings for innovation. It maintains peak levels of global competitiveness according to the WEF index, and has done so since 2009. Its highly effective intellectual property protection system also means that it is a world leader in patent registration.

Vaud has the largest university campus in the country and research centers of global repute, such as the Ecole polytechnique fédérale in Lausanne, the Vaud University Hospital Center, and the Swiss Experimental Cancer Research Center. Not only is it located at the heart of what is known as "Health Valley", it also plays a central role in a number of highly respected pan-regional technology clusters.

The canton has strongly committed to supporting innovation and the creation of start-ups, in particular by making incubators for companies available, such as the EPFL Innovation Park, as well as other innovation and scientific parks like the Y-Parc in Yverdon and the Biopôle at Epalinges, which specializes in life sciences. In all, there are over 400 companies and more than 4,000 jobs already established in these three innovation parks.

La densité des instituts de recherche présents dans le canton et la région offre accès à un vivier de talents qui est unique de par la transdisciplinarité des instituts et des compétences existantes:
- en design grâce à l'ECAL,
- en services et marketing grâce à l'EHL,
- en sciences et technologies grâce à l'EPFL et la HEIG-VD,
- en management et droit grâce à l'IMD, l'UNIL et la HEIG-VD,
- en tests cliniques grâce au CHUV et à l'Institut Ludwig,
- en oncologie grâce au CHUV et à Agora,
- en e-health grâce au Swiss Institute of BioInformatics,
- en sécurité informatique grâce à l'EPFL et la HEIG-VD,
- en data science grâce à l'EPFL et à la HEIG-VD.

« Over 400 companies and more than 4,000 jobs already established in these three innovation parks»

patents per million inhabitants in the canton of Vaud


patents per million inhabitants in Europe (average)