This ecosystem, located in the center of Renens, brings together entrepreneurship, education and research in a co-working hub. It is home to startups and successful SMEs alike and hosts the MassChallenge business incubator, MakerSpace, FabLab and a community lab. It also runs the InnoKick Master's program set up by the Universities of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland (HES-SO) and offers motivation semesters.
The Ateliers are more than just a place for businesses and organizations to set up shop – they are an ecosystem built around a cross-disciplinary mind-set where people can pool their know-how. The Ateliers, which receive funding from the City of Renens, also work with the Lausanne University of Art and Design (ECAL).
MakerSpace and FabLab: Anyone can come to MakerSpace or FabLab to build a prototype. Industrial machines and tools – including a laser cutter, silkscreen printer and 3D printer, along with woodworking, ceramics and sewing equipment – are available for use.
Hackuarium: This association is based in the UniverCité co-working space and runs a community lab equipped with everything needed to conduct research that is neither academic nor industrial.
MediaSpace: This area is located at UniverCité and run by BeCurious! It offers an array of audiovisual services to make videos, create web content, etc.
Those on site can draw on the networks and know-how offered by institutions like ECAL, the HES-SO, which runs the cross-disciplinary InnoKick Master's program, and the Fondation Inartis network, which manages the Health Valley life science cluster. The co-working spaces are also a great place to meet other professionals from all walks of life. The concept of "innovation by design" is increasingly taking center stage at the Ateliers.
The co-working platform, UniverCité, offers incubation services, providing premises and guidance to businesses in their early stages. Once that phase has been completed, the MassChallenge Switzerland startup accelerator takes over to unlock the project’s full potential. And for the next step in the business development cycle, companies can rent premises in the Ateliers.
UniverCité offers companies a fixed address at the Ateliers.
DARIX at UniverCité’s co-working space (Ateliers de Renens)
For an entry fee, any company can come to MakerSpace to build a prototype.
Joining Hackuarium provides access to a fully equipped laboratory.
A tasting bar for local beer Nebuleuse is open to the public every afternoon or upon reservation.
The head of MakerSpace acts as a facilitator and advisor to companies. He manages the co-working space and works to foster a collaborative atmosphere.
The cafeteria offers two inexpensive and tasty menu options every day. Catering services are available upon request.
Fondation Inartis has a presence on site, providing access to a key nationwide network and to the Health Valley.
The Western Switzerland arm of Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) offers essential know-how in the export business.
Finally, for those looking for comprehensive design expertise, the Ateliers have very close ties with the InnoKick Master's program and ECAL.
Companies or project coordinators looking to move to the Ateliers can contact the building owner (CACIB SA) directly, or apply via the Fondation des Ateliers or the City of Renens. The only real requirement is a collaborative mind-set. The company or project must also involve social or tech innovation in the broadest sense. UniverCité has its own entry criteria for the incubator.
• The Ateliers de Renens are located in the center of Renens.
• 15-minute walk from Renens train station (the third-largest train station in French-speaking Switzerland).
• 10-minute drive from the center of Lausanne.
• The No. 17 bus stops near the building and offers regular service. The future tram stop will be less than 100 meters from the building.
• The Ferme des Tilleuls gallery is just a 2-minute walk away; it holds interesting exhibitions and has a café.
• 10-minute walk from the center of Renens.