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Canton du Valais

 

Canton of Valais

 

High technology and innovation in the heart of the Alps

 

Member of:


Introduction

 

Valais is generally known for the grandeur of its landscapes, its exceptional climate, its living traditions and its many types of local produces. However, Valais is also a centre of excellence with regard to technology, applied research and innovation. At the heart of Europe, at the crossroads of communication routes, an interface between cultures and languages, Valais has an avant-garde technology park, specialised in life sciences, information and communication technology and engineering.

 

Key facts

 

Population: 312,400 (as at December 31, 2010)  

 

Surface: 5224.6 square kilometers - 5,623,759,440 square feet

 

Official languages: French & German

 

Cantonal capital: Sion (29,718 inhabitants)

 

Other major cities: Monthey (16,437 inhabitants), Sierre (15,787 inhabitants), Martigny (15,778 inhabitants), Brig-Glis (12,162 inhabitants)

 

Leisure and culture

 

The Valais offers a stunning view of the wonders of nature and a fascinating spectacle of superlatives: the most beautiful four-thousand-metre peaks set against a deep-blue sky, lovingly tended and protected plant life, mysterious ice grottos, underground lakes and broad glacier tongues. It is like a giant leisure park where you can move around and live out your passions, whether they involve sport, touring on foot, bike or by train, visiting theme parks with your kids or immersing yourself in history and living tradition.

 

It is the influence of its southern neighbours, famous passing travellers and immigrants, not to mention the cosmopolitan nature of its residents, that we are most thankful for the fact that the Valais today is a real treasure trove for art and culture lovers. Get to know its historic heritage and varied architecture, visit the castles, immerse yourself in history at the museums (over 50!) and make a detour to the Gianadda Foundation, whose famous art exhibitions attract visitors from all over the world.


MAIN CLUSTERS IN THE CANTON OF VALAIS

 

 

 

Information and Telecommunication Technology

 

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is ubiquitous in most technological businesses today. It affects the majority of companies. This field is constantly growing and has high potential for innovation. Although it is difficult to measure the real impact of ICT on all the companies comprising the Valais economic fabric, this branch of activity, even taken in its strictest sense, offers added value of approximately 90 million Swiss francs per year.

 

ICT in Valais * (2008 figures)

Number of companies: 186                         

Number of direct jobs: 669

Average added value per job: CHF 131,200.00 **  

Total added value: CHF 87,772,800.00

* Source: Swiss Federal Statistical Office, companies with Noga code 62 (programming and IT consultancy) and 63 (information services)

** Source: Crédit Suisse study, 2009

 

 

 

Flagship Swiss Companies:

 

  • TI Informatique, Sierre (approx. 140 employees, specialised in the creation of computer software for industry, services, government services, etc.) www.ti-informatique.com
  • LGE, Martigny (approx. 30 employees, markets accounting software) www.winbiz.ch
  • BBT Software, Zermatt (approx. 43 employees, markets insurance software) www.bbtsoftware.ch
  • Cortex IT, Monthey (approx. 20 employees, specialised in data centre consolidation) www.cortex-it.ch
  • Secu4, Sierre (approx. 15 employees, markets an anti-theft device based on Bluetooth technology) www.secu4.com

 

Main Related Academic & Research Institutions:

 

  • Institut Icare, Sierre (explores information technologies and especially the Internet of Things) www.icare.ch
  • Institut Idiap, Martigny (is a non-profit foundation specialised in the management of multimedia information and man-machine multimodal interactions) www.idiap.ch
  • HES-SO, Sierre (Institute of Business Information Systems, IIG: groups together activities in connection with information systems, sustainable software engineering, business process management and e-services. IIG carries out applied research and development work.)

 

Cluster Organization: The Ark Foundation is responsible for economic development in the field of ICT. As such, it coordinates the community of companies in this field. www.theark.ch

 

Technology Sites:The canton of Valais accommodates two technology sites dedicated to ICT: TechnoArk in Sierre and IdeArk in Martigny. These sites are the result of the canton's economic development policy. Company support services are offered on these two sites (development of technologies, incubation of start-ups and support of innovation in SMEs).

 


TechnoArk in Sierre accommodates approximately 60 companies in the ICT field

 

Life Sciences

 

The field of life sciences includes chemical, pharmaceutical, biotech, cosmetic and food companies. These activities are very important for the Valais economy. In fact, according to the latest available statistics, no less than 6.7% of jobs in the canton are in life sciences. They generate 14.6% of the canton's total added value.

 

Life sciences in Valais* (2008 figures)

Number of companies: 185

Number of employees: 9,397

Average added value per full-time job: CHF 218,176.00 **

Total added value of the field: CHF 2,050,208,400.00

* Source: Swiss Federal Statistical Office, companies with Noga code 10, 11, 20 and 21.

** Source: Crédit Suisse study, 2009

 

Flagship Swiss Companies:

 

  • Lonza Ltd, Visp (2,300 employees. Offers exclusive syntheses and biotechnology solutions, active ingredients, organic intermediates, specialty biocides and oleochemicals).
  • Debiopharm, Martigny (140 employees, DebiopharmGroup is a global biopharmaceutical development specialist that in-licenses promising biologics and small molecule drug candidates).
  • Syngenta, Monthey (850 employees, is a world-leading agri-business committed to sustainable agriculture through innovative research and technology)

 

Flagship Foreign Companies:

 

  • Huntsman, Monthey (440 employees, is a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals)
  • BASF Monthey SA (330 employees. BASF is the world’s leading chemical company).

 

Main related academic & research institutions:

 

  • HES-SO, Sion (Institute of Life Technologies: the main research areas are quality, safety, authenticity of foods, chemistry of biomolecules, development of biotechnological processes). 50 engineers.
  • Institut de recherche en ophtalmologie (IRO), Sion:its task is to improve knowledge of ocular diseases to enable earlier diagnosis and more effective treatment.
  • Ecole intercantonale de laborantins en chimie, Monthey:trains chemistry laboratory assistants.
  • Centre de formation Cimo, Monthey:offers training of chemical and pharmaceutical production technologists.

 

Cluster Organization: The Ark Foundation is responsible for economic development in the field of life sciences. As such, it coordinates the community of companies in this field. www.theark.ch

 

Technology Site:The canton of Valais accommodates a technology site dedicated to life sciences: BioArk, situated in the heart of the Monthey industrial zone. Company support services are offered on this site. Since the building is reaching full capacity in terms of premises, construction of a second building is currently under consideration. A PhytoArk is also under construction on the site of Agroscope Changin-Wädenswil in Conthey. It will house young companies working in the field of alpine medicinal plants. A technology platform will provide companies with plant extracts for cosmetics and active ingredients for pharmaceuticals.

 

 

 

Engineering Sciences

 

Engineering sciences are found in a large number of sectors, for example electricity production, water treatment and distribution, manufacture of electrical appliances or machines, as well as metalwork. These different activities, grouped together into more than 400 industrial companies, provide 7.1% of jobs in the canton and generate almost 11% of total added value.

 

Engineering sciences in Valais* (2008 figures)

Number of companies: 416

Number of jobs: 10,109

Average added value per full-time job: CHF 150,945.00 **

Total added value of the field: CHF 1,525,905,700.00

* Source: Swiss Federal Statistical Office, companies with Noga code 24 to 28

 

 


Flagship Swiss Companies:

 

  • Hydro Exploitation, Sion (450 employees, company providing services for running electrical installations and hydroelectric facilities).
  • SCINTILLA AG / BOSCH (410 employees, company the worldwide biggest producer of jigsawblates.
  • Studer Innotec, Sion (approx. 50 employees, one of the world leaders on the inverters market. It is the only manufacturer of inverters to cover all the following markets: photovoltaic solar panels, water sports, mobile applications, standby power and telecommunications markets).
  • Lugaïa STS AG, Viège (approx. 20 employees, plans, develops and produces solutions for sterile transfers and extraction of all kind of pharmaceutical and biotechnological products and components).
  • Lauber IWISA AG, Naters (165 employees, engineering office specialised in new building technologies)
  • Mimotec, Sion (approx. 30 employees, manufactures microcomponents for watchmaking and active in plastic micro-injection moulding)
  • Membratec, Sierre (approx. 10 employees, specialised in water micro-filtration, Swiss leader in the provision of ultrafiltration systems)

 

Main Related Academic & Research Institutions:

 

HES-SO, Sion:Institute of Systems Engineering: its precise field of application is energy, and more specifically energy efficiency applied to buildings, industrial processes, machines and equipment, and lastly to consumption methods. 70 engineers.

 

Cluster Organization: The Ark Foundation is responsible for economic development in the field of engineering sciences. As such, it coordinates the community of companies in this field. www.theark.ch

 

Technology Site:The canton of Valais accommodates a technology site dedicated to life sciences: BlueArk, situated in Viège. Company support services are offered on this site.

 

Nos partenaires

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