In the summer of 2015, an economic mission was conducted in California (San Francisco and its surroundings) under the aegis of the Department of Economics of the canton of Neuchâtel, with the aim of appreciating the important ongoing and upcoming mutations of its industrial sectors. Several findings emerged from this study:
The canton of Neuchâtel is a pioneer of technological innovation, notably in the field of microtechnology. A large number of the canton's companies are industrially very advanced and are, from a global perspective, on the cutting edge in various areas of manufacturing.
The know-how of our region is already globally acknowledged in several fields such as fine watchmaking. Nevertheless, in spite of its many abilities, our country does not pose itself as a first choice alternative when it comes to attracting foreign investors and talents required to support our efforts towards economic development. Currently, the canton of Neuchâtel suffers from a substantial below-par exposure, away from its true potential. This issue needs to be addressed in order to increase the reputation as well as the recognition of this cradle of watchmaking expertise, which has also witnessed considerable technological advances in the fields of electronic and medical engineering as well as renewable energies.
The technical skills of the canton of Neuchâtel appear to be complementary to those of their Californian counterparts. While potential synergies are tangible, they are hardly accessible to entities which do not have the adequate structure, nor the critical size required.
The shift in the environment resulting from moving abroad, which has been experienced by the stakeholders of the same geographic region and the same ecosystem, has proven to have a highly beneficial effect on their mutual understanding and cohesion. Several initiatives have arisen in the canton of Neuchâtel as an outcome to the economic mission in California, and The Neuchâtel Innohub Association is one of them.
Facing the transition to Hyperconnectivity and Industry 4.0, it is instrumental for the economic fabric of Neuchâtel to engage towards a digital future while preserving a 300 year-old history of traditions and know-how, and promoting them beyond the borders of our canton.
Henceforth, it is necessary to provide the canton of Neuchâtel, and its stakeholders, with a privileged and facilitated, professional access to the Silicon Valley's rich and dynamic ecosystem which could potentially prove favorable to its industrial, scientific and academic institutions.
Christian Simm, the director and founder of Swissnex San Francisco, has offered, during the economic mission, the exceptional possibility of realizing the project of linking those two, distant, but very similar ecosystems. A project, which should favor the emergence of numerous opportunities of innovation, business connections and mutual benefit (?).
Developing cooperative activities and improving the economic, scientific and cultural promotion of members of the Neuchâtel Innohub Association in both the United States and Switzerland;
Facilitating and accelerating the development of both contacts and innovative projects amongst members of the association in the United States;
Providing assistance to and supporting the presence of members of the Neuchâtel Innohub Association in the United States;
Welcoming both startups as well as talented and creative individuals of the United States to the Association;
Promoting the collaboration between members of the Association in Switzerland and members in foreign countries.
Association Neuchâtel Innohub
Rue Jaquet-Droz 1