An Innovation Park in St. Gallen Lerchenfeld and Buchs should foster international cooperation and research in the region. Liechtenstein has announced its support for the project, and Liechtenstein-based businesses are welcome to participate.

Switzerland Innovation announced a sixth Innovation Park in St. Gallen Lerchenfeld and Buchs SG. The goal is to support innovation in health care, digitalization, and mechanical engineering. Startups, small businesses, and big corporations are invited to become part of the project and drive innovation in the region.

Beat Tinner, who is involved in the project, says in the official press release of Switzerland Innovation, “Especially in times of the Corona pandemic, it is key to invest in research and innovation. We can, together with our partners from research and the corporate world and our neighboring cantons and educational institutions, remain an international frontrunner.”

Switzerland makes an effort to be an international innovation leader

Such Innovation Parks are not a novelty. There are similar Innovation Parks in Allschwil, Biel, Dübendorf, Lausanne, and Villigen. The one in St. Gallen Lerchenfeld and Buchs SG will be the sixths. The goal of these projects is to combine the forces of private and public research institutions to foster innovation.

Ruedi Noser from Switzerland Innovation comments, “With the Switzerland Innovation Park Ost [East], we will be present in all regions in Switzerland, which will make our impact even bigger. The expansion and the new areas of focus are an addition to our network and will strengthen Switzerland as an international innovation leader.”

Switzerland has made tremendous efforts over the last years to attract leading international innovation leaders to Switzerland. Like Liechtenstein, the country also has positioned itself as a technology and innovation hub in the heart of Europe.

Liechtenstein-based businesses are welcome to participate

Liechtenstein will contribute to the Innovation Park with 100,000 CHF. The responsible ministry says, “The government believes cross-border research and innovation projects and networks, and that includes the Innovation Park, are important for a sustainable development and strengthening of the economy and research institutions and for a fruitful cooperation with the canton St. Gallen and the region.”

Liechtenstein-based businesses and the University of Liechtenstein will be able to participate in the project. And they should: The Swiss innovation ecosystem has strengths that Liechtenstein may not have, and vice versa. It’s good to engage in this kind of exchange and even work together on innovation projects to reap the benefits of each other’s strengths.

That’s especially true because Liechtenstein is a relatively small country and does not nearly have as many large multinational corporations as Switzerland. As those businesses often have much more resources for research and development, looking for ways to work together can be hugely beneficial for startups.

Liechtenstein-based businesses can also benefit from international cooperation in Innovation Parks to explore ways on how to enter the market in Switzerland, or Germany for that matter. Liechtenstein is too small for businesses to roll out any product or service on a larger scale, meaning that every business will have to go international to reach a significant scale sooner or later. Making first experiences in an Innovation Park can be beneficial on this journey.

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