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In a complex world, the innovation process is influenced by various factors. This was demonstrated by the speeches given at the groundbreaking ceremony of Innovation Campus PARK INNOVAARE on 7 November 2019 in Villigen, Switzerland.
But what does the groundbreaking ceremony mean for the industrial and research landscape of Canton Aargau?
In his speech, Dr. Benno Rechsteiner, CEO of innovAARE AG, highlighted how interaction between a number of players plays an important role in today's innovation process: "The lonely researcher who has an idea all on his own in his laboratory and then transforms it into a marketable product has become rather rare. Multidisciplinary teams, specialized equipment and intensive exchange between research groups determine the innovation process of today".
PARK INNOVAARE, in which the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI will rent about 70% of the space, offers such an ecosystem for industrial companies aiming to innovate in close collaboration with the research institute.
This approach was also mentioned by Dr. Remo Lütolf, Chairman of the Board of Directors of innovAARE AG, in his greeting message: "At PARK INNOVAARE, a unique infrastructure is being created which makes research and development possible in new dimensions and thus creates highly efficient synergies."
Cutting-edge research and entrepreneurial innovation under one roof
Prof. Dr. Martina Hirayama, guest of honor at the groundbreaking ceremony of PARK INNOVAARE, emphasized in her opening speech that according to an evaluation in 2018, PARK INNOVAARE is one of the most advanced locations in Switzerland: "One of the reasons for this are your good neighbors," explained the 46-year-old director of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation. "With the Paul Scherrer Institute, you have an internationally renowned research institute next door, so to speak. In addition, your innovation ecosystem is extremely diverse." Hirayama went on to say that good cooperation with Cangon Aargau, municipalities, universities, funding organisations and associations, as well as close contact with the strongly represented private sector, provide PARK INNOVAARE with the best breeding ground for innovative companies.
This was also confirmed by Dr. Thierry Strässle, ad Interim Director of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, in his welcome speech: "It is no coincidence that PARK INNOVAARE, as part of Switzerland Innovation, is being built here in Canton Aargau next to the PSI. The essential mission of an innovation park is to bring together cutting-edge research and entrepreneurial innovation activities under one roof. In this way, innovations are to be generated and brought onto the market. And this is perfectly possible at PARK INNOVAARE, which is located right next to an internationally recognized leading research institute. The companies located at PARK INNOVAARE are in daily contact with PSI employees. Whether in the formal framework of organized workshops or around the famous coffee machine - to name both ends of the spectrum."
Over 700 active cooperations between the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and industry
According to Thierry Strässle, PSI already has over 700 active cooperations with industry - in Switzerland and worldwide: "A number of our spin-offs have already established themselves at the PARK as innovators. Here, they appreciate working door-to-door and being able to exchange information easily, as well as being in immediate proximity to PSI. Our wish is that in the future internationally active companies with an intensive need for research will also settle here, as well as those who benefit from the proximity to our research facilities and our experts. Because to maintain its prosperity, Switzerland must remain at the forefront of innovative countries."