Economic Development 2022


Just like every prime business location, digital technologies and new business models are changing the Basel economy too. In addition, transformation areas are facilitating the rise of new economic fields. The Canton of Basel-Stadt supports the positive dynamics of digital change in its business and economy.

Sectors and Economic Areas

The Economic Development Unit is actively contributing to sustain and continue Basel's success story. It promotes cooperation between science and industry, offers infrastructure and services for technology start-ups and fosters a constant information exchange with Basel companies. Economic experts, such as the AWA’s sector managers for life sciences, finance, digital innovation and logistics/trade, offer and organise company consultations, roundtables and events on topical issues. The active dialogue with companies provides valuable feedback on location factors, which constitutes essential input for future economic policy decisions.

Economic Development

Branchen und Wirtschaftsflächen

Die Standortförderung trägt ihren Teil dazu bei, dass die Erfolgsgeschichte Basels in den kommenden Jahren weitergeht. Sie fördert Kooperationen zwischen Wissenschaft und Industrie, bietet Infrastruktur und Dienstleistungen für Technologie-Start-ups und pflegt den steten Austausch mit den Basler Unternehmen. Dank der Fachkompetenz des Verantwortlichen Wirtschaftsflächen, der Branchenverantwortlichen Life Sciences, Finanzwirtschaft, Digitale Innovation und Logistik & Handel können Firmengespräche, Roundtables und Veranstaltungen zu hoch aktuellen Themen durchgeführt werden. Ziel dieses Dialogs mit Unternehmen sind Rückmeldungen zu den Standortfaktoren. Diese sind eine wichtige Basis für die Gestaltung der Wirtschaftspolitik.


"We appreciate the expert advice provided by the Economic Development Unit and the personal relationship with our person of contact. Our concerns were addressed quickly and passed on directly to the right people – not only during the COVID-19 pandemic, but always."

Beat Gruering
CEO – Tally Weijl AG

Economic Policy

The Economic Development Unit of the Canton of Basel-Stadt is committed to initiatives that maintain the high attractiveness of the location for existing companies and new arrivals alike. This includes, for example, the implementation of the OECD tax reform, the primary goal of which is to secure the location conditions and maintain tax revenues and jobs. Furthermore, joint efforts and additional instruments from the federal government and the cantons are needed to ensure the continued attractiveness of Basel-Stadt in a competitive global marketplace. Among those are contributions to research and innovation, funds to strengthen universities and cutting-edge medical science/technology, and to provide a highly attractive professional environment and quality of living for skilled workers.

In the past year, the Economic Development Unit supported the Head of the Department of Economic Affairs, Social Affairs and the Environment and the Cantonal Government in the following areas:

© Canton Basel-Stadt:

Federal Level

  • WTO TRIPS Waiver
  • WTO COVID-19 Patent Waiver / Intellectual Property
  • Revision of the Federal Law on Patents for Inventions
  • Impact of Switzerland's non-association with Horizon Europe on the cantonal business location
  • Non-updating of the Agreement on the Removal of Technical Barriers to Trade (MRA) and its impact on the cantonal business location
  • Effects of the erosion of further CH-EU bilateral agreements on the cantonal business location (erosion monitoring)
  • Effects of the Package of Ordinances on the Environment Autumn 2022 on Basel-Stadt’s Economy (UVEK_VO Package Autumn 2022)

Cantonal Level

  • Cooperation for the implementation of the OECD tax reform
  • Economic areas on transformation sites
  • Logistics Cluster
  • Life Sciences Cluster
  • Sector Programme Finance
  • Data-based health economy
  • Congress City Basel
  • State Initiative Digitalisation in the Health Sector

Economic Policy

The Economic Development Unit works closely with other departments of the Office of Economy and Labour (AWA) on economic policy. Together they perform staff work for the management of the AWA, the Head of the Department of Economic Affairs, Social Affairs and the Environment, and the Cantonal Government of Basel-Stadt.

Innovation Promotion

Basel is proud of its dynamic and forward-looking life sciences "ecosystem", home to leading global companies and a fast-growing community of pharmaceutical, biotech, medtech and digital health companies and start-ups from all over the world. A strong 'ecosystem' provides the key drivers for innovation and new technologies.

The Economic Development Unit supports cooperation between public and private research institutions and hospitals and local businesses.

The region forms the leading ecosystem for the life sciences industry in Europe, and our goal is to expand this position further. Together with the cantons of Basel-Landschaft and Jura, the Canton of Basel-Stadt provides funding for Basel Area Business & Innovation, the non-profit agency for economic development and innovation promotion for the Basel region.

In 2022, with the support of Basel Area Business & Innovation, 23 companies settled in the region, 19 of them from abroad. With 12 settlements, life sciences companies account for more than half of the newcomers. In addition, 63 start-ups were supported during formation.

Venture monitoring and funding as well as acceleration programmes such as BaseLaunch (biotech) and i4challenge (industrial transformation) also contribute to the region's attractiveness for start-ups. The Day One programme, launched in 2018, was extended in December 2022 for four more years and will be supported with a total of CHF 3.66 million until 2026 to continue promoting digital health activities in the future.

In addition to the innovation field of "Health", the Office of Economy and Labour (AWA) will also strengthen the ecosystems in the areas of "Digital Innovation" and "Sustainable Economy" in the future. These efforts are to be extended and furthered to take advantage of the opportunities that arise from the existing and new external impulses. During the year, a first step was already taken to establish the regional ICT ecosystem.

Digital Innovation and ICT

"Close cooperation with the sponsoring cantons is essential for us. This is the only way we can establish Basel and its life sciences cluster as a business and innovation centre of the future."

Christof Klöpper
CEO, Basel Area Business & Innovation

Infrastructure for Technology Start-ups

Without infrastructure there is no innovation promotion. Economic development provides Basel's technology start-ups with an optimal working environment.

The Tech Park Basel (TPB) in Stücki Park is an initiative of the Economic Development Unit of the Canton of Basel-Stadt. In 2022, Tech Park Basel provided 27 innovative technology start-ups and almost 400 employees from 40 countries with 6,700 square metres of office and laboratory space at attractive conditions, a shared infrastructure and various professional services.

A further 74 companies with 510 employees operate in the Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area (SIP) in Allschwil, Basel, and in the Canton of Jura. Of these, 25 technology start-ups, mainly in digital health, with 65 employees and no laboratory requirements, found office space on 644 square metres in the SIP on the Novartis Campus. Like Tech Park Basel, the SIP on the Novartis Campus also had a high occupancy rate in 2022. In order to provide the Innovation Park with more space, it was moved into an adjacent building with a significantly larger footprint in April 2022. In October, the Main Campus of the Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area was inaugurated in Allschwil BL; present were the Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin and the economic directors of the three sponsoring cantons Thomas Weber (Basel-Landschaft), Jacques Gerber (Jura) and Kaspar Sutter (Basel-Stadt).