Economic Development 2022


2022, the year after the Corona pandemic. Basel companies faced new challenges, however, live events finally did resume. Prominent examples being the "Zurich meets Basel" event on the topic of insurtech, and the annual general meeting of the Small Advanced Economies Initiative in Basel.

Technology Park Basel becomes Tech Park Basel

2022 was an exciting year of change for Tech Park Basel and its tenants, starting with its new name. After a decade marked by a succession of three expansion stages and constant high demand for space, Tech Park Basel's (formerly known as Technology Park Basel) new and catchy brand name simplifies internal and external communications.

After ten years of successfully growing Tech Park Basel and co-leading the Basel-Stadt Economic Development, Nina Ryser-Iten has opted for a career change. The position was successfully filled internally: Christian Harr (previous COO) will become the new CEO of Tech Park Basel by March 2023.

In the course of the year, various tenants secured additional financing for further growth and development. Several events were held for expert professionals and the general public alike. The first Regio Basel 2022 Industry Night deserves special mention. The event was a great success: By midnight, around 320 of the Regio Basel’s total 8,500 visitors had made their way to Tech Park Basel. Not only did they have the opportunity to explore the park's infrastructure, but they were also able to network with the start-ups at Tech Park Basel, discover a virtual world, experience first-hand a high level of digitalisation with a 3D dental scan, or produce over 80 "Cool Packs" under laboratory conditions.

Annual General Meeting of the Small Advanced Economies Initiative in Basel

For the first time ever, Switzerland organised the Principals' Meeting (Annual General Meeting) of the Small Advanced Economies Initiative.

The conference took place in Basel from 23 to 26 October 2022, and the Cantonal Government hosted the first day of the programme, including dinner at the fancy Villa Wenkenhof. Together with the State Chancellery, the Economic Development Unit co-organised the event and was responsible for an eclectic programme of visits to various Basel life science companies, the Biozentrum and the Tech Park Basel. Approximately 70 high-ranking participants gained insights into the pharmaceutical company Novartis and were given a tour of the Novartis Campus. The journey into the world of innovations concluded with visits to the medtech company Medartis and the start-up Artidis.

The Small Advanced Economies Initiative brings together seven countries (Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, Singapore and Switzerland), all of which have advanced economies, a similar level of economic and social development, and a population of less than ten millions.

Zurich meets Basel - Insurtech

As part of the event series "Zurich meets Basel", experts from established insurance companies and insurtechs discussed the future of their industry. Around 150 people accepted the invitation of the Departments of Economic Affairs of both Basel-Stadt and Zurich on 17 November in Basel. The event with Basel-Stadt’s Cantonal Government member Kaspar Sutter and his counterpart Carmen Walker Späh from Zurich focused on the innovative power of the insurance industry and the question of how deeply it is rooted in cooperation.

Key take-aways from the event include:

  • Insurance companies and insurtechs should approach each other and intensify the exchange of information in order for new ideas to emerge;
  • Switzerland needs more founders and partner collaborations based on mutual trust;
  • More corporate venture capital is required for insurtechs, while insurance companies would benefit from more efficient decision-making processes;
  • The potential for joint experimentation with new insurance solutions between insurers, insurtechs and other partners such as banks should be increasingly tapped;
  • Collaborations are the ultimate path to sustainable innovation.

When it comes to cooperation, the large economic areas of a small country like Switzerland must lead the way, according to Basel-Stadt’s Cantonal Government member Kaspar Sutter. In his closing remarks, he also called on the spirit of entrepreneurship: "I would like to see more risk-taking on the part of venture capital". The positive dynamics of business locations relies on entrepreneurs who dare to step out of their comfort zone, said Sutter.