Health Valley
Text: Benoît Dubuis, Director of the Campus Biotech site and Chairman of BioAlps
Photo: DR

Developing the ecosystem… grounding our companies

Shire’s highly publicised decision to move from Eysins to Zug reminded us of the importance of “roots” and an “ecosystem” for a company.


A lire:

"Number One: Tome 3 - Next", Les Clefs du savoir, 2014

We had almost begun to wonder if those notions still had any meaning in today’s world of globalisation and “borderless” capitalism.

Rootless companies?

With multinationals, company headquarters, research and development centres and other major projects coming to the region, we have a right to celebrate the successes that strengthen our positioning on the global map of life sciences. But in our giddiness, we must not forget to remain watchful and proactive, as these newcomers have not yet firmly established their roots. “Landless” activities – based on the analogy of greenhouse farming – are illusions. At a stretch, they may be useful to statisticians in search of rankings or the fantasy of technocratic managers who dream of dealing with purely fluid and mobile “assets”, rather than men and women attached to their environment because they have developed ties and grounded their life there, drawing from it their energy, life force, references and dreams...

Community of people and projects

As such, some cases unfortunately result in a relocation. We then realise that some managers have a virtual or ideal view of their company, reducing it to a malleable entity to be deformed at will. It becomes “relocatable” in the click of a mouse to any other place offering a higher return on capital invested.

How can we change that mindset, which boils a company down to a “financial asset” managed according to the “optimal allocation of resources”? By enriching the fertile soil that will feed these companies’ growth.

Regional roots

Managers who treat their company like a set of Lego-brick “factors of production” will integrate the components of our region, boost their value and draw on them to help lastingly drive company performance. They will establish roots for their company and drive away the spectre of relocation. In doing so, these firms will join the regional fabric of companies which, like vines gaining their nourishment from a particular parcel of land to produce quality wines, benefit from the history, culture, expertise, support, and networks unique to the plot where they were created and have grown.

We are aware of everything that our local business environment has to offer: jobs, wealth creation,
tax resources, reputation and contribution to academic and entrepreneurial strength to name a few. But companies must also be aware of the wealth their region brings them: outstanding framework conditions and political stability, an attractive work and living environment, the experience of generations of men and women who dedicate their drive, talent, creativity and trust to contribute to company growth, prosperity, image and in many ways to its long-term success.

We highlight these advantages to strengthen the ties between all regional actors – be they academic, industrial, governmental or innovation-driven.