The life sciences industry is one of the key sectors of the 21st century. Huge technological advances, for example in genome sequencing, the development of highly efficient methods of gene manipulation and also breakthroughs in stem-cell research, have led to groundbreaking scientific discoveries. The growing digitalization of the healthcare sector also promises enormous advances in diagnostics and synthetic biology right through to completely new and increasingly also personalized approaches to medical treatment.
The Basel region is one of the world’s most important centres of the life sciences industry. With Roche and Novartis, two of the five leading global pharmaceutical companies have their origins and global headquarters in Basel. Along with Actelion (founded in 2000 and today a company with sales worth more than two billion francs) there are 600 other life sciences companies and biotech start-ups in the region. First-class research institutions, such as the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, the University Hospital, the Friedrich Miescher Institute (FMI) and the Departement of biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) of ETH Zurich, go to cement the reputation of Basel as a leading life sciences hub. This dense academic and industrial setting and the availability of venture capital also provide the ideal hotbed for the creation of new companies.
The activities of BaselArea.swiss in the Life Sciences technology field are focused in particular on two subject areas: