Switzerland has consistently ranked no.1 in innovation. Though widely known for innovation in big pharma, Switzerland has a thriving ecosystem that’s hugely powered by innovation in academia and startups. This, coupled with the ease of doing business and policies to attract and retain talent, makes Switzerland the breeding ground for cutting-edge technologies and solutions.
Switzerland’s strength in healthtech is unparalleled with over 1,400 companies employing 58,500 professionals and generating 15.8 CHF billion in revenue (in 2018). Swiss medtech industry contributes to 2.3% of the country’s GDP. The Swiss biotech industry alone is home to 312 companies, generating a revenue of 4 billion CHF whilst investing over 1.5 billion CHF in R&D, yearly.
Switzerland recognises India as a strategic partner in healthtech. Hyderabad being one of the prominent hubs in life sciences and healthtech has been an attractive ecosystem for Switzerland to engage with. As a country partner at Bio Asia, swissnex India, the Swiss Business Hub will bringing a holistic representation of the Swiss healthtech ecosystem spanning from corporates to startups to academia to investors. The aim is to collaborate with the key players in India and pursue new solutions today, for tomorrow.
On strengthening the Indo-Swiss collaboration…
Engaging with emerging markets have always helped Swiss innovators in identifying geographical requirements and adaptations, new collaborators and users for technologies. There’s huge potential for Switzerland and India to co-create solutions for tomorrow.
India offers world-class facilities for the pharma segment, established competencies in medtech manufacturing and is an emerging center for novel diagnostics. India has shown tremendous growth in hospital infrastructure, technology deployment, and is a global hub for international medical tourism. The domestic healthcare market is showing a strong uptick, expected to be USD 373 billion by 2022 (as per the report from Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, DIPP).
In parallel, burgeoning advances in Medtech (15 to 20% annually, and expected to reach USD 25 billion by 2025), ranging from instruments, medical devices to AI-driven SaMD (software as a medical device), promises to be a quantum leap to revolutionize treatment and outcomes. Additionally, India has low-cost healthcare delivery models for public healthcare administration. Clearly, India has multiple engagement and learning points from innovation to implementation to healthcare delivery models.
What’s Switzerland bringing to BioAsia?
Featuring the 4 Is: Initiative-Innovators-Innovation (Universities and accelerators) – Investment opportunities in Switzerland ecosystems*
- Initiative: Representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs working on global health issues and think-tank representatives from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). SDC is supporting pharma industries, national and international experts, relevant government departments/agencies in the states of Telangana and Karnataka for cleaner pharma manufacturing, through the Reducing AMR Through Sustainable Antibiotic Manufacturing (RATSAM) initiative.
The Ambassador of Switzerland to India and Bhutan, Dr Andreas Baum will also be representing Switzerland at BioAsia.
- Innovators: Star startups from Switzerland that span the gamut from drugs to devices to AI would be present at BioAsia. These feature luminaries like Cellestia (No. 19 in the top 100 startups of Switzerland), PeriVision (from the University of Bern’s ARTORG Center), T3 pharmaceuticals (University of Basel Innovation Center) and SleepIZ (ETH Zurich’s spinoff that has set up operations in India), among others.
- Innovation Centers and Foundations: Innovation centres are the hives nesting innovators and providing them with mentoring, technical assistance and other services. The University of Basel’s Innovation Center, The University of Bern’s ARTORG Center and The University of Geneva’s Continuing Education Centers among others are expected to be at BioAsia.
- Investment opportunities in Switzerland: Cantonal representatives from the Greater Geneva Bern Area, Basel, and St Gallen-Bodensee area for investment promotion, represented by the Swiss Business Hub. Given Switzerland’s strong capacity in life sciences and pharma manufacturing, GMP, GLP and precision manufacturing strengths, this represents an opportunity for Indian companies looking to expand in the EU region.
*(This is the tentative list – subject to change)
What are Switzerland’s expectations from BioAsia 2020?
There is increasing interest from innovation centers, startups and universities to engage with India. All three of these segments are ably represented at BioAsia, which brings together diverse entities under one roof. As a country partner Switzerland’s healthtech representatives look forward to the opportunities to garner significant 1:1 interaction with Indian/global companies and key opinion leaders.
For startups, the aim is to engage with drug development and product design services to achieve faster, safer drugs/devices in niche markets. Knowledge exchange and academia/industry collaborations for product development, design modification, and research collaborations are also envisaged.
For Government representatives, BioAsia gives the opportunity to engage with Indian governmental and non-governmental agencies that work on digital health initiatives, the frameworks and privacy policies, and their larger integration into existing healthcare setups (public and private) for low-cost healthcare delivery.
For innovation centers, BioAsia’s startup showcase helps identify collaboration hubs and technologies that will have maximum impact and their best practices for advancing innovation. In addition, the innovation hubs look for startup exchanges to truly foster international connect.
BioAsia could offer potential ideas, technologies, experiences that could foster efforts and initiatives undertaken by SDC, industries, etc., for safer and sustainable manufacturing in the pharma sector.
Lastly, Cantonal representatives are interested in leveraging BioAsia for investment opportunities in Switzerland: Indian companies can invest into Swiss cantons to avail of the manufacturing facilities and specialised technologies: a win-win for India and Switzerland alike.
About the initiative
This initiative is brought together by swissnex India/ Consulate General of Switzerland and Switzerland Global Enterprise (Swiss Business Hub), supported by the public diplomacy initiative “SwissIt!”.