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Aargau – Scope for Life Sciences Innovations


For many years, Switzerland has been one of the most innovative and competitive business locations in Europe. The canton of Aargau’s strong life sciences industry makes an especially significant contribution to Swiss innovativeness.

Switzerland – worldwide workforce leader in life sciences
The Swiss life sciences cluster stretches from Basel to Fricktal, a valley in the canton of Aargau. Over 900 life sciences companies are present in the region, which constitute about 40 percent of the world’s life sciences industry. Of the one million people living in the region, about one person out of ten is employed in the life sciences industry. Switzerland is the worldwide leader in workforce in the life sciences industry compared to the size of its population.

 Aargau – birthplace of life sciences products that succeed across the world
In the high-tech canton of Aargau, the chemical and pharmaceutical industry accounts for almost 28 per cent of the entire value generated by manufacturing. Fricktal is home to worldwide companies such as BASF, DSM Nutritional Products, Novartis, Roche and Syngenta, which have been the driving force behind the region’s economy for decades, alongside smaller companies such as Solvias and Tillotts Pharma. Bepanthen and Voltaren are just two of the world’s top-selling medical products developed in the Aargau life sciences cluster.

2 billion Swiss Francs of investment within a distance of 20 kilometres
Fricktal enjoys within an area of just 20 kilometres in diameter a concentration of expertise and specialist workers that is unparalleled worldwide, and represents a unique life sciences ecosystem. Novartis is investing around CHF 650 million in its site in the municipality of Stein over several years, thereby emphasising the importance of its location in the canton of Aargau. By 2019, Roche, too, will have invested around CHF 1 billion in new buildings on their site in Kaiseraugst. With this new investment, the site will become one of Roche’s largest IT support centres in the world.

Syngenta has invested more than CHF 200 million in its sites in Aargau in recent years. Christoph Mäder, Member of the Syngenta Executive Committee, underlines the importance of Aargau for the company. “We rely on having a good local framework to operate in. In Aargau we enjoy favourable conditions in an innovation-friendly environment. As a research business, we need this openness for our activities in the area. The good infrastructure, the proximity to leading research institutes and the region’s high quality of life and excellent recreational opportunities mean we can recruit the staff we need to further develop our company.”

Sisslerfeld life sciences campus – a real hotspot 
Aargau will continue to be an attractive location in which to invest. The Sisslerfeld site in Fricktal lies in the heart of the Aargau’s life sciences cluster and is one of the largest contiguous land areas in Northwestern Switzerland. The site covers about 300,000 m2, and will house a unique life sciences campus. Businesses can make use of the infrastructure and services of surrounding life sciences companies on request. Companies interested in moving to the site can save significant amounts of time and money when implementing their projects. The Sisslerfeld site has excellent transport links and proximity to the airports of Zurich and Basel. First-class research institutes such as the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and leading universities in the wider surrounding area allow access to a broad pool of highly skilled professionals and industry-specific expertise. 



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