– A record year for the Vaudois Economic Development Agency
The Department for Innovation and Business Promotion (SPEI) supported these companies with direct aid of CHF 6.03 million. A report presented this Thursday in Renens.
The economic dynamism of Vaud is not slowing down. This emerges from the results of the 2021 business development, which were presented on Thursday at the Station R site, a start-up incubator based in Renens.
The Department for Innovation and Business Promotion (SPEI) supported 237 Vaud companies with 3400 jobs last year. These companies received direct aid of 6.03 million Swiss francs, a record amount.
In addition, there are indirect aids of almost 8 million, which are paid in particular to finance infrastructure or business start-ups via Innovaud.
As a sign of the effectiveness of the Vaud economic development, the leverage effect, i.e. the ratio between the money paid by the canton and the money invested by the promoted companies, has increased significantly. It was 3.41 (1 franc paid by the state for 3.41 francs private investment), compared to 2.77 in 2020 and 3.07 in 2019.
For State Councilor Philippe Leuba, this is the “best barometer”, the “key factor” for assessing economic development. This indicator shows that public money is not intended to ‘dilute’ companies but to ‘stimulate private investment’.
The head of SPEI, Andreane Jordan Meier, went further and explained that the “significant” increase in leverage was “proof” of the Vaud economic dynamism, “a very strong sign that companies believe in their future”.
“World Champion” of patents
Among other things, Andreane Jordan Meier stated that Vaud is the “world champion” when it comes to registering patents. A claim backed by European figures, with Switzerland prances at the top and Vaud the best contributor among cantons.
“In relation to the number of inhabitants, Vaud is more innovative than Silicon Valley,” says Philippe Leuba. “This is a reality that people are often unaware of,” he added, praising the “close interaction” between universities, private companies and government initiatives.
Another record in 2021: Vaud start-ups raised 1.02 billion francs, exceeding the billion mark for the first time. “It’s colossal,” commented Philippe Leuba.
Foreign companies convinced
As for the creation of companies, in 2021 29 foreign companies from 13 countries settled on Vaud soil, with prospects of more than 500 jobs created in five years.
After a pandemic-related decline, these numbers are rising again. And they should not weaken in the coming years, despite international problems, starting with the war in Ukraine.
“With its stability, Switzerland remains a haven for business and innovation,” emphasized Patrick Barbey, Director of Innovaud. The skills of the Swiss workforce are also increasingly in demand. “Companies know they can find the talent they need here,” he added.
In the years to come, Vaud will continue to focus on its favorite sectors: health, nutrition, the digital economy, sports and robotics.
The canton will also make sure not only to focus on the service sector, but to diversify. Then it’s a matter of “strengthening the industrial pole, which is the sector with the most jobs,” emphasized Andreane Jordan Meier.