Olivier Curty (FR)
Philippe Leuba (VD)
Christophe Darbellay (VS)
Pierre Maudet (GE)
Jacques Gerber (JU)
As part of the New Regional Policy (NRP), the CDEP-SO runs a programme (implementation programme) designed to help SMEs and start-ups in Western Switzerland boost their innovation potential. The programme is overseen by the Conference of Ministers of Economy Western Switzerland (CDEP-SO). The aim of this not-for-profit organisation, set up by the cantons of Bern, Fribourg, Vaud, Valais, Neuchâtel, Geneva and Jura, is to raise the profile of Western Switzerland as a region that supports vigorous, innovative and sustainable economic development. Fulfilling this mission has been greatly helped by the decision of the federal authorities to cover 50% of the budget for each of the 3 four-year programmes (2008-2011; 2012-2015; 2016-2019) devised by the cantons of Western Switzerland for the purposes of implementing the Federal Act on Regional Policy. As a signatory of the joint cantonal-federal programme agreement, the CDEP-SO once again sends out a clear message that it remains as committed as ever to intercantonal development.
With a budget of CHF 20.6 million, the Intercantonal Programme 2008-2011 has led to the launch of several initiatives aimed at improving the quality and range of services available to innovative SMEs and start-ups in Western Switzerland. The Programme has three main strands: 1) marketing the region through the newly created Greater Geneva Bern area (GGBa); 2) the creation of platforms to promote four promising sectors – life sciences (BioAlps); micro- and nanotechnologies (Micronarc); information and communication technologies; clean technologies (CleantechAlps); 3) promoting the transfer of technologies to SMEs and start-ups (business innovation coaching via the platform platinn, as well as knowledge and technology transfer via the Alliance liaison programme).
The second four-year Intercantonal Programme, which will run between 2012 and 2015, will use its budget of CHF 23.2 million to maintain the strategic thrust of the preceding programme, improve governance, as well as refine and enhance the services available to SMEs and start-ups as regards sector-specific support and coaching through the inclusion of two additional services: fund-raising assistance (CapitalProximité) and support/advice for business starters (Genilem). The aim during the 2012-2015 period will be to harmonise the development of both services across Western Switzerland.
The third Intercantonal Programme, which will run from 2016 to 2019, will use its budget of CHF 22.78 million to maintain the strategic thrust of the preceding programmes. It will also bolster the innovation capacity of SMEs and start-ups in Western Switzerland through enhanced networking with existing service providers and cantonal branch offices of sector-specific promotion platforms such as Alp ICT, BioAlps, CleantechAlps and Micronarc, and coaching organisations platinn and Alliance. This system will allow the Intercantonal Programme to position itself within the broader Regional Innovation System of Western Switzerland (RIS-SO) as recommended by the federal government in its Dispatch on the Implementation of the New Regional Policy for the 2016-2023 period.
Cantonal Ministers of Economic Affairs
Olivier Curty (FR)
Conference of Cantonal Heads of Department
Sebastian Friess (BE)
Jerry Krattiger (FR)
Raphaël Conz (VD)
Eric Bianco (VS)
Daniel Loeffler (GE)
Claude-Henri Schaller (JU)