As part of their continued commitment to boosting the competitiveness of their economies and safeguarding the prosperity of the region as a whole, the cantons of Western Switzerland, with federal support (SECO), have launched their third NRP Intercantonal Implementation Programme.
For the duration of the new programme, i.e. 2016 – 2019, the cantons intend to concentrate their efforts on consolidating the gains made by the previous two programmes, fostering stronger links between the various support organisations and enhancing innovation.
The new multiannual NRP programme was launched in Fribourg on 9 June at a special event organised by the CDEP-SO. The gathering was also an opportunity to showcase past achievements and to unveil the future projects of the sector-specific promotion platforms and coaching organisations. The event attracted over 100 guests from across Western Switzerland, including members of the innovation and economic development communities, as well as federal representatives. Over the course of the afternoon, a plethora of ideas and opinions were exchanged during the various workshops and discussions as regards the instruments currently available and the need to strengthen the links between the different support organisations, which are now incorporated within the new Regional Innovation System of Western Switzerland (RIS-SO). During his welcome address, State Councillor and Cantonal Minister of Economic Affairs Beat Vonlanthen stressed the importance of launching and seeing through intercantonal initiatives on a continual basis, as well as the need to improve their complementarity with cantonal structures. For the cantons of Western Switzerland, bolstering innovation at regional level is a core policy objective. Failing to harness the region’s innovation potential will jeopardise the economic development and good quality of life that these seven cantons have enjoyed in recent years.