FRIBOURG NETWORK FREIBURG
FRIBOURG – A HUB FOR INNOVATION
Investing heavily in innovation and activities with high added value is the strategy shared and pursued by businesses, academia and policymakers in Fribourg. The canton already has three technology clusters which offer their cutting-edge infrastructure and services to start-ups and high-tech firms.
The grand opening of the “Blue Hall” in 2015 was an important milestone in blueFACTORY’s nascent history.
The innovation quarter blueFACTORY, on the site of the former Cardinal brewery in Fribourg’s city centre, is home to around 30 start-ups, innovative companies and technology platforms (public-private partnerships). Eventually, the rapidly growing and low-carbon quarter will house a mix of business, services, culture, housing, green spaces and car-free areas. As the Managing Director, Philippe Jemmely, explains: “blueFACTORY is jointly run by the city and canton of Fribourg, and is a member of Switzerland Innovation, a national innovation network spread over five sites nationwide”, adding “By fostering synergies with Fribourg’s higher education providers, blueFACTORY acts as a catalyst and develops, above all, specialised expertise in areas like buildings of the future, biopharma and mobility (hydrogen storage, materials, smart and secure systems). However, industrialisation, in the narrow sense of the term, is not the name of the game here.”
This building is the nerve centre of the Le Vivier complex and is home to, among others, a start-up incubator.
The location of the Le Vivier technology park could not be more ideal; easy access to road and rail networks yet far enough away from the noise and traffic that comes with large conurbations. Surrounded by countryside, and only 20 km from Fribourg and 40 km from Lausanne, Le Vivier is home to high-tech and innovative companies. “Le Vivier, which is run by the CPA Group ‒ a Swiss high-tech holding of five industrial companies and an incubator ‒ specialises in automation, robotics, mechatronics, 3D bioprinting and power electronics”, explains Christophe Fragnière, Chairman of the CPA Group board. In addition to its modern infrastructure, which is adapted to its occupants’ needs, Le Vivier promotes industrial synergies and operates in its own wholly unique environment.
MARLY INNOVATION CENTER
The Marly Innovation Center is one of the largest technology parks in Switzerland.
As many as 140 companies have already set up shop in the Marly Innovation Center (MIC), one of the largest technology centres in Switzerland. The 370,000 m2 site, formerly home to Ilford, offers businesses a versatile and extensive infrastructure, including chemical laboratories, workshops, office space and meeting rooms. According to Mathieu Piller, Co-Managing Director, “The key to success is complementarity, diversity, interaction, innovation and quality of life”, adding “Alongside what we currently offer, ongoing and future projects include new commercial premises, a business centre, a restaurant and the creation of a proper eco-district, including, work, residential, commercial and recreational spaces. This will create up to 1,500 jobs in the long term.”