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The partnership between Lonza and the HES-SO Valais-Wallis is yielding results

Life sciences

31 August 2021

The partnership between Lonza and the HES-SO Valais-Wallis aimed at building joint competencies in the field of education and research is showing positive results.

One year after its establishment, the partnership between Lonza and the HES-SO Valais-Wallis has already largely materialized.

A joint research platform (Advanced Biomanufacturing Lab) specialized in industrial biotechnology was created to meet the challenges of Industry 4.0. With a joint budget of CHF 5.9 million over 10 years, it aims to develop industrial skills in digitization, automation and control of biotechnological processes.

“In order to improve its competitiveness, Lonza must innovate and improve its product development and production processes. The digitization of processes is a key to achieving these goals,” explains Renzo Cicillini, Head of Lonza’s Visp site.

In order to develop this platform, professors specialized in bioinformatics, digitalization and industrial automation have been recruited.

 Increased synergies in the canton of Valais’ economic fabric

Other important topics are the development of the curriculum and the integration of training modules at Lonza, a new Bachelor’s degree program with practical application (PIBS), which allows high school students to go directly into biotechnology training and obtain a Bachelor’s degree in eight semesters, alternating between study and employment at Lonza, and the creation of a new Bachelor’s degree program in information and communication systems (ISC).

 “The mission of the HES-SO Valais-Wallis is to provide qualified manpower to the economic, socio-sanitary and cultural fabric of the canton of Valais,” explains François Seppey, Director of the HES-SO Valais-Wallis.

 The partnership will last for a period of ten years. The need for qualified personnel, the digitization and automation of processes, and the acquisition of students were the basis for the partners’ considerations regarding the sharing of knowledge and an increase in synergies.