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The remarkable chemical-pharmaceutical industry in the canton of Valais

Why Switzerland

For decades, the canton of Valais has cultivated a reputation for excellence in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, combining innovation with economic growth.

For decades, the canton of Valais has cultivated a reputation for excellence in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, combining innovation with economic growth.

Nestled in the heart of the Swiss Alps, the canton of Valais continues to position itself as a leader in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. These sectors, symbols of innovation and economic growth, are deeply rooted in the canton’s culture of progress. They play a key role in the regional economy, occupying a dominant position and actively contributing to boosting the canton’s economic landscape.

In 2023, the celebration of Valsynthese’s 40th anniversary in Brig and the inauguration of Debiopharm’s new building in Martigny testify to the vitality of the sector. These events underline the importance of the chemical-pharmaceutical industry, which generates 25% of the canton’s added value, surpassing even the tourism sector. With a significant impact on the canton’s GDP, this industry stands out for its ability to combine historical heritage with futuristic vision.

Similarly, companies such as the Société Suisse des Explosifs (SSE), which has successfully diversified into fine chemicals via its subsidiary Valsynthese, illustrate the sector’s adaptability and innovation. Investing in infrastructure and expanding its international footprint, SSE Group symbolizes Valais’ ability to evolve and prosper. This diversification is also evident in the evolution of Valsynthese, which operates in a variety of fields including pharmaceuticals and technology.

For example, Siegfried, a Swiss CDMO, plays a key role in bringing pharmaceutical innovations to an industrial scale. Celebrating more than six decades in Evionnaz, Siegfried is an outstanding example of Valais’ ability to position itself as a player of excellence in its field. The construction of a new research and development building in Evionnaz testifies to the company’s ongoing commitment to innovation and regional economic development.

Accelerating start-ups and innovation

The Valais region has created an environment conducive to innovation with initiatives such as BioArk. This hub provides start-ups with office space, laboratories and pre-industrial production facilities, encouraging the growth of ambitious young companies. The Ark Foundation plays an essential role in this process, offering suitable infrastructure and training tools to enhance the canton’s attractiveness.

In terms of training, the canton shines through its public-private partnerships, as demonstrated by the collaboration between Debiopharm and the Institute of Life Technologies of the HES-SO Valais/Wallis. These interactions strengthen the link between academic research and industry, providing fertile ground for innovation and the development of new technologies.

The chemical and pharmaceutical industry in the canton of Valais, with its blend of tradition, innovation and strategic collaboration, continues to play a leading role in the canton’s economic development. It has positioned itself not only as a national leader, but also as a key player on the global chemical and pharmaceutical scene.