9 - Networks, clusters and technology parks

9.6 - Linking various agents under a common brand


In a globalised business environment, which is highly competitive and constantly evolving, companies need marketing strategies and brand positioning to differentiate themselves from competitors. Positioning or linking the image of a brand to a common concept, such as a specific geographical region, offers a number of advantages including: lower marketing costs, synergy in communication strategies and immediate recognition of the brand’s positive image. Normally, it is of great interest for any organisation to be associated with a brand which is related to Science, Technology and Innovation. As such, we recommend the implementation of coordinated and networked efforts to promote a common brand based on technological progress which can be used not only by companies, but also universities and Public Administrations.


Swissnex Network (Switzerland)

Swissnex is an advanced technology network which focuses on the promotion of Science, Technology, Higher Education and Innovation. It is public-private Swiss initiative which operates under the auspices of the state-run Presence Switzerland agency, created more than 10 years ago.

The initiative, which comprises five Swissnex centres based in various cities around the world (Boston, San Francisco, Singapore, Shanghai and Bangalore) has been developed by the Swiss government to establish frameworks for collaboration with centres of knowledge with high levels of potential for scientific and technological development. Its objectives include:

  • Strengthening the Switzerland brand as a benchmark for Science, Technology and Innovation.
  • Establishing and maintaining a network of contacts between Switzerland and universities, research centres, enterprises and other organisations in the host regions.
  • Structuring, strengthening and promoting Switzerland’s interests and role in the fields of research, technology and knowledge in the host regions.
  • Helping to design, implement and expand bilateral cooperation programmes.

A third of the financing for the centres is provided by the Swiss government, the rest coming from private bodies and research centres. The leading members of Swissnex include large companies, the Swiss Embassy, Presence Switzerland, the OSEC Swiss Business Hub, federal universities such as ETH Zürich, EPFL Lausanne and the University of Zürich, the Innovation Agency, and a number of promotional agencies.

A good example of an activity promoted by the network is the competition for new ideas, sponsored by the pharmaceutical company Roche, which is run by the Boston node and channels relationships between researchers at Harvard’s Faculty of Medicine.

Implementation process


  1. Conversations held with Mr. Marmier, Director and Consul of Swissnex Boston.
  2. http://www.swissnex.org/ - Federal Department of Home Affairs FDHA State Secretariat for Education and Research SER.