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Basel life sciences sector is the most productive in the world

Basel Tourismus image showing the river rhine in Basel Switzerland and the Roche towers in the center of the image
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Basel life sciences sector is the most productive in the world


No other life sciences hub in the world is growing as rapidly as the Basel Region, which recorded growth of +9.3 percent per year in the period from 2010 to 2020. In terms of productivity, too, the Basel Region is steaming ahead of the international competition. These are findings from the “Pharmaceutical Hub Switzerland 2022 - Basel Region” report published by Interpharma.

Basel Tourismus image showing the river rhine in Basel Switzerland and the Roche towers in the center of the image

In terms of productivity in the life sciences in Switzerland, the Basel Region is far ahead of the other leading benchmark locations such as the San Francisco Bay Area, Øresund, which straddles the border between Sweden and Denmark, and Singapore. While the Basel life sciences industry generated 526 US dollars per hour worked in 2020, the equivalent value for the San Francisco Bay Area was around 280 US dollars.

The Basel Region is growing faster than any other life sciences ecosystem worldwide: In the period from 2010 to 2020, it recorded annual growth of +9.3 percent. Per job, the life sciences sector generates nearly seven times the average value added of other Basel industries. These are just some of the insights delivered by the 38-page Pharmaceutical Hub Switzerland 2022 – Basel Region report that has now been published by Interpharma, the association of Switzerland’s research-based pharmaceutical industry.

The report also touches on the number of patent applications per million inhabitants, a metric which again reflects the innovative capacity of the life sciences firms based in Basel. In 2018, the relevant figure for Basel was 205. This puts the Basel Region in second place in an international comparison behind Boston. By way of comparison, Munich registered a score of 50, and Paris 35.

The regional universities rank 5 percent above the average for the regions in Western Europe and the USA in the BAK University Index in the CWTS Leiden Ranking. A wealth of highly qualified specialists also represents a competitive and innovative advantage when it comes, for example, to new companies settling in the Basel Region with the support of the investment and innovation promotion agency Basel Area Business & Innovation. In addition, no other major life sciences ecosystem has lower corporate tax rates.

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