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Novartis opens campus up for innovation


Basel-based pharmaceutical Novartis is opening up its campus in Basel to external partners, including Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area, which will establish an additional office there.

Building on the Novartis Campus into which the Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area is moving (Photo: Zehnder/Novartis)

The Novartis Campus in Basel is a “city within a city”, according to an article by the Swiss broadcasting company SRF. Some 9,500 people currently work there, and the campus features restaurants and stores.

In the future, external firms and institutions will also find a home on the campus after the Basel-based pharmaceutical decided to open its campus to others.

“In today’s digital world, information can no longer be protected by fences. Everyone has access to everything from anywhere,” said Jörg Reinhardt, chairman of the board of directors of Novartis.

The first partner to benefit from this move is Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area, which is operated by the business promotion area BaselArea.swiss. The innovation park will open an additional office on the Novartis Company in April, where it will establish an ideation lab on an area of 500 square meters.  The new lab will offer space for startups to collaborate with Novartis on innovation.

Christof Klöpper, CEO of the Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area, said in the television programme “Schweiz aktuell“: “For us it is a unique opportunity to be present on the Novartis Campus.  With the additional site of the Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area we want to give startups, academic groups and companies access to Novartis researchers.  On the Campus we will create an ideation lab to promote innovation.”

A second partner ov Novartis has already been found in the Friedrich Miescher Institute (FMI), which will move into the Novartis Campus in 2023. The building is still under construction.

Novartis also plans to build a new visitor center on the site at a cost of CHF 20 million, which will feature an exhibition about the pharmaceutical company as well as space for hosting events. “We will explain, for instance, how a drug is developed or what gene therapy is,” Reinhardt explained.

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