Better life, better business, and fulfilment. Tomorrow’s work life is all about people connecting, thinking, and creating together. The ‘SR21 – Hybrid’ initiative, aims to catalyse a new form of open space that fosters cross-disciplinary approaches to growth and development. We are as good as the people we choose to be our members. We are a strong ecosystem where we connect startups and corporations. We accelerate, facilitate, collide and match make.
Crete is a ‘hub by nature’, based on the geographical location of the island. Here you’ll find our bright space. We serve as your basecamp when you need it. Our facilities provide you with everything you need, desks, conference rooms, wifi, printers, colleagues and mentors. ‘SR21 Hybrid’ is more than a physical space. Members can access experienced mentors, advisers and coaches, through our extensive network in Europe and worldwide. We arrange programs and networking events and here you can become part of our community and connect to our ‘Hybrid’ ecosystem. We act as your resource, helping you make the most of your stay with us.
Many existing companies also are looking for new products, services and technologies. To fuel corporate growth, you need R+D. By taking advantage of our R+D credits to drive innovation, you could enhance your investment returns and help create long-term value and competitive advantage for your business and the wider economy. In today’s globalised business world, you may face competition from efficient, well-capitalised foreign companies as well as from local competitors. It is increasingly apparent that R+D-driven innovation is vital to achieving sustainable success for almost any business.
SR21 Hybrid is interconnected with SR21 – Institute for Scientific Research in Zurich, Switzerland.
The industry was valued at US$7.2 trillion in 2015 in the US alone. Digital health represents the disruption to the healthcare industry that founders, investors and consumers alike are extremely keen to see visualised. Digital health has arrived just as consumers are beginning to take more interest in their health, particularly in the UK and Western Europe; people’s buying habits now reflect this new attention, as one particular vertical, Wearables, saw an explosive growth during 2014-15.
Regulatory changes in the US have fuelled HealthTech’s growth in its largest market. Many companies have potential for their services or products to be utilised within hospitals across the world, or to deliver information to patients in distinct regions.
HealthTech as an industry is in an enviable position as its financial and consumer backing promises a strong and continued growth chart over the coming years. The promise of technology to innovate and update comes at a time when healthcare needs to respond to the growing demand of resources, and the digital health revolution is in a strong position to not only create solutions, but deliver them as well.
The sector is young, however, and fragmented, and for the current HealthTech industry to grow further, the regulatory environment in particular needs to evolve alongside digital health in order for them both to benefit the public which they have been designed to achieve.
Switzerland holds a leading position worldwide in the medical technology sector. Medical technology does not make as significant a contribution to the gross domestic product in any other country in the world than it does in Switzerland. Switzerland is also in first place, ahead of Germany and the UK in terms of the percentage of medical technology employees as a portion of the entire working population. Switzerland is an extremely attractive location for research, development, and production in the medical technology sector with first-class research institutions, expertise in precision technologies and a sophisticated healthcare system requiring suitable products.
• The transfer of expertise and the level of cooperation in the Swiss medical technology industry are unique. 94% of the medical equipment manufacturers in Switzerland collaborate with partners – whether they are universities, hospitals or companies from related sectors, such as in mechanical engineering or pharmaceuticals. This very specifically promotes innovation. Over 500 suppliers, service providers, retailers and distributors can be found in Switzerland, along with around 300 medtech manufacturers.
• In 2016, Swiss medtech manufacturers invested between 9% and 20% of their turnover – and their suppliers 11% to 13% – into R+D. With both manufacturers and suppliers, micro companies spend the largest share of their turnover on R+D.
• Efficient and straightforward application procedures are in place to protect intellectual property. One central, internationally valid registration procedure provides access to international systems for the protection of intellectual property (European Patent Office EPO, World Intellectual Property Organization WIPO). Local representatives in other countries are not required.
• Thanks to its highly-developed and financially sound healthcare system, Switzerland is considered to be an important strategic and clinical market for medtech products.
• The mutual recognition of product regulations and conformity assessments makes it easier to access EU markets.
• Thanks to free-trade agreements with the EU and 38 other countries including China, access to the most important markets is guaranteed. The mutual recognition of conformity and quality control enables Swiss medtech companies to benefit from significant cost savings when trading with the EU, the EEA and the EFTA states.
Biotechnology: The application of science and technology to living organisms, as well as parts, products and models thereof, to alter living or non-living materials for the production of knowledge, goods and services.
The following list of biotechnology techniques functions as an interpretative guideline to the single definition. The list is indicative rather than exhaustive and is expected to change over time as data collection and biotechnology activities evolve.
The list‑based definition of biotechnology techniques:
– DNA/RNA: Genomics, pharmacogenomics, gene probes, genetic engineering, DNA/RNA sequencing/synthesis/amplification, gene expression profiling, and use of antisense technology.
– Proteins and other molecules: Sequencing/synthesis/engineering of proteins and peptides (including large molecule hormones); improved delivery methods for large molecule drugs; proteomics, protein isolation and purification, signaling, identification of cell receptors.
– Cell and tissue culture and engineering: Cell/tissue culture, tissue engineering (including tissue scaffolds and biomedical engineering), cellular fusion, vaccine/immune stimulants, embryo manipulation.
– Process biotechnology techniques: Fermentation using bioreactors, bioprocessing, bioleaching, biopulping, biobleaching, biodesulphurisation, bioremediation, biofiltration and phytoremediation.
– Gene and RNA vectors: Gene therapy, viral vectors.
– Bioinformatics: Construction of databases on genomes, protein sequences; modelling complex biological processes, including systems biology.
– Nanobiotechnology: Applies the tools and processes of nano/microfabrication to build devices for studying biosystems and applications in drug delivery, diagnostics etc.
[Source: Feb 2017, OECD
More than a third of Swiss exports come from the pharmaceutical industry, making it a major contributor to the Swiss economy. Both multinational corporations and small- and medium-sized pharmaceutical companies have excellent infrastructures and skilled employees at their disposal in Switzerland. The cooperation between large and small companies and the proximity to research institutions offer an ideal environment for research and innovation and form the basis for a highly specialised production location. Switzerland’s sophisticated healthcare system also offers ideal conditions as a test and sales market in which products can be launched.
• Switzerland Innovation is intended to contribute to securing the leading role of Switzerland as an innovation nation and thus maintaining its competitiveness.
• It takes around eleven months to obtain a license for a new pharmaceutical product from the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products Swissmedic (excluding time required by the company internally), making the Swiss registration procedure one of the fastest application procedures worldwide. A normal evaluation of a license application for human medicine with a new active substance costs CHF 70,000 (CHF 105,000 to expedite the procedure).
• Efficient and straightforward application procedures are in place to protect intellectual property. Switzerland is one of the countries with the highest number of pharmaceutical patents per capita when compared with other countries.
• The Swiss Federal Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) promotes the transfer of technology by financing up to 50% of the expenditure of joint R+D projects between industry and the universities. Around 1,000 research positions are funded this way each year. The companies are granted the IP rights.
• Switzerland has by far the most important stock exchanges for life science companies in Europe. Around a third of the market capitalisation on the SIX Swiss Exchange is attributable to life science companies.
• Free trade agreements with the EU and 38 other countries, including China, guarantee access to the most important export markets. EUR 192.5 million is saved yearly through pharmaceutical and chemical exports to Germany, France, Austria and the United Kingdom alone. Switzerland also has the third most concentrated network of bilateral investment protection agreements after Germany and China.
• Due to the international recognition of its high quality standards, Switzerland is well–suited to being a strategic test market (“early adopter market”) for introducing new medical products.
• Unlike in some countries, biotech and gene tech licensing applications are regulated by a single central authority (Federal Coordination Center for Biotechnology). This guarantees minimal bureaucracy and simple procedures.
• Swiss Export Risk Insurance (SERV), an independent institution governed by public law, guarantees protection for high-risk export transactions. In 2016, insurance policies and insurance commitments in principle amounting to 1.3 billion Swiss francs were issued for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry.
In a worldwide comparison, Switzerland occupies third place when it comes to investments in software as a percentage of gross domestic product. According to a statistic by Ecolab from 2014, 36% of all ICT workers work in a variety of industries not specialised in information or communications technology, demonstrating just how much ICT workers are integrated into the whole economy. 25% of ICT professionals are employed by IT service providers and 7% are working as FinTech experts for financial companies. Telecommunications companies, consultancy firms and public administrations provide jobs for 5% and 4% of ICT workers respectively. This is also the reason why international companies such as Google and IBM operate local research and development centers in Switzerland. The strong penetration in the economy of well-qualified professionals gives Switzerland an excellent starting position for further growth and innovation and, of course, also for exporting software and its associated services.
The case of Ireland
Ireland is one of the countries in the spotlight due to Brexit. Speculations and competition is rife and Dublin is poised to expand its role as a financial centre. Financial institutions are reinforcing their presence in Dublin and opportunities for Swiss companies are clear in particular in the fields of A.I, Regtech, Blockchain, Data Analytics and much more. Further, in comparison to its competitors, the vast concentration of major tech players like Facebook, Google, PayPal, etc. certainly speaks in its favour and also opens up significant prospects for business in Ireland and beyond.
Financial technology is a rapidly advancing industry with a huge growth potential for new business, providing numerous opportunities for monetisation. Expertise and information exchange are crucial to keep track of developments. One of the goals of FinTech is to complement existing activities with an important underserved perspective, in the wider support of commercialising ideas and growing them into successful and sustainable FinTech-Businesses. Startups might well be able to deliver on this growing need and a lot more able to provide attractive professional realisation. For this the FinTech group provides a support framework, enabling the community to learn from other knowledgeable members. We believe that the establishment of FinTech group is important not only to support its members, but also to raise awareness and to educate organisations as well as governments in order to equip them with knowledge and tools that tomorrow’s economy needs.
Our engagement starts with individuals who may be at any stage in their career, but also include work directly with promising startups and leading global corporations. SR21 Hybrid brings together companies from sectors such as private banking and asset management, (re)insurance, payments, crowdfunding, data security, commodities, and alternative finance. Our objective is to promote and accelerate growth of FinTech.
We act as a single point of access to policymakers, regulators, partners, investors, industry leaders, academics, and talents. Our mission is to foster better outcomes by encouraging greater interconnectedness, thought leadership, and activities focused on generating an impact on the development of our FinTech ecosystem. Companies and other organisations can work with us via various collaborations. Our activities involve collaborations with newly launched pre-revenue startups, global financial enterprises, venture capitalists, angel investors, accelerators, incubators, academics, trade associations, and a wide range of subject matter experts.