Microcity: the innovation cluster takes on a new dimension
The canton of Neuchâtel has established itself as an internationally recognised centre of excellence in ultra-high precision. To make the most of its influence, the canton is to create Microcity SA, a structure offering privileged access to all of its innovation support tools. This will further boost technology transfers between research institutes, cluster start-ups, regional SMEs and large international companies.
Microcity is an integral part of the Switzerland Innovation initiative – an innovation hub dedicated to micro-nanotechnologies and advanced manufacturing. To meet the expectations of companies wishing to join this dynamic, the cluster's members are calling for the creation of a structure designed to accelerate exchanges within the ecosystem. To this end, the Neode SA incubator will extend its missions, which are currently focused on start-ups, to support regional SMEs, welcome international companies, and develop the cluster. The company will be renamed Microcity SA.
As of 1st January 2019, the Microcity Innovation Cluster will be equipped with a proper legal structure responding to multiple needs and offering it more leeway to fulfil its various roles related to the promotion and support of innovation. Moreover, by integrating Neode's current sites in Neuchâtel and La Chaux-de-Fonds, Microcity SA immediately establishes a strong cantonal presence.
A new structure to meet multiple needs
The creation of a legal entity for the innovation cluster is in direct response to the request of its current members for a legal structure specific to Microcity in order to implement concrete projects at regional, national and international levels. For SMEs, this new structure will facilitate access to Microcity's value chain, in particular through links or relevant information. Cantonal, national and European public services that support innovation will also be more prominently showcased, particularly in terms of coaching and financing for start-ups and SMEs. Moreover, this development will directly meet the objectives of the Legislature Programme of the Council of State and its “Future economy and prosperity” section, which aims to strengthen the canton's leadership role in high precision.
The transformation of Neode SA will give Microcity a functional operational structure, enabling rapid deployment, while avoiding the need to create an additional structure. In addition, the existing shareholders of Neode SA will form a relevant base for the new Microcity entity. Lastly, the impact of the operation will be strengthened through a series of broader missions to support innovation at the level of all innovative companies in the canton.
Jean-Nat Karakash, state councillor, +41 32 889 68 00