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Incubator, technology and innovation centers in Switzerland; features and policy implications


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  • Thierstein, Alain
  • Wilhelm, Beate


Only since the early 1990s, when unemployment rates in Switzerland soared to unprecedented levels, has federal technology and innovation policy begun to design their activities with regard to employment and the establishment of new firms. Now, all across the country, private as well as public incubator facilities, technology and innovation centres have begun to spring up. This paper starts by describing the theoretical and methodological background of a survey of incubator, technology and innovation (ITI) centres. In a first step, all cantonal offices for economic promotion were asked to report and to describe incubator facilities, technology and innovation centres within their realm. In a second step a selection of centres were analysed in depth. The key findings are that: (1) ITI centres are most commonly established by a combination of public and private initiatives; (2) the main motive for the creation of ITI centres is to promote startups and the innovative potential; (3) most ITI centres offer space to rent and make available joint amenities; (4) ITI centres are predominantly in manufacturing, services, and development activities; their level of technology input is high or very high; and (5) the spatial reach of most of the ITI centre is on the region. Together with selected foreign experiences, some conclusions and recommendations for the operation of such centres are formulated.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa99pa385.

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Date of creation: Aug 1999
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Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa99pa385

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Cited by:
  1. repec:asi:ajoerj:2013:p:895-910 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Michael Schwartz, 2008. "Incubator Age and Incubation Time: Determinants of Firm Survival after Graduation?," IWH Discussion Papers, Halle Institute for Economic Research 14, Halle Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Michael Schwartz & Maximilian Göthner, 2009. "A Novel Approach to Incubator Evaluations: The PROMETHEE Outranking Procedures," IWH Discussion Papers, Halle Institute for Economic Research 1, Halle Institute for Economic Research.
  4. Akcomak, Semih, 2009. "Incubators as Tools for Entrepreneurship Promotion in Developing Countries," MERIT Working Papers, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) 054, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  5. Albahari, Alberto & Pérez-Canto, Salvador & Landoni, Paolo, 2010. "Science and Technology Parks impacts on tenant organisations: a review of literature," MPRA Paper 41914, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Sungur, Onur & Dulupçu, Murat Ali, 2013. "İşletme Kuluçkaları ve Bölgesel Kalkınma: Kavramsal Çerçeve ve Literatür Bulguları
    [Business Incubators and Regional Development: Conceptual Framework and Findings from the Literature]
    ," MPRA Paper 51833, University Library of Munich, Germany.


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