A network of specialists working in the field of the infinitely precise, who have chosen to join their forces
A pole of innovation aiming to boost the region's industrial fabric and help local businesses to strengthen their competitiveness
An entity with national and international reach in terms of innovation capacity, particularly through SWITZERLAND INNOVATION
The pole promotes, both nationally and internationally, the innovation capacities of its members in very-high precision technologies. It is now recognized by the Confederation, within the framework of the SWITZERLAND INNOVATION park, as a site dedicated to micro/nanotechnologies and advanced manufacturing.
This particularly dynamic network has set itself the objectives of consolidating a common position shared by all the various stakeholders, intensifying technology transfer to the regional industrial fabric, and promoting, both nationally and internationally, the innovation capacities of its members in very-high precision technologies. The idea is therefore to:
The idea of creating a microtechnology cluster was originally put forward in the wake the watchmaking crisis, in view of the skills available in the Neuchâtel region. Steeped in three centuries of industrial history, the canton of Neuchâtel possessed a high density of firms operating in advanced precision-related fields.
The network thus began its gradual construction, propelled notably by the creation of the Swiss Foundation for Research in Microtechnology (FSRM) in 1978, followed by the Swiss Centre for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) in 1984.
The process accelerated in 2006, resulting in a collaboration between the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and the canton of Neuchâtel, with an agreement governing the procedures for incorporating the renowned Neuchâtel Institute of Microtechnology (IMT) into the EPFL.
Microcity initially took the form of a single main building, which was inaugurated in May 2014 in Neuchâtel. It was dedicated to hosting new chairs of the EPFL’s Institute of Microtechnology as well as the Neode Technological and Industrial Park, an incubator for startups primarily operating in microtechnology. Being based beside the CSEM strengthened synergy within the research process and its potential industrial applications. A real innovation pole was emerging, consolidating the local ecosystem dedicated to R&D and professional training (CIFOM, CPLN) complemented by the presence of the UniNE and HE-Arc.
Subsequently, in the context of developing the future SWITZERLAND INNOVATION park, it was all the more important for the canton and its stakeholders to position and promote their skills at local, interregional, national and international level within the framework of this future label. The desire to forge enhanced dynamics and build a network thus came to the fore.
Resulting from close cooperation between leading players in the scientific, academic and economic fields, the network Microcity Pole of innovation was set up to serve the interests of the regional industrial fabric, seeking to help businesses increase their competitiveness and enhance the reputation of regional skills.
Microcity - Pole of innovation - Neuchâtel was officially launched on June 9, 2015 at a ceremony attended by its members and political representatives. The cluster now offers the optimal conditions for exploring the unknown, developing new ideas and bringing previously unseen products to market. It is now recognized by the Confederation, within the framework of the future Swiss Innovation Park, as a site dedicated to micro/nanotechnologies and advanced manufacturing within the SIP West association, which comprises the EPFL and the five French-speaking cantons of Switzerland (Geneva, Neuchâtel, Fribourg, Vaud and Valais) and features specialist subject areas on each site.