27. September 2013

Companies should take the time for innovations

In September, the 3rd Central Switzerland Economic Forum was held on the Pilatus on the topic of "Education – Innovation – Workforce". Paul Note, CEO of Geistlich Pharma AG, was the podium guest at the workshop "Innovation and knowledge transfer". With renowned representatives from business and education, he discussed the topic: What promotes innovations and drives the transfer of knowledge; where are the obstacles?


Paul Note, CEO of Geistlich Pharma AG, sees Central Switzerland as an extremely innovative region and lets the figures speak for themselves. Twenty two companies alone in the field of medical technology are domiciled in the region between Zurich and Lucerne. Innovation is not measured in patent rates but rather in stamina and durability in the implementation of sustainable improvements in the strict regulatory environment of medical technology.

Quality wins
Contrary to the general trend of higher, faster, further Note sees the image of Central Switzerland as being slow as an advantage and advises: “Companies should take the time.” Ultimately, it is about launching quality on the market – quality needs time. On the one hand, a company that develops slowly is accused of not being fast enough. On the other, it is shown that companies who launch products that are not fully developed onto the market disappear from the market as fast as they have appeared. In contrast, quality products work and establish themselves in the long term.

Need for life sciences training in Central Switzerland
With regard to appropriate training and the advancement of creativity, Note is highly satisfied with the basic training in Central Switzerland. When it comes to university education, Paul Note believes that there is still a dependence on supra-regional international educational establishments. He would very much welcome an expansion of the study opportunities in Central Switzerland towards life sciences. However, Note does not fear a cluster risk. He sees the cluster, among others with Roche and Novartis in Central Switzerland, as an opportunity.

Awaken passion – as early as possible
Lateral thinking can also be expanded in Central Switzerland, but should not develop separately at the cost of focusing. Neither a silo mentality nor excessive dissipation is beneficial for innovations. Passion, will, curiosity – these three cornerstones for innovations need to be promoted as early as possible. The so-called TechDays at cantonal school level, for instance, are one possibility for companies to awaken passion amongst the employees of tomorrow.


Discussed innovation and knowledge transfer (from right to left): Paul Note, CEO Geistlich Pharma, Christiane Leister, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Group CEO Leister AG, facilitator Sita Mazumder, René Hüsler, Dean Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts – Engineering & Architecture, and Ulrich Claessen, member of the Board of Directors mccs AG and member of the Board of Management maxon motor AG