Creating a startup brings about numerous challenges, even more so when the company’s purpose is research and development in biology or chemistry. Equipping a laboratory with all the necessary devices requires considerable funds and may take quite some time. “Six months are a realistic time frame for setting up even a basic lab”, says Cüneyt Kilic, Head of Lab Facilities at Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area. The Park in Allschwil aims at supporting the launch of startups by offering plug & play laboratories providing all the basic equipment for R&D activities.
Ideal infrastructure at Switzerland Innovation Park
“If they time things well, startups can get to work on their very first day at the park”, states Stephan Emmerth, Business Development Senior Manager at BaseLaunch. The accelerator program by BaselArea.swiss is specifically tailored to the needs of healthcare startups. It offers carefully selected ventures non-dilutive financial support, knowledge from highly experienced advisors, as well as access to its Healthcare Partners and the ideal infrastructure at Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area.
In order to match the actual requirements of startup companies, the first residents at Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area were closely involved when the labs were originally equipped. Every workplace consists of an office desk, printer and internet included, as well as access to the shared space and a single workstation at the laboratory. Most devices are easily available, while the more coveted ones can be reserved via the park’s internal smartphone app. Working together so closely brings about exchange among the residents. This may include sharing recent findings or contacts, but also practical proceedings such as joint waste disposal or purchase of consumables.
Expansion on the way
For the equipment of the labs, the only of their kind in the Basel region, there was a lot of support from leading life sciences firms. “Even now with everything set up, these companies still make donations like consumable goods for all residents to share”, says Cüneyt Kilic. “Of course we are very thankful for that.” Currently the workplaces are filling up, many are already taken and several more are reserved for confirmed new residents. Hence, the park is planning more shared lab space on its premises in Allschwil, which will develop into one of the hotbeds of life sciences in the upcoming years. Stephan Emmerth is excited about the upcoming additions: “Startups active in drug development or the pharmaceutical branch in general should really consider this offer. If they are not planning on investing in their own lab, there really is no better alternative in the Basel region.”
You may also be interested in reading about renting a lab in Switzerland.