| Industries and technologies

Life sciences

Research groups
Life sciences companies
Skilled workers in life sciences
Billion exports of pharmaceutical products

Basel Area brings more science to life

The Basel Area is one of the most sought-after life sciences locations in the world, and is clearly Europe’s top life sciences hub. Roche and Novartis, two out of three global pharma market leaders have their global headquarters here.

Basel can also rightly claim the longest history in life sciences. From the beginnings with its industrial silk ribbon dye mills in the mid-century 1800s up to the biotech revolution, the region’s life sciences ecosystem has repeatedly evolved and reinvented itself in the course of the industry’s larger developments. This success story is still going strong and will continue.

The Basel Area is home to over 700 life sciences companies that are making a substantial contribution to a dynamic business environment. The life sciences industry is the growth engine of the Basel Area – homegrown and here to stay. The Basel Area is also a hotspot for promising startups, such as docdok.health AGVersameb AGPolyneuron Pharmaceuticals AG, T3 Pharmaceuticals AG, and Cellestia Biotech AG.

The Basel Area is also a world champion in gross value. The 58.9 billion CHF exports of pharma products per year are impressive.


Main fields of focus

Biotech and pharma

Agro chemistry



Medical technology

Key benefits

Draw from global talent steeped in life sciences

From research and start-ups to manufacturing, commercialization and distribution, you’ll find the complete life sciences value chain in the Basel Area, and thus a large talent pool of experienced specialists, suppliers and service providers at every stage and for every function of your company.

The Basel Area’s depth and density of resources, expertise and talent – oftentimes literally in walking distance – is unmatched in a global comparison and provides a uniquely fertile ground for innovations of the future.

  • 31,600 highly skilled employees work in the life sciences sector
  • Basel Area has 25 patent applications per capita per year
  • Productivity value is over $472 USD per hour in the Basel Area
  • $2 billion USD in venture capital / angel VC funding

Basel Area hosts Switzerland’s largest life sciences cluster

Two of the world’s top three pharma companies have their global headquarters in Basel (Roche and Novartis).

Several other international players have established central business divisions here as well, among them Abbott, Bayer and Bio-Rad.

Many newcomers such as Actelion, Basilea, Evolva and highly specialized companies like Bachem and Polyphor complete the Basel Area’s life sciences ecosystem.

  • Basel Area is home to more than 700 life sciences companies
  • More than 400 biotech related companies are located here
  • 350+ drugs in clinical development
  • More than 80 research spin-offs into companies in the Basel Area
  • Fast growing startup ecosystem

More universities and research institutions

Consider that Basel is home to one of the world’s oldest universities and a multitude of research institutes, and you’ll begin to grasp the extent of the Basel region’s unique life sciences mix.

In addition to the world-renowned Basel University (Switzerland’s oldest), top-of-the-line research institutes like Biozentrum at the University of Basel, the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering of the ETH Zürich and the Friedrich Miescher Institute are located here.

  • Basel Area is home to more than 1000+ academic and biomedical research groups
  • 170,000 students within a 1-hour drive
  • 14 universities within a 1-hour drive

World-leading research institutes include:

  • University of Basel Department of Biomedicine
  • University of Basel Biozentrum
  • University of Applied Science and Arts, School of Life Sciences
  • Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research
  • ETH Zurich Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering
  • Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
  • University of Basel Swiss Nanoscience Institute

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