The secret heroes: SMEs as drivers of innovation

15.11.2018 | Event

Are only start-ups innovative? Do SMEs run out of ideas? At the Swiss Innovation Forum in Basel, the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI) is hosting a breakout session on this topic.


On 22 November, the Swiss Innovation Forum (SIF) will take place in Basel. Once again, the <link en about-us commitment.html>main partner is the IPI. The motto of this year’s event is “Surprise” – the key to innovation and growth.


A look at the recently published Top 100 Swiss start-ups shows that there is no lack of creative solutions in this country. The Swiss innovation heroes are not only new entrepreneurs with a Silicon Valley image; even established SMEs are overflowing with good ideas.


A world-class valve from St Gallen’s Rhine Valley


In a breakout session, Innosuisse and the IPI will showcase how an SME continues to drive cutting-edge innovation, with the example of the company VAT.


This Swiss company, from the tranquil town of Haag, St Gallen, manufactures highly specialised valves for the production of televisions, smartphones and electric cars. High-value patents play a crucial role in their innovation strategy.


Michael Zickar, Head of Corporate Research at VAT, will show during a one-hour session how SMEs continue for years to keep on the ball with innovation. With input from innovation expert Prof. Daniel Huber, visitors will also learn how they themselves can stay creative and where they can obtain support. The session will address the following three questions:


1.    Drivers of innovation: Why is it also important for SMEs to drive innovation and how should they do this?


2.    How to do it: Why is innovation so difficult and how can a company innovate systematically?


3.    Support for my SME: Where and how do companies obtain support with their innovation strategy?