scienceindustries Switzerland
scienceindustries news - 07.10.2021

"Innovations for a better future"


This is the first issue of scienceindustries News, a revamped version of the previous quarterly newsletter. We are delighted to provide you with even more up-to-date information on current political, economic and social issues as well as on the position and opinions of Switzerland’s largest export and research industries by means of scienceindustries News, which will now be published every two months. By way of a short editorial we will also highlight a topic that is particularly important to us at the moment.

For example, innovations and new technologies are crucial not only for scienceindustries, but also for the future of Switzerland as a whole. On 23 September, the National Council once again discussed the topic of genetic engineering – and once again extended the moratorium on genetic engineering, this time until the end of 2025. Requests for differentiated exemptions for the use of new breeding methods did not stand a chance. Modern biotechnological processes have made tremendous progress since 2003 when the Genetic Engineering Act was introduced. New processes such as genome editing have triggered a real surge in innovation around the world. In contrast to the global trend, the development of applications in Switzerland is stagnating in many areas due to increasing legal uncertainty. The legal basis must now finally be adapted to the current state of global scientific developments and practical applications.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue. scienceindustries will, of course, be happy to answer any questions you may have at any time.

Yours sincerely
Stephan Mumenthaler, Director of scienceindustries
Innovations from the Chemistry Pharma Life Sciences
Innovative dietary supplements can improve health
Pfeil nach rechts Abolition of industrial tariffs
Pfeil nach rechts Reduction of antibiotic resistance
Pfeil nach rechts
Reform of authorisation procedure for plant protection products
Pfeil nach rechts "Brennpunkt Nahrung" 2021 conference
Pfeil nach rechts Go for Impact – sustainable supply chains
Pfeil nach rechts SimplyNano 2 experiment kit for Zurich

An end to unnecessary bureaucracy and old habits at last

Following the decision of the Federal Council to break off negotiations with the EU about a framework agreement, the abolition of tariffs on industrial goods is an important measure to ease the financial and administrative burden on companies.

          Tariffs on industrial goods place an unnecessary burden on consumers and industry. This reduces their competitiveness vis-à-vis foreign competitors. Tariffs have long since lost their original purpose of protecting domestic industry. In addition to cost savings on imported goods, the main arguments for abolishing customs duties include the simplification of the customs tariff structure, the elimination of complex customs procedures and administrative relief.

          By voting in favour of the complete abolition of tariffs for industrial goods in its autumn session of 2021, the National Council sent an important and correct signal to consumers, SMEs and indeed all companies, confirming its commitment to Switzerland as a centre of research, production and business.
Pfeil nach rechts More (only in German)

Joining forces to reduce antibiotic resistance

Resistant bacteria are a global problem. Protecting patients and tackling a public health crisis that may undermine entire health systems require a coordinated global response from all stakeholders.

          There is growing concern that resistance is spreading faster than new therapies. The complex social, scientific and economic problems underlying antimicrobial resistance (AMR) can only be resolved through close cooperation between the private and public sectors. The AMR Industry Alliance, an association of more than 100 manufacturers of biotech products, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals and generics, is committed to combating AMR. At the national level, the veterinary medicine and veterinary pharmaceutical industry, administration and policy-makers have taken the right steps on AMR at an early stage. The total volume of antibiotics sold for treating animals in Switzerland dropped by around 4% year-on-year, while critical antibiotics classes fell by as much as 9%.
Pfeil nach rechts More (only in German)

Urgent reform of the authorisation procedure for plant protection products is needed

For some years now, the Swiss authorisation procedure for plant protection products has presented major difficulties for research-focused agricultural companies. The authorities are unable to deal with pending applications in a timely manner.

          This is confirmed by the Federal Council itself in its response to interpellation 21.3692 “Plant protection product approval: improving transparency.” Until 2018, the average time required for processing an application for approval for a new product was 12 months. However, the introduction of the right to object for environmental organisations in 2018 almost completely blocked the authorisation procedure in Switzerland.

          Agricultural enterprises are constantly developing new plant protection products with increasing efficacy and environmental compatibility. If the risks are to be reduced sustainably, it is important that these products actually reach the market. It is untenable that products that have been in use in our neighbouring countries for a long time have still not been approved for use in Switzerland five years later.
Pfeil nach rechts More (only in German)

"Brennpunkt Nahrung" 2021 conference

Switzerland is a world champion in innovation. Start-ups play an important role in ensuring that this remains the case in the future. This is why scienceindustries also supports innovative, small companies in the field of nutrition.

          On Tuesday, 9 November 2021, the agricultural and food sector will meet again for personal discussions at the "Brennpunkt Nahrung" conference. Under the headings of "Sustainability" and "Health", well-known speakers will talk about our approach to nutrition. They will explore the question of whether and how it is possible without contradictions to follow a healthy diet while still conserving resources. This year too, the conference will host a Start-up Innovation Corner. Six young entrepreneurs will present their innovative products or services for the food industry in the exhibition area of the conference.
Pfeil nach rechts More (only in German and French)

Sustainable supply chains

Sustainable supply chains are becoming increasingly important, including for SMEs. But how can companies approach and organise the transformation process towards more sustainable supply chains? What steps are involved and what aids and instruments can help to achieve this? "Go for Impact" supports companies with a collection of helpful tools.

          A globally networked economy has global effects. This applies to both social and environmental aspects. The majority of environmental impacts are caused by upstream suppliers or in the extraction of raw materials. Making a company more sustainable therefore also requires the involvement of supply chains.

          But where to start? This raises questions for many companies, especially SMEs. "Go for Impact" has created a collection of online tools for sustainable supply chain management. The Supply Chain Tools, in which scienceindustries was also involved as part of its commitment to Go for Impact, offer companies practical assistance in the form of guidelines, self-checks and software solutions for the implementation process at their own operations.
Pfeil nach rechts More (only in German)

SimplyNano 2 experiment kit for Zurich

In the canton of Zurich, upper secondary classes will be experimenting with nanotechnology in the future. Starting this autumn, schools will be provided with 1,200 "SimplyNano 2" experiment kits free of charge. The aim is to get young people excited about science and technology and to help combat the shortage of skilled workers.

          Why does the gecko stick to the ceiling? Why do babies stay dry in diapers? Or how does a COVID-19 vaccine get into the cells? With nanotechnology! It is the science of the very small and is quite simply considered to be the single most important technology of the future. Whether in nature, in everyday life or in medicine, nanomaterials are everywhere.

          This school year, 1,200 "SimplyNano 2" experiment kits for natural science and technology teaching will be made available to the upper secondary classes in the canton of Zurich. It is a practice-focused, innovative learning medium consisting of 32 exciting experiments, a learning workshop and all the necessary chemicals, materials and documents. The project is already running successfully in four cantons. It should be implemented throughout Switzerland by 2025.
Pfeil nach rechts More
          scienceindustries is the Swiss business association for the chemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences industries. Its around 250 member companies generate more than 98% of their revenues abroad. As Switzerland's biggest export industry, this sector contributes 51.7% to total exports and almost 40% to private research expenses in Switzerland

Stephan Mumenthaler, Director
Marcel Sennhauser, Deputy Director - Head of Communication
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