Expertise and innovation at the highest level
From family-owned SMEs and young start-ups to large international corporations: Valais offers fertile ground for industrial companies, testifying to the excellence and quality of the canton. Driven by the positive dynamics in the canton, the industrial sectors are pooling their strengths in joint projects.
Facts and figures
- 21,000 jobs in Valais industry
- 25% of value added in the canton is generated in industry
- Second-largest centre for biosciences in the country
- Largest research and production site for the aluminium industry, with its centre in Sierre
- 1 in every 2 Swiss francs is earned through exports
- 28% of Swiss hydropower comes from Valais
Pharmaceuticals, chemistry and biotechnology
From the beginning of the 20th century, Valais has attracted numerous companies who operate in the field of pharmaceuticals and chemistry, thanks in particular to abundant and affordable hydraulic energy. Those early pioneers have now become international groups recognised for the quality of their products. They have been joined by biotechnology companies which develop medicines and phytosanitary products in Valais.
Largest employer in Valais industry
Lonza AG was founded at the end of the 19th century on the banks of the river of the same name in Gampel. Today, it produces top-quality chemical and pharmaceutical products at its Visp site. The group has an international presence, but its location in Upper Valais with 3,000 employees and a turnover of one billion Swiss francs is still of considerable importance. Lonza AG has managed to adapt continuously to a changing environment and to reinvent itself again and again. The group is currently demonstrating this with its Ibex™ Solutions offering. It comprises various offers ranging from the preclinical to the commercial phase – i.e. from the development and manufacturing of active ingredients through to drug manufacture – combined at a single site. Depending on customer demand, the biopark in Visp could consist of up to five buildings in the long term.
Quality and precision are typical Swiss values that are perfectly embodied by the thirty or so mechanical workshops in Valais that manufacture their own products or products for other companies. Thanks to an extensive and high-performance machine fleet, these companies produce parts that are precise to the nearest micron, right through to machines of several tonnes intended for the general public and prestigious customers such as CERN in Geneva.
Largest employer in the Mattertal valley
Whether it’s craftsmen, do-it-yourself fans or industrial employees, they’ll all have used electrical appliance accessories from Scintilla AG. The company, which belongs to the Bosch group, manufactures them at its St. Niklaus site in Valais and sells them all over the world. The assortment includes 7,000 different articles (6,300 versions of 770 basic types), and the range is still being expanded to meet the high demands of a growing number of users.
With its 46 dams, Valais produces more than a quarter of the hydroelectric power consumed in Switzerland. Benefiting from more than 300 days of sunshine per year, the canton encourages the installation of photovoltaic panels. Alongside solar energy, there are also wind power and biomass - energy produced from the breakdown of organic materials. These clean, sustainable and efficient resources allow the canton to control its energy consumption.