The Valais economy — dynamic and diversified
Valais is home to a wide range of economic stakeholders who create added value every single day. The economy of Valais is made up of SMEs, international companies, start-ups, research and training centres and umbrella organisations, all of which together cover a very broad range of fields.
Industry in Valais is highly diversified. It generates around 21,000 jobs in the canton. Valais is home to prestigious companies such as Lonza, Syngenta, Constellium, Aproz and Scintilla. The service industry is well represented here: the Groupe Mutuel has its headquarters here, for instance. Other industries are also well represented in Valais, as it is home to top companies in the tourism industry (Téléverbier, CMA, Zermatt ski lifts, etc.) and the digitalisation industry (Groupe T2i, Silicom Group, etc.). These industries are partners in innovation and drivers of the Valais economy. Other industries that are well represented in Valais include agribusiness, automotive and aeronautics, wellness and cosmetics, cleantech, IT and software development, energy, machinery, mechanical and precision engineering, microtechnology, pharma, chemicals and biotechnology, health and medtech.
PME et start-up
Outside of the large industries, the majority of the Valais economy is made up of SMEs with less than 50 employees. The canton therefore has unique expertise in all areas of the economy. Producing everything from industrial knitting machines (Steiger Participations) to coffee machines (Eversys), biotechnologies (Excellgene), spirits (Morand) and cancer medications (Debiopharm), Valais is full of companies that offer the innovative entrepreneur a wealth of opportunities to create synergies.
These SMEs are complemented by start-ups, notably technological start-ups. There are currently many start-ups in development in Valais, such as DePoly (winner of the Venture Prize), Travelise, Faction Skis, Zizania Biobotanica, EyeWare Tech and many more. Almost thirty technology start-ups are born in Valais every year.
Umbrella organisations are an important resource for any entrepreneur. They help to create links between members of the organisation. The following is a non-exhaustive list:
Research and innovation institutes
Valais relies on SMEs and start-ups that are constantly innovating. This innovation is facilitated and accelerated by recognised research institutes. These include:
Valais also has the Energypolis Campus to help accelerate innovation. It brings the expertise of HES-SO Valais-Wallis, EPFL Valais Wallis and The Ark Foundation together under one roof in Sion. Its innovation park is also home to innovative start-ups and SMEs.
Furthermore, this is where higher education institutes and vocational schools train the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
« We are delighted to see the development of the regional development programme WIWA in French-speaking Valais, with the support of Economic Promotion Valais. Together with its counterpart in Upper Valais, it represents one of the key building blocks in the growth of the technology sector in Valais.