KPMG’s new site selection report for life sciences companies in Europe compares the attractiveness of different countries and includes key work streams involved in successfully discovering, developing and commercializing pharmaceutical products in Europe. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the location question, it clearly shows that the Swiss biotech hub is leading by many accounts.

When entering a new regional market strategic and meticulous planning is key to commercial success. The report identified the key success factors in building a successful operating model, and compares the attractiveness of different, mainly European, countries, focusing on the most relevant factors when it comes to site selection for life sciences companies. Switzerland gets best grades in many aspects, making it a favorable hub for biotech companies:
 
Innovation
Innovation is the life source of life sciences. The European Innovation Scoreboard shows that Switzerland stands out as the clear innovation leader. This is also confirmed by the World Intellectual Properties Organization’s Global Innovation Index. In addition, Switzerland has a strong phase III pipeline as a percentage of the total number of products in development.
 
Business & political environment
The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, the IMD’s World Competitiveness Yearbook, and the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom are widely regarded as being particularly useful in comparing countries’ competitiveness. Here, Switzerland ranks on positions 1, 2 and 4. In regards to the political environment globally, Switzerland is third in political stability and tops the table for overall enterprise resilience to disruptive events.
 
Quality of infrastructure
Infrastructure quality is of great importance in life sciences, where disruptions in manufacturing or logistics can have a significant impact not only on profits but also patients. Switzerland’s overall infrastructure is rated best in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018.
 
Qualified workforce and quality of life
In the global comparison Switzerland offers the most attractive overall conditions for highly skilled foreign workers and multinational companies and ranks second in productivity. The Mercer Quality of Living Index rates Switzerland second regarding the standard of living in combination with the typical compensation packages that companies offer their employees. In the Global Talent Competitiveness Index Switzerland is right up front with its ability to compete for diverse talent.
 
Financing
Switzerland saw a record total financing volume in 2017 in a comparison of the last seven years and is number 3 in the European comparison of public and private financing of life sciences companies.
 
Tax Incentives
On a global scale, Switzerland ranks third in international corporate and individual tax rates 2018 and generally provides a wide range of tax incentives and grants to innovative companies.
 
If you like to expand your business in Europe, the site selection report, blog and webcast for life sciences companies by our partner KPMG provide you with further valuable knowledge.