Hugues Jeannerat: “The creation of an innovation ecosystem is a long-term job”

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Le Temps: We can see with the case of the Swiss Integrative Center for Human Health (SICHH) in Friborg that it is difficult to set up a cutting-edge research center. What conditions must be met to facilitate this innovation policy?

Hugues Jeannerat: First of all, I would like to say that it is a reductive vision to think that it is enough to install an ultra-competitive research center in a region to produce innovation. It is a real ecosystem that must be created, made up of different stakeholders and networks. This ecosystem must be large and open to a set of regional players. Students must be included, for example, and not just researchers. Too often, too, we think that innovation means investing in research and development sectors, then waiting for the return on investment. While it is a long-term job, which is managed on a daily basis. It’s a state of mind. We see this with the example of Valais where the desire to innovate beyond the mountain tourism economy has long been anchored in political discourse.