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Actualités France Suisse

Canton de Vaud


Canton of Vaud


A pearl in the heart of Europe


Member of:



Situated between lakes and mountains, in the heart of Europe, the canton of Vaud is the largest French-speaking region in Switzerland. The canton of Vaud combines all the best qualities that are truly Swiss: innovation, dynamism in terms of economic development and investment, productivity, quality in education, political stability, attractive fiscal framework, flexible labour laws, highly qualified and cosmopolitan workforce, topdrawer financial services, rich and varied economic environment, and above all an incomparable work-life balance.


Key Facts


Population: 708,177 (2010). 30.5% of foreign residents


Surface: 3,200 square meters, 34,444 square feet


Official language: French


Cantonal capital: Lausanne (126,720 inhabitants in 2010)


Other major cities: Yverdon-les-Bains (27,070 inhabitants in 2010), Montreux (24,884 inhabitants in 2010), Nyon (18,303 inhabitants in 2010)


Leisure and Culture


Located in an exceptional setting, the canton of Vaud favours sports of all kinds: vast infrastructure, state-of-the art equipment and a network of well-marked paths give access to a whole host of sports activities in any season. Thermal baths, spas and wellness centers offer absolute relaxation and top form so that you can enjoy yourself until the wee small hours.



The canton of Vaud is a remarkable region steeped in centuries of history. And much of this history still remains, with Roman ruins, amphitheatres, castles, churches, monuments and some 200 archaeological sites - all bearing silent witness to the events of many millennia. Every stone has a story to tell.


When it comes to special events, the canton of Vaud is proud of its long tradition of cultural attractions and occasions that are fun and festive. Throughout the year, the region sways to the rhythm of major festivals and events that are of international interest or out of the ordinary.












Life Sciences


The canton of Vaud is one of the principal research clusters in Europe in the biomedical field and food technology (Nestlé). In a recent edition, the magazine Science even granted it a central place in the European “Biomedical Valley”.


Flagship Swiss companies:


  • Debiopharm SA (specialized in pharmaceutical);
  • Symbios Orthopédie S.A. (specialized in medical technology);
  • AC Immune SA (specialized in pharmaceutical);
  • etc.


Flagship foreign companies:


  • Medtronic International Trading Sàrl (specialized in medical technology);
  • Ferring International Center SA (specialized in pharmaceutical);
  • Stryker SA (specialized in medical technology);
  • etc.


Main Related Academic &Research Institutions:


The most prestigious research centers include:


  • Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) www.chuv.ch
  • The Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) www.isrec.ch
  • The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research www.licr.org
  • The Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics or the Biomedical Engineering Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology www.epfl.ch (EPFL, Lausanne)
  • The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Lausanne www.unil.ch.


Cluster Organization


  • BioAlps: Promotion of enterprises and research institutions in western Switzerland active in the field of life sciences (biotechnologies and medical technologies). www.bioalps.org




  • Biopôle SA. The Biopôle Park is a site entirely dedicated to welcome companies active in the areas of biotechnology and health technologies. www.biopole.ch






Micro / Nanotechnology


The Canton of Vaud has a long tradition of precision mechanics and miniaturisation, inherited from watchmaking industry over a hundred years old and particularly active in the Joux Valley. This expertise in microtechnology has encouraged the development of various industries and centers of research and education in precision technologies (micromechanics, microelectronics, microsystems).


Flagship Swiss Companies:


  • Logitech Europe S.A. www.logitech.com
  • Valtronic Technologies (Suisse) SA (specialized in microelectronics);
  • Ruag Aerospace (Nyon) www.ruag.com
  • etc.


Flagship Foreign Companies:



Main Related Academic &Research Institutions:


Academic research and education are also very well developed in the field of micro/nanotechnology. Notable institutions in this field include:


  • The Microengineering department at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL)
  • The Institute of Micro and Nano Techniques at Vaud School of Business and Engineering (HEIG-VD) www.heig-vd.ch


Cluster Organization:


  • Micronarc: Promotion of enterprises and research institutions in western Switzerland active in the field of micro and nanotechnologies. www.micronarc.ch






Information and Communication Technology (ICT)


This pool of know-how covers everything from software programming to data storage, processing, analysis and transmission. Multimedia applications and man/machine interfaces are two new emerging fields in the canton along with e-commerce, which is developing quickly.


Flagship Swiss Companies


  • Kudelski S.A. (specialized in digital technology)
  • Elca informatique SAwww.elca.ch
  • etc.


Flagship Foreign Companies


  • Yahoo! Sàrl http://info.yahoo.com
  • Bacula Systems SA (specialized in open source backup)
  • CA Europe Sàrl (specialized in software); etc.


Main Related Academic &Research Institutions


  • The Vevey-based Swiss Multimedia and Electronic Communication Association (SwissMedia) www.swissmedia.ch actively promotes collaboration and exchanges in the sector and provides an incubator for company start-up.
  • Active and productive research is carried out in the ICT sector, notably by the School of Computer and Communication Sciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL), which specialises in computer security for instance, or the Information Systems Institute at the University of Lausanne (UNIL) or even by the computer science department and the telecommunications department at Vaud School of Business and Engineering (HEIG-VD).


Cluster Organization


  • Alp ICT:Promotion of enterprises and research institutions in western Switzerland active in the field of information and communication technologies. www.alpict.ch


Power and Environmental Technologies


Renewable energy, solar energy, biomass, bio-diesel, bio-gas, water purification, thermal engineering, hydraulics: all future-looking sectors in which the canton of Vaud boasts cutting edge capabilities, both academic and applied.


Flagship Swiss Companies:


  • Granit Technologies SA (specialized in solar energy);
  • Gramitech SA www.gramitech.ch
  • etc.


Flagship Foreign Companies


  • VHF-Technologies SA (specialized in solar energy);
  • etc.


Main Related Academic &Research Institutions


  • The research and education centers notably at the EPFL (sciences and environmental engineering section) and the ecotechnology section of Vaud School of Business and Engineering (HEIG-VD), produce top-drawer knowledge and specialists.


Cluster Organization


  • CleantechAlps: Energy and Environmental Technologies Cluster of Western Switzerland. Promotion of enterprises and research institutions in western Switzerland active in the field of energy and environmental technologies (cleantech). www.cleantech-alps.com




  • The canton of Vaud also has a technology centre specialising in power and the environment: the Orbe Environmental Technology Centre, which focuses mainly on renewable energy.



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