Scaling New Heights: Why Vaud, Switzerland is the Perfect Launchpad for UK Tech Scaleups




In an era where technological innovation is not just a contributor to economic success but a fundamental driver, tech scaleups are in constant search of fertile ground to nurture their growth and global ambitions. With its precision-engineered ecosystem for business expansion, the Vaud region in Switzerland emerges as a beacon of opportunity for UK tech scaleups looking to amplify their reach. 

As Innovaud, the economic development board for the Lausanne region, gears up to bridge bi-lateral trade and investment opportunities through their UK Mission in May/June 2024, we explore the virtues of this Swiss canton that make it an ideal destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), market access, and strategic growth.

A New Era of Trade: Enhanced UK-Switzerland Free Trade Agreement

The revised Free Trade Agreement between the Swiss and UK governments is a game-changer for UK tech firms. By eliminating remaining market barriers and improving regulatory cooperation, the agreement paves the way for seamless investments and business operations in Switzerland. It’s an open invitation for UK scaleups to capitalize on Switzerland’s stable and innovation-friendly business climate.

Collaborative Innovation: A Cross-Border Commitment to R&D

The partnership between Innovate UK and Innosuisse symbolizes the commitment to fostering innovation across borders. With significant investment earmarked for joint innovation projects, UK scaleups in the life sciences, biotech, and agri-tech sectors have a unique opportunity to tap into collaborative networks and access funding that can catapult their research and development endeavors to new heights.

A Thriving Ecosystem of Support: Grants, Accelerators, and Investors

Vaud is not just a location; it’s a launchpad, offering a plethora of grants, accelerators, and funding opportunities. The Swiss Offset program, Horizon Programme, Mass Challenge, and the Haleon Accelerator program are just a few initiatives that provide the financial thrust needed for businesses to excel. Venture capital and corporate investment channels are robust, offering the monetary and strategic backing vital for scale and sustainability.

Access to Pioneering Ecosystems: Health, Food, and Nutrition Valley

For life sciences and agri-tech companies, the canton of Vaud is akin to Silicon Valley. Home to innovative startups and major corporates like Nestle, the region is a vibrant hub of activity where collaboration and advancement are the norms. The convergence of technology and science creates a unique environment where businesses can thrive amid cutting-edge thought leadership.

Check out some of the amazing companies in the Vaud region, all potential collaborators and sales opportunities.

World-Class Research and Development

Research and Development Vaud

The Vaud region boasts institutions like EPFL, Biopôle, The Swiss Cancer Centre Léman, CHUV, and Y-PARC, offering unparalleled access to world-leading R&D resources and thought leadership. This intellectual and infrastructural prowess ensures that UK tech scaleups will not just enter the market but lead it by innovation.

Streamlined Clinical Trials and Regulatory Pathways

The recognition of US FDA-approved med-tech devices and mutual GMP recognition between Switzerland and the US underscores the region’s standing in the global life sciences community. This facilitates a smoother and more credible pathway for clinical trials, vital for companies eager to establish their credibility and efficacy in a competitive marketplace.

Pro-Business Environment: Efficiency and Excellence

Ranked No. 1 in the European Health Consumer Index, Switzerland’s healthcare system exemplifies operational efficiency without reliance on taxes or employer-based financing. This pro-business, tariff-free environment is a fertile ground for UK tech scaleups seeking to operate at the nexus of quality and innovation.

Global Partnerships and Market Access

With a multitude of Global HQs and international corporations, Vaud is a thriving marketplace for new technologies and applications. These corporations are not just potential clients but potential partners, offering UK tech scaleups the chance to connect and integrate into vast international networks.

A Proven Path: The Success of Impli

Impli’s expansion into the Vaud region from the UK is a testament to the opportunities that await. The IVF/MedTech company’s successful foray into the US and global markets from Vaud underscores the region’s capability to act as a springboard for ambitious tech companies.


The Innovaud UK 2024 Mission, coordinated by GTM Global, is more than an event; it is a gateway to a realm of possibilities for UK tech scaleups. The Vaud region stands ready, not just with a promise, but with a proven track record of empowering businesses to grow globally. As the mission approaches, UK tech scaleups have every reason to look to Lausanne, and the wider Vaud region, as their next strategic destination for expansion, collaboration, and unparalleled success. Register your interest below to find out more.

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Ian Collins
Ian Collins
Ian Collins, with an extensive background spanning over 30 years in business development and general management, co-founded GTM Global in 2015. His experience encompasses hi-tech industries such as security, artificial intelligence, business intelligence, and enterprise software solutions. In his career, Ian has started several tech companies, overseen two corporate ventures, executed a management buy-in, and led two business turnarounds. He has also been involved in buying, selling, and merging various of his companies, and has achieved two successful business exits. Ian's expertise is particularly focused on business growth strategies and leading-edge proposition development.