Tokyo (SCCIJ) – The construction of one of the most important life sciences ecosystems in Switzerland is making steady progress. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the work progress is on track. By next year, the first researchers will begin to occupy the state-of-the-art building complex in Allschwil in the West of Basel. The project aims to keep the Swiss region at the global forefront of the life sciences.
Two leading cantons
In the pharmaceutical, biotech, life science, and technology sectors, the two cantons of Basel-Landschaft and Basel-Stadt are one of the most important, innovative, and prosperous locations in Europe. As the most innovative leading industry, the life sciences make a decisive contribution to this success. More than one-third of all employees in these industries in Switzerland work in the region. They account for 58 percent of the industry nationwide.
In terms of political security, taxation, quality of resources, and quality of life, the region has a lot to offer internationally active companies, especially the BaseLink site between the city highway, EuroAirport, the German/French border, and the Allschwil life-science cluster. The new campus at the BaseLink site wants to bring companies and university research institutes primarily from the biotechnology and medical sector together.
According to a Swiss newspaper, this life sciences campus will provide space for 5,000 to 8,000 workplaces. Already, the biotech firms Actelion, Idorsia Pharmaceuticals, and Polyphor are based in the neighborhood. Also, the U.S. healthcare group Abbott operates its global headquarters for the generics business in Allschwil.
Currently under construction are the new headquarters of the Tropical Institute, where some 600 employees will move in. This building should be ready for occupancy by the end of 2021. Even more relevant is the monumental building project called GRID at the cost of CHF 150 million. GRID is the abbreviation of “Grand Réseau d’Innovation et de Développement” and is considered a cornerstone of the emerging biotech cluster of Allschwil.
The new, striking campus-style building was designed by Herzog & de Meuron Architects and developed by St. Gallen-based SENN Construction AG. Thanks to its innovative architecture, GRID allows for hyper-flexible interior layouts ranging. Together with a modulated interior park the size of a football field, planted with greenery and trees, GRID enables entirely new types of formal and informal exchange and networking.
The anchor tenants will be Switzerland Innovation Park Area Basel, the biotech company Basilea, two units of the University of Basel, as well as some parties from the biotech and medical services. The level of leased space and reservations in the main building is already approaching the 50 percent mark. This means that around 20,000 m² of the “Campus of Collaboration” are still waiting for tenants, said the BaseLink operator in December.
Text: SCCIJ partly with material of Gridbasel, Photos: © Herzog & de Meuron