I recently had the privilege of visiting Zürich to meet colleagues and other lawyers working in the life sciences sector. During these conversations I was struck by the similarities between these two markets, as well as the opportunities for collaboration.
Both the UK and Switzerland find themselves outside of an EU that is looking increasingly robust in its negotiations. They both have excellent universities, driving a strong life sciences sector with the capacity to tap a world-leading financial services sector.
Brexit news this week has been dominated by coverage of claims and denials that the UK is pursuing a Swiss-style deal with the EU. Although it remains to be seen what that means in practice, particularly as Switzerland continues to weight its own relationship with the bloc.
In the midst of all these discussions, it is important for investors not to miss the other UK-Swiss news from the last few weeks. The two countries have recently signed a major science co-operation agreement.
Across Europe, countries are competing for life sciences investment, ahead of the expected boom in 2023 (as we have previously noted). This latest Memorandum of Understanding may give some investors additional comfort to continue to prioritise the UK and Switzerland.
Under the agreement the two countries’ main public funding agencies, UK Research and Innovation and the Swiss National Science Foundation, will invest in joint projects in fields that include bioscience and medicine, computing and artificial intelligence, and space.