Plug and Play, The World’s Leading Innovation Platform, Arrives in Switzerland


BASEL, Switzerland, Nov. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The largest innovation enabler in the world, Plug and Play, is pleased to announce the launch of a new office in Basel, Switzerland, in partnership with the first Founding Partner: uptownBasel.

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Plug and Play Basel will be situated in the uptownBasel Competence Center in Arlesheim. The launch event, which will mark the start of the first program batch, is planned for March 2022. 

Basel has a long-standing industrial tradition and is a leading European center for research and development in diverse cluster topics including pharmaceuticals and medical technology, logistics and transportation, and specifically Industry 4.0. Plug and Play, headquartered in Sunnyvale, 50 miles outside San Francisco, is located in vibrant Silicon Valley and has more than 35 satellite offices worldwide. With Plug and Play’s expansion in Switzerland now underway, the company offers all partners the opportunity to increase their innovation activities through access to a global network of more than 40,000 startups. With the know-how and years of experience that Plug and Play has acquired through the operation of more than 60 startup accelerators around the world, interested companies can increase their innovation potential and, above all, significantly shorten their time to market strategy. 

The purpose of the program is to boost Basel’s industrial innovation capabilities and counteract the de-industrialisation of Switzerland, by attracting first-class tech startups to the area. The goal is to create a stronger, unified ecosystem and foster collaboration and knowledge sharing between large industrial companies and exceptional technology startups to deliver real value and solutions. Initial technology areas for scouting will include Industry 4.0, Internet of Things, Robotics, Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Life Sciences, Sensors, Future Logistics and Warehousing, and more. By providing innovation-as-a-service, this platform will also play a strategic role for the partners in pioneering a sustainable industry of the future throughout Switzerland, Europe, and around the world.

Hans-Jörg Fankhauser, site developer, architect and implementer of the uptownBasel project explains, “Together with Plug and Play, uptownBasel will create a leading open innovation platform in Europe. Plug and Play Basel will use innovation as a lever to solve big challenges of our time with technologies like Industry 4.0, IoT, smart manufacturing, future logistics, and robotics. Together, we will not only deliver profits to our corporate partners and startups, but also create new jobs, boost the region’s productivity, and build a long-term growing tech ecosystem.”

Daniela Bar-Gera, Head of Plug and Play Basel, adds: “Basel is the perfect fit to be another European Hub for innovation: Its location in the Three-Country-Triangle (Switzerland, Germany, France), its industrial tradition and expertise as well as outstanding academics such as the University of Basel, the FHNW, and the various world-renowned institutes, such as the FMI (Friedrich Miescher Institute) provide the ideal foundation to be the leading open innovation platform. The opportunities to collaborate with world-leading businesses, as well as finding smart investments in a stable economy will be strong motivators for top-notch tech startups to come to Basel.”

Damir Bogdan, Advisor for uptownBasel and liaison to Silicon Valley, adds, “I believe that the collaboration between uptownBasel and Plug and Play is a crucial milestone in positioning Basel and Switzerland at the center of the 4th Industrial Revolution.”

Daniela continues: “Switzerland as a country has led the “Global Innovation Index” for 11 years now. Keeping the lead requires investing extensively in future solutions, focusing on digital transformation, and making innovation the country’s top priority. Similarly, to ensure their future competitiveness, Swiss corporations need to consistently be exposed to new technologies and ideas. Some of our most successful partners use Plug and Play to look at new business opportunities and meet with startups and companies from different industries. That is one of the strongest ways to take advantage of open innovation, ensuring you are always seeing and hearing new innovative ideas.” 

The basis of Plug and Play Basel will be a 3-month open innovation program that will run twice a year. Each program welcomes selected national and international startups that are addressing the specific technological needs of the Founding Partners. The startups and business units of the partners will work together on pilots and proof of concepts, leading towards production-ready implementations. The goal is to have at least one joint project completed for each startup, to be showcased at EXPO Day, the final event at the end of each program. 

Plug and Play Basel will run local operations from the uptownBasel Campus where it will provide co-working spaces for the startups to utilize and scale their business. Further offerings for startups, partners, and the growing ecosystem include dealflows, workshops, mentorship sessions, networking between partners, investment opportunities, and a series of monthly events including Selection Days, Innovation Days, and EXPO Days. 

Get in touch:

Plug and Play Switzerland: Daniela Bar-Gera [email protected]

uptownBasel: Baschi Dürr [email protected]

About uptownBasel

uptownBasel is an international competence center for Industry 4.0 – networked with the world, anchored in Europe and rooted in Basel. On the historic Schorenareal site in Arlesheim near Basel, an approximately 70,000-square-meter research and production site is being built, where selected companies and their technologies will thrive. The focus is on healthcare, logistics and industrial production as well as the cross-sectional function of digitalization. As a platform for networked companies, uptownBasel drives the knowledge transfer across industries and disciplines and promotes the realization of latent ideas – in the areas of robotics, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, mobility of the future or agile working.

With the opening of Building 1 and its use by the two European technology groups Bouygues and Vinci (Axians and Actemium), 400 new jobs will be created. In total, the housing of 50 to 100 companies with up to 2500 jobs is planned. uptownBasel is made possible by the private ownership of the family Monique and Thomas Staehelin and implemented by Fankhauser Arealentwicklungen.  

About Plug and Play

Plug and Play is the leading innovation platform, connecting startups, corporations, venture capital firms, universities, and government agencies. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we’re present in 35+ locations across 5 continents. We offer corporate innovation programs and help our corporate partners in every stage of their innovation journey, from education to execution. We also organize startup acceleration programs and have built an in-house VC to drive innovation across multiple industries where we’ve invested in hundreds of successful companies including Dropbox, Guardant Health, Honey, Lending Club, N26, PayPal, and Rappi. For more information, visit

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Disclaimer: The above press release comes to you under an arrangement with PR Newswire. Business Upturn takes no editorial responsibility for the same.

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