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Specialist skills

Neuchâtel, leader in microengineering | Synergies between science and industry | World-renowned research centres | Design and Industrialisation in a single place | Control along the entire value chain

Neuchâtel, leader in microengineering

A key skills hub for microengineering in Switzerland and beyond, Neuchâtel has a dense concentration of companies and start-ups active in these leading-edge fields. The State is also home to centres for applied research and laboratories of international repute.

Precision mechanics, microelectronics – microchips or high density PCBs - MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems), MOEMS (Micro Optical Electro Mechanical Systems), nanotechnologies or microfluidics: all of the core pillars of microengineering are brought together in a single innovative activity hub.

Neuchâtel boasts unrivalled expertise in applied domains as diverse as :

• Ultra-low consumption electrical circuits
• Miniaturization
• Thin-Film electronics
• Coating
• Micromechanics on silicon
• Micro-sensors and hybrid electronic circuits
• Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

It is therefore not a coincidence that the worldwide-known EPFL University opened in 2014 its Institute of Microtechnology in Microcity, pole of innovation and excellence in the field of micro-nanotechnology, in Neuchâtel, located conveniently next to the Swiss Center of Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM), the industrial start-ups park NEODE and the "Haute Ecole-Arc".


Synergies between science and industry


One of the keys to Neuchâtel’s success lies in its numerous partnerships developed between companies, research centres and academic institutions, which favour technology transfers or ‘TT’. The relationship between science and industry is further strengthened by institutions such as CSEM (Swiss Centre for Electronics and Microtechnology), the Microtechnology Institute at EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), the Neode Science and Technology Park, as well as FSRM (Swiss Foundation for Research in Microtechnology).



World-renowned research centres


Just some of the principal research centres based in Neuchâtel include:


Institute of Microengineering at Ecole Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (IMT-EPFL)

Spearheading research into microtechnology at an international level, this institute offers leading-edge technologies, research mandates, academic partnerships as well as various forms of industry partnerships. It is settled since 2014 in Microcity, hub of innovation and excellence in the field of micro-nanotechnology, in Neuchâtel, next to the Swiss Center of Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM), the industrial start-up park NEODE and the Haute Ecole-Arc. Among its numerous domains of expertise are photovoltaics, microsystems, silicon sensors and actuators and motor units. The Neuchâtel site is home to the following prestigious laboratories: 

- Integrated Actuators Laboratory -
- Microsystems for Space Technologies Laboratory -
- Optics and Photonics Technology Laboratory -
- Electronics and Signal Processing Laboratory -
- Photovoltaics and Thin Film Electronics Laboratory -
- Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems Laboratory -
- Intergrated Circuits Laboratory -

- Laboratory of Thermomechanical Metallurgy -

- Laboratory for Applied Mechanical Design (LAMD) -
- Micromechanical and Horological Design -

Swiss Centre for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM)

CSEM is a private research and development centre specializing in micro- and nanotechnology, microelectronics, system engineering and communications technologies. Innovation lies at the heart of its strategic priorities and develops a unique expertise by transferring technological research to the Swiss industry.

CSEM is precisely geared towards serving the Swiss industrial sector which calls upon its expertise, skills in technology and know-how to provide solutions that directly meet the needs of industry (R&D services, product and prototype development, small scale production, etc.).



Haute Ecole-Arc

The Haute Ecole-Arc contributes to innovation in the field of economics through its activities in applied research and development (ARD), their overall service offering as well as knowledge and technology transfer (TT). The School’s activities in the field of engineering are grouped around four institutes: 

- Institute for Industrial Microengineering (IMI-Arc)
- Institute for Applied Microtechnologies (IMA-ARC)
- Institute for Watchmaking and Design (IHC-Arc)
- Institute for Systems Information and Communication (ISIC-Arc)



Design and Industrialisation in a single place


Companies based in Neuchâtel can not only count on research centres to support them in developing techniques and innovative products, but also on a wide network of suppliers and sub-contractors who can produce on-site. In this way, the canton boasts many companies specialised in the high-speed production lines required for quick assembly. Similarly, all precision machining techniques – bar turning, stamping, laser cutting, chemical micromachining etc. – are managed by local companies.



Control along the entire value chain


Microtechnologies developed in Neuchâtel can be applied across all high-tech sectors and contribute to a diverse industrial landscape as well as encouraging related skills in this field. The people of Neuchâtel have long been famous for their watchmaking skills, but their know-how in the field of technology and precision-work stretches far beyond this domain. For example, quality control and work in a sterile environment (clean rooms) are specialisations that are well represented here.

More generally, the presence of many innovative companies, coupled with a high level of training, results in a deep and wide pool of skills along the whole value chain, in addition to related services in the fields of IT, legal, production, finance, marketing, management, accounting, etc.