Switzerland offers a good starting base for companies looking to develop in the growth market of energy and environmental technology: good economic framework conditions (environmental standards, capital market, energy and raw material prices), the significant spending on research and development, great innovative capability and a high level of environmental awareness. The renewable energies and energy efficiency segments are considered as having a maximum market dynamic.
As the result of the lack of fossil fuels, there is a long tradition of sustainable and efficient energy applications in the Canton of Bern. For example, over 60% of the heat pumps manufactured in Switzerland come from the Canton of Bern. Energy efficiency is not just a ‘buzz word’ in the Canton of Bern but a strategy. The launch of the MINERGIE Standard and the systematic further development of the “Plusenergiehaus” [Surplus Energy House] put the Canton of Bern above the Swiss average thanks to its high-efficiency residential buildings.
It is estimated that energy and environmental technology provides more than 15,000 jobs in the Canton of Bern. The highly innovative culture and an active network are enabling small and medium-sized enterprises to report extremely dynamic growth. Berne’s SMEs are primarily engaged in the areas of energy efficiency and renewable energies such as hydroelectric power, solar and wind energy.
Thanks to its comprehensive network in the field of energy and environmental technology, with producers, government bodies, researchers, organisations and training centres, the Canton of Bern is seen as an ideal location for companies in the energy sector. The energy cluster offers a range of services to companies such as knowledge and technology transfer and further training.
The Bern University of Applied Sciences pursues applied research in the areas of energy, mobility and transport as well as natural phenomena and geo technology. The Oeschger Institut and the National Center of Climate Research of the University of Bern, two of the world’s leading climate research centers, are based in the Canton of Bern. EMPA, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research, conducts research into the areas of natural resources and contaminants as well as materials for energy technologies.
The University of Bern offers courses in climate sciences, ecology and evolution. Bachelor and Masters Degree as well as further training courses can be taken at the Bern University of Applied Sciences in the various areas directly or indirectly associated with energy and environmental technology. These include for example micro-technology, electrical and mechanical engineering, architecture, civil engineering as well as timber technology and engineering.
The Canton of Bern is also the home of key government departments and sector organisations: the Swiss Federal Office of Energy, the Swiss Federal Department of the Environment, the Department for Environmental Coordination and Energy for the Canton of Bern, the MINERGIE agency and the Swiss Heat Pump Association.