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The building application for the first stage of PARK INNOVAARE was filed today on March 9, 2017. In the immediate vicinity of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, more than 35,000 square meters of state-of-the-art and highly flexible areas for laboratories, clean rooms, workshops and offices will be built by 2020. The project, being realized by ERNE AG Holzbau as full-service general contractor, represents an investment volume of 165 million Swiss francs. The building permit is expected to be granted at the end of September; work is scheduled to begin in October 2017.
"To be able to transform cutting-edge research results into marketable innovations, two things are crucial: space for the companies to develop and a functioning innovation ecosystem. The buildings in direct proximity to Paul Scherrer Institute PSI will offer the best conditions for both of these," says Daniel Kündig, who manages innovAARE AG, the supporting organization and operating company of PARK INNOVAARE. “The company ERNE filed the building application today: we have thus taken an important step. Soon, industrial research groups of big industry, spin-offs from science and research-related, technology-minded SMEs from within Switzerland and abroad will be able to gather in one location to accelerate innovation together with the scientists at the PSI,” Kündig continues.
First areas to be occupied in 2020
The company ERNE AG Holzbau will be realizing the project as a full-service general contractor. The construction project is the result of an investor competition won by ERNE and the Zurich office Hornberger Architekten in 2011. In the last two years, the design has undergone further specification, revision and optimization by ERNE, the PSI and innovAARE AG in accordance with current requirements for the companies at the innovation park.
The first buildings are planned to be ready for occupation by 2020. Further buildings are then scheduled to be completed by the first quarter of the following year. Altogether, 35,000 square meters of total story area will be created in the first stage. Of that, 21,000 square meters are leasable areas, of which about 7,000 square meters are for workshops and special laboratories (physics, wet chemistry and biology) and 1,300 square meters for clean rooms grades ISO5 and ISO6. The offerings are complemented by office, conference and recreational areas as well as a restaurant. The buildings will be constructed directly above the cantonal road, connected to the PSI area by a pedestrian underpass, intersection-free.
Of the leasable area, 70% already reserved
The building permit is expected to be granted at the end of September 2017. When the building permit is in place, the investor will also be announced. Discussions with investors are under way. Starting in October 2017, power shovels will be heading out.
As of today, about 70% of the areas are already reserved. The future tenants are companies from the fields of biotechnology, materials science, energy and accelerator technology as well as the Paul Scherrer Institute. Some of these companies are already residents at PARK INNOVAARE: deliveryLAB, a 400-square-meter large modern office building built in 2015 for the purpose of interim use. To ensure the buildings will be built according to the requirements, some of the future tenants – among them leadXpro AG, a company specializing in membrane proteins that plans to take up an entire story with about 1,000 square meters – were actively involved in the planning. The areas not yet reserved are designed to be highly flexible and adaptable to the specific needs of future tenants.
Due to the realization that market needs particularly in the high-tech sector are subject to rapid change, the flexibility of the buildings was significantly increased compared to the original plans. This design is highly flexible with respect to the room layouts but also stiff and rigid enough to protect the sensitive research equipment against shock. An especially low level of shock sensitivity is achieved in addition by the fact that the building will be constructed directly on the rock. Particular importance has been given to the sustainability of the buildings. Environmental, economic and social criteria were thus given special attention in the design.
Differentiated innovation environment
The marketing strategy paims to attract companies of different orientation and various levels of maturity, provided that they show a connection to the technologies and research interests of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI. To be able to create a differentiated innovation environment and encourage the exchange between the companies themselves as well as between the companies and the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, the aim is to host a mixture of spin-offs, start-ups, established companies from within Switzerland and abroad, and joint ventures between Swiss and international companies.