FNF 2023 | 06.09.2023

Olivier Curty

The construction industry is one of the largest employers in Fribourg and accounts for an important share of the canton’s GDP and employment. The sector derives a great deal of its strength from Fribourg’s dense network of national and international firms, high-caliber SMEs, cluster, competence centers and research organizations. Whatever the area of specialization – wood, metalworking, concrete, civil engineering or energy efficiency – Fribourg companies enjoy a stellar reputation throughout Switzerland and beyond thanks to the depth of their knowledge and expertise.

The economic development strategy pursued by the cantonal government prioritizes sustainability and promotes socially and environmentally responsible business conduct. The canton has designed and deploys a range of sector-specific measures to realize these objectives. For the construction sector, these include the strengthening of the Building Innovation Cluster (BIC), which brings together industry players and the integration of sustainable urban planning principles to all public projects.

Another strategic priority is nurturing ongoing exchanges between academia and industry in order to pave the way for the emergence of effective, innovative solutions which boost the competitiveness of firms and equip them to respond head on to the most pressing challenges of our time, such as climate change and energy security.

In the bluefactory innovation district, for example, the Smart Living Lab is a research and development center that draws on the combined expertise of EPFL, University of Fribourg and the School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg to imagine and create solutions for the built environment of the future. In 2026, they will move into a new purpose-built, experimental and multidisciplinary facility that will become a catalyst for progress. In the meantime, the new building B currently under construction on the site will be inaugurated, with the ability to accommodate companies in its magnificent Fribourg wood structure.

As you will see from the articles in this edition of Fribourg Network Freiburg, we can count on a high-performance construction ecosystem that has an unparalleled capacity to innovate and move with the times.