EDITORIAL | 02.09.2021

Olivier Curty, State Councillor, Minister of Economic Affairs.

With feet firmly on the ground and eyes fixed squarely on the future, the canton of Fribourg has skillfully reaped the benefits of its rural past and agrifood tradition.

Today, it is home to a host of companies whose quality products are enjoyed around Switzerland and across the world. The Food & Nutrition Cluster, a collaborative network with over 100 members, is also based in Fribourg, as is ‘Swiss Food Ecosystems’, an NTN Innovation Booster specializing in the fields of nutrition, the circular economy and sustainable packaging.

Switzerland’s federal government certainly made the right choice when it decided to establish the new headquarters of Agroscope, the national center of excellence for agricultural research, in Fribourg. More recently, the canton has become a member of the Swiss Food & Nutrition Valley, which will undoubtedly boost its international visibility even further.

This exceptional dynamism did not simply appear out of thin air. Rather, it reflects the determination of the cantonal government to support the bioeconomy, which includes mainstays of the local economy like the construction and energy efficiency sectors right the way through to key strategic niche sectors like human nutrition, biobased products and biotechnologies. Another strand of this development strategy for the high-potential agrifood sector are the major investments currently flowing into the AgriCo campus in St-Aubin.

The canton offers all these different sectors an environment where healthy competition and innovation can flourish, and leading-edge companies, centers of excellence and specialist institutes play a central role.

At a time when the challenges of climate change are forcing us to reinvent ourselves, Fribourg is leading the way in Switzerland by championing a bioeconomy that offers huge potential and embraces technology. For further proof, you need look no further than the present issue of Fribourg Network Freiburg, which takes a deep dive into the canton’s bioeconomy and its major players.

Enjoy !