India-Switzerland Startup Bridge: A new dimension in bilateral ties
2023 marks the 75th anniversary of the signing of the India-Switzerland Friendship Treaty, underscoring the depth of the relationship between the two countries, which extends beyond economic ties. The two countries have consistently collaborated to strengthen their bilateral relations. On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum at Davos, India and Switzerland recently announced setting up a Startup Bridge to foster collaboration and exchange between startups in both countries, with a shared aim of boosting innovation. This is India’s sixteenth Startup bridge globally, and seventh with a European nation.
Innovation, particularly, startup-led innovation is steadily driving economies today. India has shown remarkable progress over the last five years in ushering in innovation across the country. As the third largest startup ecosystem in the world, India has been adding eighty start-ups per day, which reflects the pace at which the Indian economy is growing. India has marked a milestone by leapfrogging from the 76th position in the 2014 Global Innovation Index to the 40th position in 2022. India has done particularly well in information and communication technologies (ICT) services exports, venture capital recipients’ value and finance for start-ups. Government recognised start-ups are solving problems across 56 diverse industrial sectors and counting.
Switzerland leads globally in innovation outputs, specifically in patents by origin, software spending and high-tech manufacturing. It has taken the top position continuously for the past 12 years in the Global Innovation Index, which reflects positively on its progressive global outlook and domestic economic strength. Cities such as Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne, and Zug are home to some of the most innovative and cross-sectoral start-ups while Basel’s Switzerland Innovation Park houses more than 700 companies from the pharmaceutical sector and comprises a good mix of start-ups and established multinational companies. These cities have become a symbol of growth and innovation on the world map.
With a shared focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, these two nations have forged a partnership to create the India Switzerland Startup Bridge. By providing a platform for startups to connect, collaborate, and learn from each other, this program is helping to drive innovation and create new opportunities for entrepreneurs in India and Switzerland. Aimed at fostering meaningful avenues for collaboration, this could serve as a platform for innovative start-ups to address pressing global concerns. Switzerland's expertise in translating innovative ideas to reality could benefit India, while India's strength in deploying resources efficiently to develop solutions could be leveraged by Switzerland. A partnership in fostering an environment conducive to innovation between the two countries will not just prove mutually beneficial but also relevant for the rapidly evolving world.