Switzerland's ICT Cluster in Zurich and Its WinLink Cluster Initiative

Topics: Zürich, Switzerland, Canton of Zürich Pages: 30 (7759 words) Published: July 29, 2010
Switzerland’s ICT Cluster Zurich and its WinLink Cluster Initiative by

Manuel Kaar Christoph Sax Daniela Strebel

31 January 2010

Elective Local Clusters and International Corporations Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Matthias Kiese

MOC Paper WinLink

Management Summary
The information and communication technology (ICT) industry and the number of employees in this sector grew rapidly in the last 20 years. Especially in the region of greater Zurich, as almost one third of Switzerland’s ICT companies are located there. Zurich offers extremely favorable conditions. Two of Switzerland’s most important universities are located there. The city and its region are very attractive because of the high quality of living. Furthermore, the infrastructure and especially the information technology (IT) infrastructure are well developed. Therefore, several global companies set up research centers. The Zurich area encompasses diverse supporting institutions for this industry. The banking sector, the Swiss government, and international Swiss companies create sophisticated domestic demand. Most of the results of the research point out that the geographical concentration of ICT firms and research centers can be seen as a local ICT cluster. Although it is not a fully developed cluster, it can be classified as being in the growth phase. The cluster itself has a huge potential because of the likely synergies and the current lack of mutually beneficial relationships between these companies and institutions to gain competitive advantage. The Cluster Initiative (CI) WinLink supports the cluster in a moderate way because it is still a young and not fully developed initiative. The initiative needs to strengthen itself through a focus on the most promising sectors, as well as finding more members in order to have a strong financial base. Furthermore, it is extremely dependent on one manager and it should start to deepen current relationships to existing clusters and to implement international benchmarking.

M. Kaar, C. Sax & D. Strebel

31 January 2010


MOC Paper WinLink

Table of Contents
1 Assessing the Industry Basics
1.1 1.2 History Facts and Figures

3 3


Assessing the Business Environment
2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Factor Conditions Context for Firm Strategy and Rivalry Supporting and Related Industries Demand Conditions

6 7 8 9


Identifying the Cluster
3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Identifying the Existence of the Cluster Life Cycle of the Cluster Key Events in the Evolution of the Cluster The Role of Educational Institutions in the Cluster The Role of Government Agencies in the Cluster Cluster Map

11 13 15 17 17 18


Identifying the Cluster Initiative WinLink
4.1 4.2 The Social, Political and Economic Settings Setting Objectives and Monitoring Performance

20 20 20 21 21 21 22 22 22 23

4.2.1 Research and Network 4.2.2 Commercial Cooperation 4.2.3 Education and Training 4.2.4 Innovation and Technology 4.2.5 Cluster Expansion 4.2.6 Benchmarking 4.3 4.4 Organizing the CI Process over Time Integrating the CI in a Microeconomic Policy Agenda

5 6

SWOT-Analysis WinLink Conclusion
6.1 6.2 Recommendations WinLink Further Research

24 25
25 27



M. Kaar, C. Sax & D. Strebel

31 January 2010


MOC Paper WinLink

1 Assessing the Industry Basics
1.1 History
Following a few points from the history of information and communication technology (ICT) in Switzerland according to ICTswitzerland (2007a): Date 1950 Event For the first time there is a computer installed at a university on the European continent. It is the Z4 from Konrad Zuse at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich. Niklaus Wirth, professor at the ETH Zurich, develops the programming language „Pascal“ which is used worldwide for training purposes. With the trading system SOFFEX (today SWX) Swiss banks were the first to use a fully computerized stock exchange for options. At the European...
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