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Economic Development

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Economic development strengthens the dialogue between politics, administration and business and is committed to good framework conditions. It promotes young entrepreneurship and supports projects that strengthen the future viability of the location and make it visible in the national and international environment.

Economic development attaches great importance to sustainable urban development. It is committed to ensuring that the economy is given greater consideration and involvement in order to achieve the sustainability goals of the City of Zurich.

Dialogue Between Politics and Economy

We maintain regular exchange between the economic actors in Zurich and the city's politics and administration. Thanks to the direct contacts, the city is familiar with the challenges and needs of the economy and can take them into account appropriately in urban projects and processes. At the same time, it can inform the economy about planned projects of the city

Meetings

We regularly organise meetings and debates between the City Council or a delegation of the City Council with various industries on current challenges and topics.

Contact Lunches

We organise contact lunches several times a year, at which representatives of an industry can exchange ideas with the entire city council and members of the administration as part of a standing lunch.

RIA (Regulatory Impact Assessment) and SME Focal Point

On the basis of the "Ordinance on the Improvement of the Framework Conditions for SMEs" and the anchoring of the RIA (Regulatory Impact Assessment) in the municipal constitution, the city council examines its business for its compatibility for SMEs. With the SME contact point , there is a corresponding information portal for economic development.

Economic framework conditions and impulses

In cooperation with the Socio-spatial Unit in the context of urban development, the Economic Development Unit contributes the economic perspective in urban committees and strategy processes (e.g. circular economy, net zero, environmental strategy, mobility and urban spaces 2050) and represents in cooperation with the Area of  Foreign affairs the city's interests at national and international level. It thus creates good framework conditions and sets impulses for a diverse and sustainable development of Zurich as a business location.

Event Committee

The economic development unit manages the office of the event committee, which is composed of representatives of the service departments of urban development, culture, sports office and city police. The main tasks of the committee are the examination and solution finding for controversial applications as well as the consideration of an overall perspective on the event landscape in the city.

Film Commission Zurich

Born from a pilot project of the economic development with the local film industry, the association Film Commission supports filmmakers with the filming in the city of Zurich. Film commission provides information on local conditions and logistics services and provides contacts to the local film industry and the authorities.

Made in Zurich Initiative

Together with partners from the private sector, Stadtentwicklung Zürich has founded the association Made in Zürich Initiative . The Made in Zurich initiative promotes production in the city of Zurich, gives urban producers of all sizes and colours a platform and creates an official designation of origin with "Made in Zurich".

Startups and Entrepreneurship

The Economic Development Unit supports start-ups and entrepreneurship through numerous partner organisations, which were co-initiated and set up by the city. The Economic Development Agency represents the City of Zurich in the strategic management bodies of these organisations.

Bluelion Foundation

The Bluelion Foundation supports entrepreneurs in the early stages of setting up their start-up with targeted coaching and programmes. Bluelion focuses on the ICT, digital health, cleantech and fintech sectors as well as on those interested in starting a business with professional experience (non-academic environment).

Genossenschaft Startzentrum Zürich

The Genossenschaft Startzentrum Zürich is the competence centre for start-ups and start-ups in the Canton of Zurich. It offers consulting, organizes events and workshops and operates an online platform with a digital guide to starting a company.

Association «GO! Goal independent»

The association «GO! Goal independent" advises young companies and supports company start-ups and business development with microcredits up to a maximum of CHF 40,000.

Glatec

The Economic Development Unit is a member of  glatec association. It operates an incubator at Empa and Eawag in Dübendorf to facilitate and support start-ups and innovation processes in the field of materials science and environmental sciences.

Other useful offers for start-ups, companies and founders:

  • Raumbörse: The Raumbörse Dynamo rents out rooms in several buildings in the city of Zurich at favourable conditions. Some of the rooms are rented exclusively to teenagers and young adults up to the age of 28.
  • Ökokompass: On behalf of the Environmental and Health Protection of Zurich, the Ökokompass provides consulting services for small to medium-sized enterprises based in the city of Zurich.
  • Gruenden.ch: this site offers online information and tools that make it easier to get your own business.

Further services for companies:

  • Information about Corona: Companies, employers and employees can find information on open questions or support options here . The website is constantly updated.
  • Immo-Mail:  If you are looking for a commercial property, we will be happy to forward your real estate request to around 80 of the leading real estate companies in the city of Zurich. Please note that we can only offer this service from a net area of 500 square meters. Comprehensive information on the subject of real estate can be found on the page Property Search and Real Estate Market of the Canton of Zurich.

Location promotion and events

Through its membership in location marketing organizations and its activities in favor of a varied event landscape, the Economic Development Agency is committed to a successful positioning of Zurich in the international location competition of cities and metropolises and the better perception of Zurich's location at home and abroad.

Greater Zurich Area

The international marketing for the business location and the settlement of companies is carried out by the Greater Zurich Area AG (GZA). The City of Zurich is represented on the Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors of the AG and supports the settlement process with the economic development at the operational level.

Zürich Tourism

Zurich as a travel and conference destination is marketed by Zürich Tourism . Urban development represents the interests of the City of Zurich on the Board of Management of Zürich Tourism.

Supported event

Scientifica - Science and the City: The "Scientifica" is an established event of ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich. It strengthens Zurich as a research location and raises awareness among the people of Zurich about the importance of science. With changeable and expandable formats, the "Scientifica" is aimed at the interested public. With the new "Science and the City" format for the previous week, the City of Zurich became involved as an event partner for the first time in 2021 on the initiative of economic development. The previous week's programme emphasises the transfer of knowledge between science and industry and emphasises the added value for a sustainable life in the city. 

Various municipal partner institutions and service departments present current projects that are related to city life, science and business in line with the respective focus of "Scientifica". Visitors are to be introduced to the various areas of activity of the city in an experience-oriented and comprehensible way. 

Industry Clusters

Thematically, the Economic Development Unit focuses its activities on high-value-added or high-growth, innovative and promising clusters. These are currently the clusters Cleantech, Financial Services, Information and Communication Technology, Creative IndustriesLife Sciences and Tourism.

Cluster key figures, City of Zurich (2018)

 WorkplacesEmployeesFull-time equivalents
Cleantech485737 79033 172
Financial services233761 18055 151
ICT234532 61529 887
Creative industries10 20956 70742 405
Life Sciences36344483813
Tourism194127 67920 593
City of Zurich Economy45 057491 193380 169
Canton of Zurich Economy as a whole119 8081 045 222810 432

City and total economy (2018)

Tooltip: percentage share of total economy city of Zurich and absolute figures city

City and Canton (2018)

Tooltip: percentage share of cantonal cluster and absolute figures city

Comparison of the city of Zurich and the rest of the canton (2018)

Tooltip: Comparison in percentage and absolute figures

Development of clusters and overall economy City of Zurich, 2012 to 2018

Source: Statistical Office of the Canton of Zurich

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