Study Shows that Immigration Promotes Innovation.
- 14 Sep 2023 4:00 am CET
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Foreigners make an above-average contribution to innovation in Switzerland, according to a study by Avenirsuisse. To benefit from foreign talent in the long term, it is recommended to optimise the immigration system for third-country nationals. Swiss economic history is a history of migration, with foreign pioneers founding world-renowned companies and laying the foundations for industries that are now part of the Swiss economy. 13 of the 20 companies in the Swiss Market Index (SMI) were originally founded or co-founded by foreigners. Foreigners are also heavily involved in innovation. In relation to their population share of 26%, foreigners account for 39% of all company founders, 50% of all start-ups and 78% of all "unicorn" founders (start-ups with a market value of at least one billion dollars). 37% of all inventors and 37% of all employees in the ten most value-adding industries in Switzerland have a foreign passport. In the pharmaceutical industry, this figure is even higher at 56%. A similar picture can be seen at universities, where 51% of professors and 74% of STEM graduates are foreigners. The study recommends simplifying the immigration system for third-country nationals with university degrees, introducing "startup visas" and linking existing quotas to demographic developments. In the long term, a new, more demand-oriented control regime for employment migration from third countries should be considered. For highly qualified people, residence permits could be issued without bureaucracy if a job offer with a certain minimum income is available.nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn