Origins—from keeping time to setting the pace
Switzerland—the early 1980s. There is a real concern that the country is losing ground to its neighbors when it comes to new technologies. But the federal council has a visionary plan. It creates a private research and development center, and in 1984 the CSEM success story begins.

Neuchâtel—famous for its long tradition of watchmaking and microtechnologyproves the ideal location for this groundbreaking innovation hub. Three of the canton’s microtechnology institutions (the Centre Electronique Horloger (CEH), the Fondation Suisse pour la Recherche en Microtechnique (FSRM), and the Laboratoire Suisse de Recherches Horlogères (LSRH)) merge. The Centre Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique (CSEM) is born.

From day one, a number of well-known Swiss companies support the new center. Many become shareholders and maintain links with CSEM as it develops.

CSEM is committed to both applied and industry-commissioned R&D. A bridge and catalyst for the transfer of technology and know-how between science and the economy, we continually adapt our research focus to meet industry’s needs. And this constant re-adaptation has taken the center beyond its historic ties with watchmaking. Since Beta 1—the world’s first electronic watch (developed by CEH)—first paved the way for the use of microtechnology in domains other than horology, we have moved microtechnology into many new fields. Today, CSEM supplies a broad range of markets—including automotive, medical, machine tools, and space exploration—with an even broader range of technological solutions.

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