September 15, 2022

A firm commitment to promoting innovation: Canton of Basel-Landschaft and CSEM renew partnership

For over a decade, the canton of Basel-Landschaft and the innovation center, CSEM, have worked in close collaboration. Now, the two parties have reaffirmed their partnership, with the canton extending its commitment to CSEM for a further four years. From October onwards, CSEM will bring together its expertise in AI for life sciences and biosystems engineering to the Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area in Allschwil, where it will expand its work in these important fields.

Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area in Allschwill
©Herzog & de Meuron

Life science specialists have long been shaping the outcome of important areas of medical science, like the ongoing treatment of illnesses such as cancer. Now, artificial intelligence (AI) is opening up completely new opportunities to the medical community. “Machine learning is already helping researchers draw essential conclusions from big data, making the hugely complex connections in the body much easier to understand," notes Dr. Moritz Kirschmann, Expert for Deep Learning and Robotics at CSEM. Take the following scenario, using machine learning it is now possible to analyze individual cells instead of a non-specific collection, as was previously the case. Leaps forward like this, “provide the research community with new ways to extract valuable information, undertake highly precise analyses, and determine prognoses – all of which wouldn’t be possible without AI.” According to Kirschmann, using technology in this way means in the future it will become easier, for example, to more accurately test the effect and tolerance of patients to new cancer treatments.

From October onwards, Kirschmann and his team will set out to determine if it is possible to advance AI and life science technologies to create these kinds of positive these outcomes, among other ideas, at the CSEM life sciences facility in the Allschwil Innovation Park. The move is part of the renewed four-year cooperation agreement between the canton of Basel-Landschaft and CSEM. Philippe Steiert, Director of CSEM’s Regional Centers, who played a key role in drafting the agreement believes that "the canton's decision to sign this agreement shows their firm commitment to promoting innovation in the region."

Expertise that provides real benefits

Steiert goes on to explain that conducting applied research will not be the sole aim of the site in Allschwil, "ultimately, CSEM’s mission is to transfer technologies and knowledge." With this in mind, CSEM would like to make it possible for regional companies to gain access the new technologies and approaches it will develop. "Although CSEM’s main focus in Allschwil will be to seize the opportunities offered by AI for the life sciences sector, companies from other specialist disciplines will also be able to access our expertise." Steiert explains that this will make the new site a gateway to all of CSEM's specialist subjects. At the same time, the research center intends to act as a hub, bringing together innovative start-ups, small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), and industry leaders. Dr. Moritz Kirschmann also looks forward to closer collaboration with small and large local players: "The new geographical proximity allows us to easily and continuously exchange technologies and knowledge, making it simpler for us to work together on the solutions of tomorrow."