Basel, Switzerland – On Thursday, 8 September 2022, the uptownBasel competence centre in Arlesheim (BL) was ceremonially opened together with the cantonal government and 150 guests from business, academia, and politics. The tenants include the European technology groups Bouygues E&S and Vinci Energies with the brands Axians and Actemium, and will soon include the Straumann Group. Within an estimated ten years, uptownBasel will become an incubator for innovation and technology transfer as well as a showcase project with respect to sustainability – with nine buildings for 50 international companies and around 2,500 workplaces on an area of over 70,000 square metres.
«At a time when Swiss industry and international supply chains remain under great pressure, the uptownBasel site will strengthen value creation in the Basel region. This means a lot to me,» emphasised Thomas Staehelin, investor and Chairman of the Board of uptownBasel. The uptownBasel vision is being backed by the private ownership of the Monique and Thomas Staehelin family with an investment of over 500 million Swiss francs.
Opening ceremony together with the cantonal government
The opening ceremony represents an important milestone for uptownBasel. Isaac Reber, Government Councillor of Basel-Landschaft, and Ursula Laager, Municipal Councillor of Arlesheim, delivered greetings from the canton and the municipality. Baschi Dürr, Director and CEO of uptownBasel, hosted the event and, in a discussion with the tenants, provided insights into their co-creation and into how groundbreaking ideas can be given wings. «The sails have been set. We have successfully gained momentum with uptownBasel and are now turning the vision into reality, step by step,» said architect and site developer Hans-Jörg Fankhauser, summing things up.
«The Pioneer» is turning the vision of uptownBasel into reality
The first building, named «The Pioneer», with around 40,000 m2 of floor space, has an impressively sustainable modular utilisation concept and has been almost entirely rented out. The roof terrace provides an attractive meeting place for the staff and offers space for many native plant species. The building thus represents the first successful realisation of the ambitious goals uptownBasel has set for itself in terms of sustainability and collaboration.
Internationally networked, with strong roots in the region
Historically, the uptownBasel site has been firmly anchored in the region, and is committed to carefully realising the project in close consultation with all stakeholders. The fact that the «Untere Weiden II» district plan, which forms the basis for the construction of uptownBasel, was clearly approved by the Arlesheim municipal assembly in March 2022 with 144 votes in favour to 20 against, is an obvious confirmation of this commitment. With its proximity to the city of Basel and to Germany and France, the location is ideally suited for an international network.
Security Operations Center against cybercrime
The opening ceremony also offered an exclusive look into the Axians and Actemium Security Operations Center (SOC): the SOC is a unique centre in Europe for the defence against cyber attacks on IT and OT infrastructures. The uptownBasel SOC monitors all networked sensors, machines, systems and devices and coordinates the international cooperation of the regional SOCs in Germany, the Czech Republic and other European countries.
The next construction stage: the energy centres
The next buildings in the construction process are the two energy centres for electricity and heat; the latter being Primeo Energie’s centrepiece, which will use waste heat from the site along with biomass to provide heat. 25 existing heating plants and networks in the Birs Valley are being merged in the «Wärmeverbund Birsstadt». The heat network will be converted to renewable energies, thus becoming independent of natural gas.
uptownBasel is an international competence centre for Industry 4.0 – networked with the world, anchored in Europe, and rooted in Basel. On the historic Schorenareal site in Arlesheim near Basel, an approximately 70,000 square metre research and production site is being built, where selected companies and their technologies will thrive.
The focus is on healthcare, logistics and industrial production as well as the cross-sectional function of digitalization. As a platform for networked companies, uptownBasel drives the knowledge transfer across industries and disciplines and promotes the realization of latent ideas – in the areas of robotics, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, mobility of the future, or agile working.
With the opening of Building 1 and its use by the two European technology groups Bouygues and Vinci (Axians and Actemium) has created the first 400 new jobs since 2021. In total, the housing of 50 to 100 companies with up to 2500 jobs is planned. The investment volume amounts to over 500 million Swiss francs. uptownBasel is made possible by the private ownership of the family Monique and Thomas Staehelin and implemented by Fankhauser Arealentwicklungen.