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PRESS RELEASE

The three prize winners of the 5th Vaud International Business Awards are raising the profile of the region’s economy

Lausanne, 8th November 2018 – TESA, leader in precision measurement tools, BOBST, worldwide supplier of machines for packaging manufacturers, and SOPHiA GENETICS, world leader in data-driven medicine, were rewarded for their achievements at the VIBAs this Thursday evening at the IMD Business School in front of 300 guests. Collectively awarded by the Department of Economics, Innovation and Sport (DEIS), the Vaud Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CVCI) and Economic Development – Vaud (DEV), this award recognises three companies that are both excelling beyond our borders and also the driving powers of Vaud’s economy.

Founded in 1941 and based in Renens, TESA SA blew away the competition in its category “Foreign Business”. The company, which makes precision measurement tools, hand-held tools and measuring sensors, became part of the Swedish group Hexagon, a global supplier of information technology, in 2001. Many of its innovations were made possible thanks to collaborations with universities in the region, in particular the EPFL. Currently, TESA has around 800 employees around the world, with 300 based in Renens (13 of whom are trainees). Their main clients are in the mechanic, automotive and medical industries, giving them an annual revenue of almost CHF 100,000,000. As well as the site in Renens, the company has affiliates in Europe, Japan and the USA, and a factory in China.

Outstanding in its category “Swiss Business”, BOBST, world leader in packaging and labelling solutions, has been around for 128 years. The company has more than 5,400 employees around the world, with some 2,000 in Vaud (of whom around 200 are trainees). To stay at the height of innovation, the company is built around 4 principles: to learn, innovate, industrialise and establish. Last year in Cheseaux, the company also created the start-up Mouvent, its Centre of Expertise in digital printing. Currently, 25,500 BOBST machines are used worldwide. The company has sales and service networks in more than 50 countries and production sites across three continents. In 2017, BOBST’s revenue rose to CHF 1,528,000,000.

SOPHiA GENETICS, founded in 2011 at the EPFL, set itself apart in the category “The Panel’s Special Award”. Based in Saint-Sulpice since 2014, the company currently has 66 employees in the region and some 130 more around the world. This world leader in data-driven medicine created the AI SOPHiA and work with a network of more than 850 hospitals in 77 countries. SOPHiA technology is used by hundreds of university hospitals around the world in order to better diagnose and treat patients thanks to an ultra-precise analysis of genomic data. As well as clinical genomics, the analytical power of SOPHiA also now corresponds to the needs of radiology and clinical trials. Responding to growing demand in the American market, an operational centre was opened in Boston last September. Currently, 20 employees work in the USA, a number that should grow to 50 in the next year.

The award ceremony returned on 8th November with its panel of judges and three organisers. Presided over by Philippe Leuba, Head of DEIS, this year’s panel consisted of Aude Pugin, President of CVCI, Manuel Leuthold, President of DEV, Jean-Philippe Bonardi, Professor and Head of HEC Lausanne and Dominique Turpin, Head of External Relations at IMD in Lausanne. The previous year’s winners were also present – Thibaud Stoll, Managing Director of Biotech Production Sites for Merck, Alexandre Pesci, CEO of LEMO and André Wider, CEO of Wider SA.

One award, three categories

Since 2014, every autumn the VIBAs honour three businesses both active internationally and represented on Vaud soil. The prize winners are chosen based on a series of criteria, including the presence of a social seat in the region for at least 3 years, a contribution to the world’s image of the region and the creation of jobs locally. The category “International Business” takes into account local production of goods or services, economic diversification, local subcontracting and integration. The winner of the “Swiss Business” category is chosen according to criteria such as professional development, scientific collaborations and international expansion. The “Panel’s Special Award” honours a particularly innovative business, committed to the region and collaborating with other local businesses.
 

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