Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology

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TypeS.A. (corporation)
IndustryAstrophysics, Automation, Energy, Food, Healthcare, Information and communications technology, Life sciences, Photovoltaics, Security, Space, Transportation, Watchmaking
HeadquartersNeuchâtel, Switzerland.
Key people
Alexandre Pauchard (CEO), Claude Nicollier (Chairman)
ServicesSmall series production, R&D, IP, Consulting, Prototyping
Revenue87 million CHF[1]
Number of employees

The Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) is a Swiss research and development centre (public-private partnership) specializing in microtechnology, nanotechnology, microelectronics, system engineering, photovoltaics and communications technologies. The headquarters is in Neuchâtel. CSEM also has centers in the cities Muttenz, Zürich, Alpnach and Landquart in Switzerland


The CSEM success story was launched thanks to the visionary plans of the Swiss Confederation back in the early 1980s. At the time, the Swiss Federal Council was concerned that Swiss industry was losing ground to neighboring countries in the field of new technology. To counter this trend, the council vigorously championed the creation of a private research and development center. Neuchâtel, already famous for its long tradition of watchmaking and microtechnology, seemed the ideal location for this new innovation center.

In 1984, three Neuchâtel institutions active in the field of microtechnology — the Centre Electronique Horloger (CEH), the Fondation Suisse pour la Recherche en Microtechnique (FSRM), and the Laboratoire Suisse de Recherches Horlogères (LSRH) — merged to become the Centre Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique (CSEM). From the beginning many well-known Swiss companies supported the new R&D center, most becoming shareholders and maintaining links with CSEM as it developed further.

Since its creation, CSEM has been committed to both applied- and industry-commissioned research and development. This bridging function between the economy and science is still a core aspect of the company, and CSEM has continuously adapted its research focus to the needs of industry. Beyond its initial closeness to the watch-making industry, CSEM has expanded its fields of activity and today offers a broad range of technologies to diverse markets.

Former CSEM chief executive officers[edit]

1984 - 1990 Max Forrer († 2019)
1990 - 1997 Peter Pfluger
1997 - 2009 Thomas Hinderling († 2011)
2009 - 2021 Mario El-Khoury

Since March 2021, Alexandre Pauchard is CEO of CSEM.

Competences and activities[edit]

What makes CSEM special is its high level of expertise in integration and industrialization, and its multidisciplinary, system-oriented approach, operating through five strategic programs — microsystems, systems, ultra-low-power integrated systems, photovoltaics, and surface engineering — corresponding to domains in which the center has acquired, over the years, a national and international reputation.[2] CSEM’s technologies address the needs of a wide range of markets, from healthcare, watchmaking, aerospace, and security, to consumer electronics and cleantech (including energy production and management).

Awards & recognitions[edit]

  • 2017 Hermès Innovation Prize awarded to CSEM for its services towards improving the human condition through the introduction and development of products that contribute to the satisfaction of people and society.
  • 2016 CCIFS Innovation Trophy awarded to CSEM and ONERA for their development of pressure-sensitive paint for use within transonic wind tunnels to help improve aircraft safety and flight performance.

Accolades Awarded to CSEM Individuals

Notes and references[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°59′51″N 6°56′51″E / 46.99750°N 6.94750°E / 46.99750; 6.94750