Swiss-Based Companies Power Innovation in R&D in the US

September 24, 2019

Switzerland-based companies operating in the United States contribute greatly to the U.S. economy. According to the latest available data, Swiss companies employed over 460,000 Americans, ranking as the sixth largest international employer in the United States. In 2018, Switzerland ranked as the seventh largest foreign direct investment (FDI) investor in the United States.

However, the most notable area is the way in which Swiss FDIUS drives American innovation. Swiss-based companies lead U.S. research and development (R&D) investment. At $10.5 billion, Switzerland represents more than one-sixth of all U.S. R&D investment from international companies. Over 20,000 U.S. R&D related jobs are supported by Swiss companies, ranking them as the fourth highest in R&D related jobs supported by international companies in the United States.

Top Countries by R&D Spending and Employment
BEA, 2018 Data

Leading Companies in Innovation


 Innovation is one of the key pillars in Zurich’s global strategy, and our approach is very holistic and customer-centric

Sumeet Bhatia, Head of Innovation at Zurich North America

Zurich created an innovation lab to develop and showcase the company’s innovation efforts, including its most current innovation solution called water leakage detection, which helps mitigate non-CAT water damage claims. Zurich also developed an innovative wearable tech device designed to keep American workers safe and cut productivity losses and workers’ compensation claims.


ABB is opening a new healthcare hub in October at the Texas Medical Center (TMC) innovation campus in Houston, Texas. TMC is the largest medical city in the world, employing over 100,000 workers and is at the forefront of developing innovative solutions targeting complex health care issues. ABB is also focusing on innovative robotics solutions in medical laboratories. Automation will allow medical professionals to focus on more highly skilled work, which will speed up the testing process for new treatments. ABB estimates that by using automation in medical testing, 50 percent more tests could be administered every year. Learn more about ABB's innovation campus opening in October 2019.

EMD Serono

EMD Serono employs over 1,300 American workers and empowers its employees to develop innovative technology to treat patients with chronic diseases. It invests over 20 percent of its global revenue to research and development efforts in oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology. In the United States, EMD Serono launched a grant program to support American biotech companies in their R&D endeavors. The 2019-2020 USA innovation grant recipients include one New York-based and two California-based companies working on innovative solutions in medicine.


Novartis is a leader in medicine and drives scientific solutions aimed at improving the health of patients. Its affiliate, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, is headquartered in East Hanover, New Jersey. Novartis’ latest project is aimed at increasing the longevity of organs and lifespan of the organ recipients. Scientists at Novartis are in the trial stages of developing an innovative solution to prolong organ health and identified 60 percent of the patients they treated had healthy organs one year after the transplant.