New leaders for support organisations

New CEOs take over at Technopark Winterthur and Park Innovaare. And Raphaël Conz has been appointed Head of the Department for the Promotion of the Economy and Innovation of the canton of Vaud.

Stève Mérillat will take over the helm at Technopark Winterthur from Thomas Schumann, who is retiring after seven successful years, on 1 June 2023. Mérillat brings a wealth of knowledge and experience gained during his technical studies at the ETH, twelve years in the aerospace industry and ten years as managing director of the industry network Composites United Switzerland. In his current position, he also headed the Innovation Booster Plastics for Zero Emission funded by Innosuisse.

More than 60 companies with around 400 jobs are now residents of the attractive premises in the up-and-coming Lokstadt quarter in Winterthur. Technopark Winterthur AG is owned by the City of Winterthur, the Canton of Zurich and the Winterthur business community. The business is self-financed and investments are borne by the company itself.

Robert Rudolph new CEO at Innovaare

The Board of Directors of Innovaare has elected Robert Rudolph as the new CEO, who will take office at the beginning of April 2023. Retiring CEO Benno Rechsteiner is leaving Park Innovaare at his own request to take on a new challenge. Rechsteiner has been leading innovAARE AG since June 2018 and has contributed significantly to achieving important milestones for the innovation park: In summer 2019, an investor for the new construction of Park Innovaare was found. Under Rechsteiner's leadership, the development and expansion of the innovation campus followed, where numerous promising companies have already settled.

With Robert Rudolph, the management of Park Innovaare has a new and well-known face. Rudolph was already employed in the past as Head of Technology Transfer at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and was most recently responsible for the topics of digitalization, innovation, research, and start-ups as a member of the Executive Board of the industry association Swissmem. In this role, he became a profound expert on the Swiss innovation landscape as well as the needs of industry with regard to research and development.

Raphaël Conz appointed Head of Department for Economic Promotion and Innovation in the canton of Vaud

The State Council of the Canton of Vaud has appointed Raphaël Conz Head of the Department for the Promotion of the Economy and Innovation. He will fill his new position on 1 April 2023. After studying business administration at the University of Neuchâtel, Mr. Conz began his career at the Federal Office for Agriculture as a marketing specialist. He then joined an industrial SME, FELCO SA, where he held various positions in the field of marketing and sales, including participating in the launch of the subsidiary in Australia.

Raphaël Conz, 47 years old, joined the Vaud Economic Development Agency in 2002. Conz’s experience, at the interface of the public and private sectors, provides him with an in-depth knowledge of the functioning of the State, the economic fabric of Vaud and the large network of partners involved in economic promotion.

(Press release / SK)
Picture on top L-R: Stève Mérillat, Robert Rudolph, Raphaël Conz