Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann has visited Silicon Valley on a five-day tour to the United States in a bid to absorb lessons for Switzerland’s high-tech sector.
The Swiss delegation visited the headquarters of technological giant Google and participated in a workshop at Stanford University.
"Our impressions here in the US will help us develop ways to continue innovating in Switzerland," said Schneider-Ammann.
On Monday, he met several leaders of the region's high-tech industry as well as California governor Jerry Brown.
The Swiss minister was impressed by certain aspects of Silicon Valley's entrepreneurial spirit, according to a spokesman.
This included the extent of cooperation between industry and universities in developing training programmes, as well as the high level of involvement of university professors in the start-up and venture capital scene.
“You are an inspiration for the Swiss Innovation Park, to be opened next year," he said in reference to plans to create a high-tech hub near Zurich. Around 70,000 m2 under the control of the Dübendorf aerodrome will be allocated for the Innovation Campus project that will focus on developing new technologies.
Switzerland is already reaping the benefits of the Silicon Valley high-tech start-up scene: around 130 Swiss firms are located in the Bay Area and Swiss companies spend the most on research and development among foreign enterprises in the US.
Later this week, Schneider-Ammann will be in Washington to sign two agreements with his US counterparts - one a declaration of cooperation on skills training and apprenticeships, the other an accord on the mutual recognition of each country's rules on organic production.
swissinfo.ch and agencies