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BioArk: a model for the industrialization of Monthey?

For the past few months, the daily newspaper Le Nouvelliste has been exploring the main cities of the Valais. In the last few days, it was in Monthey. The major development issues of the city of Chablais Valais were discussed. Among them, the industrialization of the city, especially after the cessation of activities of some local industrial flagships. In this context, the BioArk technology site was cited as an example, since it houses a multitude of diverse activities, which revolve in particular (but not only) around life sciences. It is even an example to follow for certain local elected officials.   

Since the 19th century, industry has been an integral part of Monthey's identity, as Le Nouvelliste points out. Certain economic activities have transformed the former large, mainly agricultural town of Monthey into the town we know today. With the industry, Monthey has almost quintupled the number of its inhabitants in the space of a century. 

"We are proud of this heritage and it is important to preserve it," says Stéphane Coppey, president of the city. "In Monthey, out of 11,700 jobs, more than 2,000 come from the chemical site. We are fortunate to still have small-scale and industrial zones. It's up to us to attract new companies."
 

No monoeconomy, thanks in particular to BioArk 
To attract them, the city is counting on the Gessimo site (former location of the Giovanola halls), but also on the BioArk in Monthey, the third building of which will be put into service very soon.  

Pooling forces to attract a variety of SMEs that will allow academics to stay or come here to Monthey. This is the wish of the PLR elected representative Mathieu Couturier. "In the event of a merger, we could improve our attractiveness to attract new companies with high added value," he hopes. The BioArk technology site dedicated to life sciences is a perfect example for the green Carole Morisod. "We should not be attached to a mono economy or mono industry. We don't need to open new areas either, we have enough industrial wasteland to accommodate a new network of skills," she emphasizes, still in Le Nouvelliste.  

As a reminder, the BioArk in Monthey, with its three buildings, is currently home to 26 companies specializing in the life sciences. This number will increase drastically in the coming months thanks to the availability of the third building, specially designed to house laboratories and other high value-added activities. BioArk Monthey, like its counterpart in Visp, will help to boost the economy of an entire town, as well as the canton of Valais.  


Source: Le Nouvelliste, article of March 30, 2022, written by Isabelle Gay 
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