Close cooperation between science, government, and business
Ivan Orlov (originally from Russia) received his Ph.D. from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). Thanks to the free courses on the basics of business organized at the university, Ivan understood that he could become an entrepreneur and came up with a business idea for his future company. The Federal Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI / KTI) – the part of the Department of Economics where you can get a grant to test a new idea or technology and to develop a commercially viable product – assisted Ivan in starting a hi-tech business. The canton of Vaud helped as well. SPECo, a local government structure that supports small businesses and start-ups, partially funded patent services, exhibition visits, and product development.
"Made in Switzerland" label helps in the market
That is how Ivan Orlov founded Scientific Visual, a company that develops patented equipment for optical quality control of synthetic sapphires and other industrial crystals. Special internally developed scanners allow to detect volume defects in non-polished sapphires, to reject unsuitable crystals and thus save up to 20% of the cost of their processing. The company’s products are in demand in the watch industry, as well as in the semiconductor manufacturing. The clients come from Switzerland itself, as well as from China, Japan, the USA, and Europe. The "Made in Switzerland" label gives the company an advantage on the international market and highlights the high quality of the scanners, which is very important for high-precision equipment