ewz substation turned into an innovation centre

The ewz Selnau substation in the heart of Zurich has been transformed into an innovation centre. Kraftwerk has room for startups and creative types in 22 well-equipped shipping containers, and will even run promotion programmes.

Image Credit: Philippe Rossier/Kraftwerk

The new Kraftwerk innovation centre is supported by a partnership between Impact Hub ZurichdigitalswitzerlandEngagement Migros and the electric utility of the city of Zurich (ewz). It will soon be home to large companies, startups, self-employed people and creative types working on sustainable solutions to future challenges. 22 shipping containers from around the world were installed in the former ewz substation, offering space for a café, seminar rooms and a hall for events.

The four partners are involved in the project in different ways. While ewz provided its substation for the centre, digitalswitzerland is supporting the project with the commitment of its members and its initiatives for a digital Switzerland. The promotion fund Engagement Migros is putting up the financial initial support for Kraftwerk, while Impact Hub Zurich is providing the necessary network and expert knowledge as the project’s operator.

“Kraftwerk brings central players in business promotion closer together, allowing us to help ensure that promising business ideas in Switzerland can also be implemented,” said Migros CEO Herbert Bolliger.

The innovation centre will rent out offices and seminar rooms, but it will also offer various innovation services such as coaching and startup promotion programmes, beginning with the Kickstart Accelerator.

“With its opportunities and risks, digitalisation is challenging us – as a business location and as a society. We must set the course today if we are to be successful in the future. With Kraftwerk, Zurich is getting an additional, open place to innovate, cooperate and exchange – for the city’s residents, too,” said Corine Mauch, Zurich’s mayor.

Kraftwerk will be officially inaugurated on 6 October with a large city festival.