Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2003 (Revised March 2006)

Centre Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique (CSEM)

by Michael E. Porter, Willis M. Emmons III and Christian Fenner

Abstract

Le Centre Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique S.A. (CSEM)--the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology--was a major nonprofit research institution located in Neuchatel, Switzerland, with roots in the Swiss watch industry. CSEM maintained close links to several Swiss universities, and over time, the center's activities expanded to include basic and applied research, contract production, and technology consulting. By the late 1990s, CSEM began spinning off promising commercial ventures and incorporating them as for-profit companies. In 2001, CEO Thomas Hinderling wondered whether any adjustments in CSEM's strategy were necessary or desirable going forward.

Keywords: Cooperation; Technology; Alliances; Research and Development; Performance Productivity; Innovation and Invention; Nonprofit Organizations; Electronics Industry; Switzerland;

Citation:

Porter, Michael E., Willis M. Emmons III, and Christian Fenner. "Centre Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique (CSEM)." Harvard Business School Case 703-438, February 2003. (Revised March 2006.)