Daniel Borel

"If the canton of Vaud weren't so attractive, we wouldn't be here! This region has the potential to be the next Silicon Valley."

Can you explain how Logitech, the current global leader in computer peripherals and notably mice, came to be born in the canton of Vaud in 1981?

"After graduating from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL), I went to the University of Stanford in California to take a master's in computer science. When I returned, I contacted Professor Jean-Daniel Nicoud from the EPFL, who was working on the development of a graphical computer. His research into the mouse and his prototype were the springboard for our developments. When the use of graphical interfaces and mice become common back in the 1980s, Hewlett Packard approached us as we had a leading-edge technology and design. In one way, then, the EPFL contributed to the birth of Logitech. It remains important for us today, just like the universities of applied sciences, as a pool of high quality engineering talent. These are the people you hire to make the difference."

Logitech is a global enterprise, with major centres in the United States and Asia. What activities does Logitech retain in the canton of Vaud?

"We have a strong research and development centre here, as well as sales and marketing, human resources and finance functions that serve the Europe region, plus the holding company for the group. As an international company, we set up offices wherever the resources are best adapted to our needs. If the canton of Vaud so weren't attractive, we wouldn't be here!"

What do you think are the main assets of the canton of Vaud?

"As far as we're concerned, it's the quality of the workforce that we can recruit here above all, and the region's quality of life. This is important for attracting and retaining talented people. The infrastructure is high quality and the authorities have a genuine desire to support enterprise. Little by little, a critical mass of high-tech companies is coming together, and I hope that, one day, the Lake Geneva region will become the next Silicon Valley."

Personally speaking, what is your link with the region?

"I've been living for a long time in the United States and Britain, but I remain closely linked with this region. I believe in the potential of the Lake Geneva area, and in a personal capacity I actively support a number of innovative projects. Logitech is also active in this field, investing venture capital in the region by means of an incubator at the EPFL."