In January 2015, the Swiss National Bank created a surprise by announcing the immediate abandonment of its euro floor rate against the Swiss franc. As a result, the national currency appreciated by 20% against the euro. While the strength of the franc weakened somewhat in the months that followed, this sudden rise in prices was not without consequences for Swiss companies, particularly those that are export-oriented. This handicap was particularly acute in the machinery industry, as Hans Hess, President of Swissmem, the industry's umbrella organization, explained at the time: "In 2016, the MEM industries were able to recover somewhat after a difficult year. Since the Swiss franc is still clearly overvalued against the euro, many companies have had to "buy back" some orders with a discount on prices. This continued to put enormous pressure on margins. In 2016, almost a third of MEM companies recorded losses as a result".
During this period, companies in the technology sector have not escaped this problem of the franc. At the canton level, this resulted in a 0.7% drop in growth in 2015, while the rest of industry was already recording a 1% drop in employment. After the crisis, in 2018, job creation in the innovation sector picked up again on the shores of Lake Geneva with an increase of 4.5%, compared to 1.4% for the other industrial sectors (respectively 3.1% and 0.3% at the Swiss level).
In the canton of Vaud, it is mainly the activities related to information technology and scientific research that have suffered the most, as has the machinery sector. As Aude Pugin, CEO of APCO Technologies and President of the Vaud Chamber of Commerce and Industry, points out, "the impact of the strong franc after January 2015 was very strong. But the Vaud economy has shown resilience and a great capacity for adaptation. Innovation has been one of the most appropriate responses to these new challenges".