Strict distance and hygiene rules still apply in Switzerland, where CSL Behring has a major presence in Bern. But little by little, something we may call a new normal is returning following a period of lockdown that limited all but the essential laboratory operations at the CSL Behring Research Center (CBRC) in sitem-insel, the Swiss Institute for Translational and Entrepreneurial Medicine in Bern. The non-profit public-private innovation hub opened last summer.
In June, Switzerland’s lower rates of COVID-19 transmission and improved tracing enabled residents to begin a return to public life, with plenty of precautions. The scientists who work at sitem-insel, a modern laboratory space built for collaboration, are getting back to their on-site work.
"During the lockdown, perhaps a dozen or so of our 60 employees were on site each day to maintain essential operations, in particular they diligently kept our lab work going," says Adrian Zuercher, CSL Behring's Head of Research in Europe. Now, about half the workforce at the most may be physically present at any one time. He said he was pleased to return, even in a limited capacity.
"I was as happy as a little child when the officially imposed relaxation allowed me to see my employees in person again," he said. “I really missed this social, informal, spontaneous interaction on-site, this ‘collective brain.’"
Distance and hygiene rules continue to apply throughout Switzerland and the team at sitem-insel is adhering to them by observing social distancing and by restricting access to areas where social distancing isn’t possible.
Get a glimpse inside this recently launched innovation hub through these photos taken in January 2020.