From Neuchatal web site:
Until 1967, the canton Observatory watched the stars to give the exact time according to the earth rotation. It checked the precision of stem-winding watches before the advent of quartz. Today, it creates atomic time standards, based on the rotation of electrons in the atoms of hydrogen, rubidium, caesium.
The European Space Agency promoted the Observatory to excellence centre. Its atomic watches are sent into space to serve as a measure reference. They are also used to regulate the traffic of data in communication networks such as the Internet. Moreover, the Observatory develops radars to study the holes of the ozone layer.
Two enterprises have already been created to industrialise the fruit of the Observatory research.