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EPFL, a model of innovation and academic collaboration

Why Switzerland

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne continues to distinguish itself worldwide for its unique approach to combining academia and entrepreneurship. Prized by international students and entrepreneurs, EPFL attracts thousands of students and researchers every year thanks to its innovation programs and state-of-the-art infrastructure. | © EPFL

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne continues to distinguish itself worldwide for its unique approach to combining academia and entrepreneurship.

Founded in 1969, the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is one of the world’s most prestigious engineering, technology and science institutions. Located in Lausanne, in the canton of Vaud, EPFL stands out for its unique approach to combining cutting-edge academic research, technological innovation and entrepreneurship. Thanks to its world-class educational programs and infrastructure, EPFL attracts thousands of students, researchers and entrepreneurs from around the world each year, playing a key role in developing innovative solutions to global challenges.

EPFL offers a wide range of programs at all levels, from Bachelor to Master to Postdoc. These initiatives are supported by the Startup Launchpad Program, which responds to the crucial need for a rapid connection between entities to go faster and further. The Startup Launchpad Program enhances the knowledge of entrepreneurs and guides them to the most appropriate support pathways.

Each year, the Investor Day, a flagship event organized by EPFL, brings together investors and start-up founders. The aim is to give them visibility and facilitate meetings with network mentors. In 2023, thanks to its network of alumni, investors and companies, and with the support of the EPFL Innovation Park, start-ups born at EPFL raised CHF 470 million.

An incubator of talent and innovative technologies

Founded thirty years ago, the EPFL Innovation Park is currently home to three main areas: healthcare, cybersecurity and software development. The incubator has recently expanded its incubation program with Tech4regeneration, a project aimed at testing and commercializing innovative ideas. This program offers start-up founders the opportunity to benefit from external experts and mentors, to learn how to navigate the business world, and to test their ideas with the university’s scientists.

Thanks to its academic excellence and its interaction with the business world, EPFL attracts students and researchers from all over the world. The institution also partners with giants such as Google, which has signed research and academic exchange agreements worth EUR 3 million. These partnerships create internship and research opportunities for students and innovative solutions for companies.

Research and innovation centers in Western Switzerland cantons

EPFL’s affiliated campuses in Geneva, Neuchâtel and Fribourg reinforce this dynamic of innovation and collaboration. The Geneva campus, part of Campus Biotech, specializes in neuroscience, neuroengineering, neurotechnology, artificial intelligence and global health. The Neuchâtel campus, at the heart of the Microcity innovation cluster, houses part of the Institut d’Électricité et de Microtechnique (IEM), with research in healthcare, microsystems, photovoltaics and watchmaking. The Fribourg campus is home to the Smart Living Lab, a center dedicated to the future of the built environment that brings together the expertise of EPFL, the Fribourg School of Engineering and Architecture, and the University of Fribourg.

With its 16 laboratories working in the fields of energy, the environment and health, managed by researchers and doctoral students of 40 different nationalities, the EPFL Valais campus, which is an integral part of the Energypolis campus, plays a key role in promoting research and innovation in the heart of the Alps. Dedicated primarily to scientific research and innovation, the campus brings together researchers from four faculties. EPFL and the government have also signed a memorandum of understanding to create a national research, innovation and training cluster focused on the transition to green energy.

International appeal and commitment to sustainability

EPFL also stands out for its commitment to promoting sustainability by systematically integrating environmental, social and health, ethical and economic dimensions into its research projects. The institution seeks to develop innovative solutions for a more balanced and resilient future, responding to the challenges facing society today.

In 2023, EPFL has also stepped up its efforts to attract international talent. Thanks to its collaboration with renowned companies and its cutting-edge research, EPFL has become a popular destination for students and researchers from all over the world. These efforts are reflected in an increase in the number of foreign students and in strengthened collaborations with international academic institutions and companies.

The school has established scholarship and internship programs with partners such as Google, offering students unique research and learning opportunities. These initiatives help strengthen EPFL’s position as a world leader in technological innovation and entrepreneurship.

A commitment to continuous innovation and technology development

The development of new technologies and innovation are at the heart of EPFL’s activities. The institution strives to meet the needs of industry and society by creating innovative solutions in areas such as health, cybersecurity, energy and the environment. Thanks to its advanced research programs and partnerships with leading companies, EPFL is able to develop cutting-edge technologies that have a significant impact on society.

Year after year, EPFL maintains its position as a major player in innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe. Its advanced research programs, partnerships with leading companies and commitment to sustainability enable the development of innovative solutions to today’s global challenges. Thanks to its unique environment and cutting-edge resources, EPFL is well positioned to continue attracting international talent and fostering technological innovation and entrepreneurship in the years to come.