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M2C, a unique platform for advanced manufacturing technologies in Neuchâtel

Why Switzerland

In Neuchâtel, the Micromanufacturing Science & Engineering Center offers a unique ecosystem for advanced and additive manufacturing technologies to boost innovation and add value to the industry.

The Micromanufacturing Science & Engineering Center (M2C), a partnership between the EPFL’s Institute of Electricity and Microtechnology (IEM) and CSEM, the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology in Neuchâtel, brings diverse stakeholders together to speed up innovation in manufacturing processes, including new materials and production tools.

Despite challenges such as limited raw materials and high labor costs, Switzerland is a leading exporter of high-value products and services. However, it faces increasing competition from emerging countries and erosion of competitive advantages in processing industries due to technological advances. To boost manufacturing, Switzerland must invest in science and R&D. The M2C addresses these needs by aligning with the ETH Board’s strategic initiative on advanced manufacturing for 2021-2024 and being located at the heart of Neuchâtel’s innovation ecosystem.

M2C specializes in the latest advancements in additive manufacturing and free-form technologies, with a focus on micro-fabrication of smart components and systems, and processing of high-precision free-form materials, including nano and microstructures.

The platform fosters collaborative exchanges between academic, institutional, and industrial participants. It offers multidisciplinary technology platforms and meeting locations to encourage interactions, and identifies and coordinates research in areas such as miniaturization, portability, integrated functionality, low energy consumption, durability, and material optimization.

The Center promotes the use of additive and advanced manufacturing technologies that are economically viable and environmentally sustainable compared to traditional methods. It also ensures that technological gains are efficiently transferred to manufacturing companies for actual impact on the economy. Additionally, M2C develops training procedures and programs in connection with the doctoral school of advanced manufacturing (EDAM) to further continuing education.

A launchpad for collaborative projects and partnerships

According to Bruno Studach, Operation Director of the M2C, the Center covers a wide range of topics, including materials, tools, processes, and characterization methods. Its laboratory, which is specifically dedicated to metal additive manufacturing, allows its users to process powders, print them, and then use a variety of characterization techniques to analyze the finished parts. At this time, the goal of the M2C platform is not to be a fab lab, but rather to serve as a launching point for collaborative projects and partnerships.

Learn more about the Micromanufacturing Science & Engineering Center (M2C)