EPFL - © Alain Herzog


Lausanne at the cutting edge of research

Lausanne is known for the number of centres for research and innovation to which it is home. it owes this fame to the international renown of its vocational schools and its university hospital centre, which attract various research establishments, thus giving rise to medical discoveries and revolutionary technologies.

The University of Lausanne (UNIL) has 13,600 students enrolled in its seven faculties and is another very busy research establishment of international repute, with projects being implemented by more than 140 entities working in fields as diverse as Greek numismatics, cyber marketing and developmental biology.

Lausanne has other prestigious institutions active in the healthcare field, including the Faculty of Medicine at the UNIL, the Ludwig Centre for Cancer Research of the University of Lausanne, the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, the Institute of Biotechnology, the Biomedical Engineering Laboratory and the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC).

Another internationally acclaimed beacon of training and research, the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) is a leader in Switzerland in numerous fields of research such as networks, infrastructures, micro and nanotechnologies, biotechnology, information and communication technologies, transport and energy. The EPFL has 4000 researchers and is home to six national research centres. It has collaborated in many cutting-edge projects such as Breitling Orbiter 3, Alinghi, Hydroptère, Solar Impulse and the Blue Brain Project.

The EPFL’s Innovation Square has grown over the course of time and now employs around 1700 workers, a number expected to double in 2012. The research & development centres of Nestlé, Logitech, Crédit Suisse, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Cisco Systems, Biocartis and Debiopharm are already based here. The Square also encompasses the Science Park (PSE), which guides entrepreneurs in their choice of financing whilst offering business coaching with a view to facilitating the emergence and development of high-tech start-ups conceived in the laboratories of the EPFL. The latter, truly a Silicon Valley within Europe, gives rise to 10-15 start-ups every year.

At the Lausanne Hotel School (EHL), the mission of the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (INTEHL) is to encourage innovation, creativity and the launch of new businesses in the hospitality sector by playing the role of an incubator and by offering entrepreneurs an “à la carte” range of services, including the development of concepts, the creation of business plans and personalised coaching.

This concentration of training and research centres is behind the creation of the majority of start-ups that have been set up in the greater urban area of Lausanne. There are about 100 of them – mainly active in life sciences – benefit from the support of different actors, both local and national, in terms of financial resources, strategic support and promotion.

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