EPFL to expand its footprint in the canton of Valais

10 June 2024 10:48

CleantechAlpsGreater Geneva Bern

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Lausanne/Sion - The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) and the government of the canton of Valais will create a new teaching, research and innovation hub with a focus on the energy transition at the EPFL Valais Wallis campus. To this end, six new research chairs are to be established.

EPFL and the canton of Valais have officially launched the third phase of their agreement originally signed in 2012. As part of this third amendment, EPFL will establish a new teaching, research and innovation hub focused on the energy transition at its Valais Wallis campus. To this end, six new research chairs are to be created, according to a press release.

As a result, the EPFL campus will host a total of 22 chairs and four research groups by 2032. The canton of Valais will finance two of these in the first seven years, in addition to making available its premises and facilities free of charge in order to establish the new chairs.

The formal partnership between EPFL and the canton of Valais was initiated in December 2012 following an agreement on opening the EPFL Valais Wallis campus. In 2017, the agreement was amended to lay the groundwork for the new Alpole research center, which is devoted to Alpine and polar environments. This was officially inaugurated two years ago.

The campus is collaborating with the nearby HES-SO engineering school on around 30 research and development projects, in addition to technology and knowledge transfer to industry. The start-ups formed as a result of this are supported by CimArk, which is the operating arm of the Ark foundation. CimArk’s mission is to promote the innovation ecosystem in the canton of Valais, as well as across the rest of Western Switzerland and also nationwide.

“This amendment to launch the third phase of EPFL’s development in our canton reflects our shared desire to continue what has been nothing less than a success story”, comments Christophe Darbellay, Head of the Department of Economy and Education for the canton of Valais. He believes that the new hub for the energy transition will “rapidly make a name for itself”. ce/mm

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