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Innovation - Materials Science - 28.02.2023
Go-ahead for digitally manufactured concrete staircase
Go-ahead for digitally manufactured concrete staircase
The next unit at NEST, the research and innovation building of Empa and Eawag, goes by the name of STEP2. For about two years, partners from research and industry have been working on various innovations in the fields of circular economy, digital and industrial fabrication, building envelope and energy systems, turning them into products ready for market entry.

Materials Science - Innovation - 23.02.2023
3D printing with bacteria-loaded ink produces bone-like composites
3D printing with bacteria-loaded ink produces bone-like composites
Researchers have published a method for 3D-printing an ink that contains calcium carbonate-producing bacteria. The 3D-printed mineralized bio-composite is unprecedently strong, light, and environmentally friendly, with a range of applications from art to biomedicine. Nature has an extraordinary knack for producing composite materials that are simultaneously light and strong, porous and rigid - like mollusk shells or bone.

Agronomy / Food Science - Innovation - 16.02.2023
Agroscope obtains a patent for its new cheese maturing process
Agroscope obtains a patent for its new cheese maturing process
The European Patent Office has granted Agroscope a patent for its new cheese maturing process. This patent was published - and thus became effective - on January 25, 2023 in the European Patent Bulletin. It will now be registered in some countries. In 2020, Agroscope applied for a patent for its new maturing process, which works as follows: after leaving the salt bath, the cheeses are wrapped in a biodegradable cloth.

Environment - Innovation - 16.02.2023
Decentralised water treatment: from motivation to implementation
Decentralised water treatment: from motivation to implementation
Putting decentralised water treatment technologies into practice is not always easy. It often takes many small steps to motivate people to use these technologies. In a recent article, two environmental health psychologists from Eawag summarise in a "Theory of Change" what is known so far about the psychological factors influencing the use of decentralised water treatment technologies and the measures that could promote their adoption.

Innovation - Computer Science - 03.02.2023
Race against the machine - now knowledge work is also changing
Race against the machine - now knowledge work is also changing
OpenAI and the recently viral chatbot ChatGPT - in the course of the digital transformation, algorithms, database systems and artificial intelligence are increasingly taking over tasks that were previously performed by humans. What do these changes mean for employees? Peter Kels and Kai Dröge put it in perspective.

Life Sciences - Innovation - 02.02.2023
Artificial Intelligence Improves Efficiency of Genome Editing
Researchers at the University of Zurich have developed a new tool that uses artificial intelligence to predict the efficacy of various genome editing repair options. Unintentional errors in the correction of DNA mutations of genetic diseases can thus be reduced. Genome editing technologies offer great opportunities for treating genetic diseases.

Health - Innovation - 26.01.2023
Producing blood platelets on demand
Producing blood platelets on demand
Blood platelets can be stored for only up to a week, and hospitals often run short of this life-saving resource.

Innovation - Health - 19.12.2022
Aliper Therapeutics, a spinoff of the IOR, wins the Boldbrain Startup Challenge
The national jury of the fifth edition of the Boldbrain Startup Challenge awarded first prize to Aliper Therapeutics, a spin-off of the USI-affiliated Institute of Oncology Research (IOR) in Bellinzona. We talked about it with Nicolò Pernigoni, postdoc at the IOR. This is, together with BigOmics Analytics SA and MV BioTherapeutics, the third start-up from the IOR and the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) to be awarded a prize by Boldbrain, demonstrating the quality and potential of the research conducted in the two affiliated institutes.

Environment - Innovation - 18.12.2022
UrbanTwin: seeing double for sustainability
A consortium of Swiss research institutes has begun working on UrbanTwin to make an AI driven, ecologically sensitive model of the energy, water and waste systems the town of Aigle to help boost sustainability. Twins are a fascinating phenomenon: observing how identical twins, even those separated at birth, can resemble each other in appearance, character, ability, and personal taste is astounding.

Innovation - Pedagogy - 09.12.2022
Powering vocational education and training with technology
Powering vocational education and training with technology
For more than 15 years, researchers have been exploring ways to improve training for apprentices. The findings are summarized in a recently published book and a website for teachers, and new educational technologies are currently being developed. Switzerland is known for its fondue, its punctual trains and its watchmaking industry.

Environment - Innovation - 05.12.2022
Ready for sustainable growth
Ready for sustainable growth
Founded in February 2018 as an Empa spin-off, the start-up company "MIRO Analytical" received one of the coveted "Innosuisse Certificates" in October. The certificate reflects the remarkable progress the young company made during the funding agency's coaching program and confirms that the start-up is ready for sustainable growth.

Physics - Innovation - 01.12.2022
Photonics chip allows light amplification
Photonics chip allows light amplification
Scientists at EPFL have developed photonic integrated circuits that demonstrated a new principle of light amplification on a silicon chip. It can be employed for optical signals like those used in Lidar, trans-oceanic fiber amplifiers or in data center telecommunications. The ability to achieve quantum-limited amplification of optical signals contained in optical fibers is arguably among the most important technological advances that are underlying our modern information society.

Innovation - Environment - 22.11.2022
The Swiss water turnaround: wait and see or take a proactive approach?
The Swiss water turnaround: wait and see or take a proactive approach?
New technologies in the water sector can contribute to the flexible and sustainable development of urban water management and the sustainable utilisation of water as a resource. In a recent article in the journal Aqua & Gas, a team of researchers from the aquatic research institute Eawag shows what opportunities and risks are associated with this.

Health - Innovation - 18.11.2022
Watching the metabolism at work
Watching the metabolism at work
Researchers from ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich are taking magnetic resonance imaging a step further. With their new method, they can visualise metabolic processes in the body. Their objective is to improve the future diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become an indispensable part of medicine.

Health - Innovation - 28.10.2022
A new device for early diagnosis of degenerative eye disorders
A new device for early diagnosis of degenerative eye disorders
Researchers at an EPFL lab have developed an ophthalmological device that can be used to diagnose some degenerative eye disorders long before the onset of the first symptoms. In early clinical trials, the prototype was shown to produce images with a sufficient degree of precision in just five seconds.

Physics - Innovation - 24.10.2022
Miniaturized infrared detectors
Miniaturized infrared detectors
Extreme miniaturization of infrared (IR) detectors is critical for their integration into next-generation consumer electronics, wearables and ultra-small satellites. Thus far, however, IR detectors have relied on bulky (and expensive) materials and technologies. A team of scientists lead by Empa researcher Ivan Shorubalko now succeeded in developing a cost-effective miniaturization process for IR spectrometers based on a quantum dot photodetector, which can be integrated on a single chip, as they report in Nature Photonics.

Art and Design - Innovation - 21.10.2022
Dürer goes digital
Dürer goes digital
The Graphische Sammlung ETH Zürich has digitised over 50,000 artworks and made them freely accessible. Linda Schädler, Head of the Graphische Sammlung, explains in an interview why she hopes to do the same with the remaining 110,000. Ms Schädler, ETH-s collection of prints and drawings has now digitised 50,000 of its artworks.

Health - Innovation - 21.10.2022
Flexible surgical needle offers enhanced precision
Flexible surgical needle offers enhanced precision
Engineers from EPFL and the University of Strasbourg have developed an innovative surgical needle whose trajectory can be corrected on the fly, thanks to a flexible tip controlled with a simple button. Intended for use in image-guided surgery, the needle offers greater precision in surgeon's movements and reduces the risk for patients.

Health - Innovation - 06.10.2022
Researchers deliver science for humanitarian action
Researchers deliver science for humanitarian action
Using innovative technologies and scientific expertise to help people in need is the goal of the Engineering for Humanitarian Action initiative launched by the ICRC, ETH Zurich and EPFL in 2020. Six of the projects are already offering results for tangible improvements for the ICRC. "By highlighting key sustainability principles in a simple way, the tool will help us make more informed decisions when designing our construction projects," says ICRC's Pavlos Tamvakis.

Innovation - Economics - 05.10.2022
Lightweight, ultra-connected seaborne containers
Lightweight, ultra-connected seaborne containers
The composite containers developed by AELER, an EPFL startup, deliver better performance across the board: they're stronger, have a bigger payload, are better insulated, allow for enhanced tracking and can help cut carbon emissions.



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