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Innovation - Materials Science - 17.12.2018
Top-notch research is the basis for a successful technology transfer
Top-notch research is the basis for a successful technology transfer
In such a highly competitive environment as scientific research, it is a good idea to ask yourself on a regular basis just how well you fare by international comparison. With this in mind, Empa conducted a peer review last October: eleven international experts from all of Empa's areas of activity scrutinized the institute's output in research and innovation and compared it with the rest of the world.

Innovation - Environment - 04.12.2018
The future energy system and
The future energy system and "Power-to-X"
In a joint research project involving five Swiss Competence Centers for Energy Research (SCCERs), scientists from the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Empa, ETH Zurich, the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), the Rapperswil University of Applied Sciences (HSR), the University of Geneva and the University of Lucerne have drawn up a White Paper entitled "Power-to-X" for the Swiss Federal Energy Research Commission (CORE).

Health - Innovation - 16.11.2018
Science is keeping pace with marathoners
Science is keeping pace with marathoners
Thanks to sensors attached to their shoes, long-distance runners can harness the power of algorithms to analyze their stride. The algorithms, developed by EPFL spin-off Gait Up and tested in the Laboratory of Movement Analysis and Measurement (LMAM), are unmatched in terms of precision and the range of parameters measured, such as objective fatigue, cadence, strike angle and foot impact.

Innovation - 08.11.2018
BFH doctorands enable paralysed persons to cycle
Researchers at the Institute for Rehabilitation and Performance Technology IRPT have developed novel systems that allow people paralysed by spinal cord injury to activate their muscles and propel a tricycle. The innovative work of two young IRPT researchers was recently rewarded through successful defence of their PhD theses.

Innovation - Health - 06.11.2018
TWIICE One exoskeleton is a step towards independence
TWIICE One exoskeleton is a step towards independence
The new version of the TWIICE walking-assistance system is not only lighter, more comfortable and more powerful, but patients can also put it on and use it themselves - giving them greater independence. It has been tested by handcycling champion Silke Pan. Silke Pan - a former acrobat who lost the use of her legs after a trapeze accident - arrives at the lab in a wheelchair.

Physics - Innovation - 05.11.2018
How to certify a quantum computer
Researchers have developed a protocol for checking that quantum computer components function as they should. That's a critical step in making the promise of quantum computing - including unprecedented computing power - a reality. Quantum computers are being developed by teams working not only at universities but also at Google, IBM, Microsoft and D-Wave, a start-up company.

Health - Innovation - 30.10.2018
Innovations in ultrasound imaging improve breast cancer detection
Innovations in ultrasound imaging improve breast cancer detection
A new ultrasound technique can help distinguish benign breast tumours from malignant ones. The technology was developed with support from the Swiss National Science Foundation. Ultrasound is one of the three main technologies used in medical imaging. It is more compact and affordable than nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques, and safer than x-rays.

Innovation - Materials Science - 25.10.2018
A fine-tuned laser welds more effectively
Using laser technology Empa scientists optimized a technique to weld the electronics of implantable pacemakers and defibrillators into a titanium case. The medtech company Medtronic is now using the method worldwide to produce these devices. In Tolochenaz (Canton of Vaud) the US medtech company Medtronic produces one out of five heart pacemakers available on the global market and one out of four defibrillators.

Innovation - Computer Science - 16.10.2018
Using mobile data to model the drinking habits of Swiss youth
Using mobile data to model the drinking habits of Swiss youth
Researchers have carried out a study using smartphone data from young Swiss people to better understand the circumstances in which they are most likely to drink. A computer model developed from the data can estimate, with over 75% accuracy, whether alcohol was consumed on a given weekend night. Do young people drink more out on the town or at a friend's place?

Environment - Innovation - 27.09.2018
Centralised or decentralised - that is the question
Centralised or decentralised - that is the question
Dealing with wastewater right where it is being produced, instead of in central treatment plants, can be more flexible and economical depending on the location. In Switzerland, however, there are very few such decentralised wastewater treatment plants - although, as Eawag researchers have established, there is a surprisingly strong market potential for them.

Materials Science - Innovation - 24.09.2018
EPFL unveils SolAce, a solar-powered pilot unit in Dübendorf
EPFL's SolAce pilot unit was inaugurated today at the NEST R&D center on the Empa campus in Dübendorf, Switzerland. Researchers at this solar-powered unit will test out new technology designed to make buildings energy positive and carbon neutral - while providing maximum comfort for their occupants.

Innovation - Environment - 24.09.2018
A facade that is a power plant and a guarantee of wellbeing
A facade that is a power plant and a guarantee of wellbeing
Anyone who spends most of their day indoors knows the importance of a comfortable atmosphere to work and live in. Researchers from EPFL's Solar Energy and Building Physics Laboratory are searching for ways to maximize the energy gain from a building's envelope while also optimizing interior comfort in an environmentally friendly way.

Environment - Innovation - 11.09.2018
Wastewater recycling instead of disposal
Wastewater recycling instead of disposal
Wastewater smells foul and is full of pathogens. For these reasons it is usually removed and disposed of quickly.

Astronomy / Space Science - Innovation - 07.09.2018
Scientists sketch out the foundations of a colony on Mars
Scientists sketch out the foundations of a colony on Mars
EPFL scientists have mapped out the steps required to build a self-sustaining research base on Mars that would be habitable for the long term. Their work can help researchers set priorities for space programs exploring Mars as well as the solar system as a whole. If there was ever life on Mars, its traces are most likely to be found at the planet's poles.

Computer Science - Innovation - 04.09.2018
Artificial intelligence helps create at the right time
Artificial intelligence helps create at the right time
By using artificial intelligence to comb through the vast array of published research and detect the findings most relevant for invention, engineers can magnify their creative ability and invent faster and more disruptively than has been previously possible. This is the approach that Ana Manasovska helped develop as a Master's student at EPFL, and the one used by creative Artificial Intelligence firm Iprova, based at EPFL's Innovation Park, to come up with a wide range of inventions.

Physics - Innovation - 08.08.2018
Novel approach to coherent control of a three-level quantum system
Novel approach to coherent control of a three-level quantum system
For the first time, researchers were able to study quantum interference in a three-level quantum system and thereby control the behavior of individual electron spins. To this end, they used a novel nanostructure, in which a quantum system is integrated into a nanoscale mechanical oscillator in form of a diamond cantilever.

Innovation - 05.06.2018
Rules about Technology Use Can Undermine Academic Achievement
Rules about Technology Use Can Undermine Academic Achievement
Modern technologies such as computers, smartphones, TVs and gaming consoles are alleged to exert a variety of impacts, both positive and negative.

Environment - Innovation - 17.05.2018
Nine at one blow
Nine at one blow
Atmospheric pollutants put a strain on the environment and harbor health hazards for humans. The Empa spin-off MIRO Analytical Technologies developed a technology to simultaneously analyze nine greenhouse gases and pollutants with only one device and at an unprecedented speed and precision. Air pollution is a problem that affects us all.

Environment - Innovation - 17.05.2018
Nine in one swoop
Nine in one swoop
Atmospheric pollutants put a strain on the environment and harbor health hazards for humans. The Empa spin-off MIRO Analytical Technologies developed a technology to simultaneously analyze nine greenhouse gases and pollutants with only one device and at an unprecedented speed and precision. Air pollution is a problem that affects us all.