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Highlights 2020

Claudia R. Binder
Dean of ENAC

At ENAC, we aim to innovate at different levels. With our clusters and our commitment to multidisciplinary centers, we are able to tackle research questions that go beyond the scope of a single discipline. The Dean’s Office supports our researchers in this endeavor, providing funding opportunities to explore novel research areas that bring together our different disciplines.

Our clusters and centers, together with FUSTIC (Future Sustainable Territories, Infrastructures and Cities), provide a creative space for ENAC researchers and students. They serve as think tanks and convergence points out of which pragmatic and sustainable solutions will emerge in support of the economy, industries, cities and territories.

Through FUSTIC, the structure we are currently setting up to improve collaboration across the economy (with the public and private sectors and NGOs), we will co-create innovation areas together with our partners. This sort of applied research enables us to respond to societal needs.

FUSTIC, an initiative driven by excellence, will be a global ambassador for ENAC (and our clusters), EPFL and Switzerland as a whole, and will build a strong international brand. In addition to technology and solutions, FUSTIC will bring best operating practices to entire sections of the Swiss economy.

Of course, innovation also takes place at the level of startups. We support our researchers in the quest to obtain Ignition Grants and Innogrants from EPFL’s Vice Presidency for Innovation, as well as Innosuisse grants. With our clusters, we seek to identify innovative ideas early on that might feed into the innovation process.

An EPFL lab designs new wooden pews for the Lausanne Cathedral
The Canton of Vaud has selected a technology developed by EPFL's IBOIS Laboratory for the construction of new pews for Lausanne’s Cathedral of Notre Dame. The pews, built with locally-sourced wood, have an innovative design that does not require either glue or screws.
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Energy transition: EPFL spin-off Vizcab raises 1.75 million francs
The French startup will use the injection of capital to ramp up marketing of a building life cycle assessment (LCA) method developed at EPFL Fribourg.
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New system uses floor vibrations to detect building occupants
Thanks to a new system developed at EPFL, building owners can detect the number of occupants and track their movement using sensors installed on floor slabs. This novel approach could be particularly useful for enhancing safety in retirement homes or managing buildings’ energy use more efficiently.
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Adaptive structures cut down the carbon footprint of buildings
Scientists at EPFL have developed new methods to design and control civil structures that are able to automatically adapt to loading. The aim is to reduce the environmental impact of the construction sector.
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EpiLibre, a new, free-wheeling grocery store on campus
Get ready to stock your pantry! Starting on 22 September, EpiLibre, a new on-campus grocery store, will sell bulk items such as lentils, oatmeal, chickpeas and dried fruit. The store was the brainchild of the Student Kreativity and Innovation Lab (SKIL) at the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC), with financial support provided by the Act for Change LAB.
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Enerdrape awarded from Switzerland Innovation Tech4Impact
As part of the six award-winning projects, Margaux Peltier and Enerdrape, Laloui's Research Group (LMS) spin-off, are granted a CHF 85'000 CHF grant to boost its product development.
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Annotating, detecting and counting wild animals has never been easier
Researchers of the ECEO laboratory in Sion collaborated with Microsoft AI4Earth to create an open source software helping ecologists to detect and count animals with drones.
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VentureKick grant awarded to the new ShadeMe startup
Yujie Wu has been awarded a VentureKick grant for the newborn startup ShadeMe, set up to bring to market the integrated 'Eyesight' shading controller.
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LBTech and Space4Impact receive the FIT-Innogrant
The FIT (Foundation for Technological Innovation) has granted an Innogrant to support two EPFL startup projects: LBTech and Space4Impact. LBTech’s technology aims to let us be connected wherever we are, while Space4Impact looks to find answers to the challenges faced on earth through space technology.
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