EPFL has opened its antenna in Neuchâtel in 2009. Since then EPFL has strenghtened its presence through the development of the Institute of Microengineering in Neuchâtel, the creation of the Micro-Manufacturing Science and Engineering Center and the opening of the Center for Artifical Muscles.
The Institute of Microengineering (IMT) of EPFL is spread over 3 sites: the main campus in Lausanne, Geneva Campus and Neuchâtel Campus. IMT took up residence in the new Microcity building in Neuchâtel in fall 2013. Microcity building today hosts 10 Chairs and over 200 EPFL employees, a development that will continue in the coming years. EPFL development in Microcity reaffirms Neuchâtel excellence in micro- and nanotechnology. Together with CSEM, the University of Neuchâtel (UniNE), He-Arc, Microcity SA and FSRM, EPFL is part of a chain of complete and powerfull skills at the heart of a regional industrial basin which is among the densest in Europe and which has an exceptionally high rate of high-tech manufacturing societies. The interdisciplinarity and the capacity of the IMT to develop devices and micro components and to integrate them into functional micro-systems, make it a particularly attractive Institute for industrial partners in areas as diverse as health, security, space, communication or watches.
The Micro-Manufacturing Science and Engineering Center (M2C) is an alliance between EPFL, CSEM, HE-Arc, UniNE and HEIA-Fr, which aims at addressing and anticipating the future needs of industry in term of innovation and implementation of new advanced manufacturing processes. The M2C aims at addressing critical scientific and technological challenges, ranging from fundamental to applied research, for the future of manufacturing. Focused on micro-manufacturing, high precision 3D free-form material processing and high-integrity micro-structures, it brings together a wide range of laboratories from all its partners, all having research activities and interests related to the future of manufacturing and its impact for society.
Thanks to a donation from the Werner Siemens-Foundation, EPFL has set up in Neuchâtel a Center for Artificial Muscles, collaborating initially with the University Hospital of Bern (Inselspital) and then with the University Hospital of Zurich. The first project, slated to span the next four years, will focus on developing a less invasive cardiac assistance system for treating heart failure. This prosthetic device – a ring around the aorta – will avoid the complications of hemorrhaging and thrombosis because it will not be in contact with blood. A facial-reconstruction project aimed at restoring patients’ ability to create facial expressions will follow.