About us

Our vision and mission

The Bioengineering and Technology (BET) platform is a new platform of EPFL School of Life Sciences. The BET platform is currently being established at the AGORA Cancer Research Center in Lausanne.

The BET platform aims to serve as a bidirectional bridge between the biomedical and EPFL research communities. Our aim is to develop and share expertise in the space of translational bioengineering.

  • We enable your translational research with with the latest technologies and knowhow coming out of EPFL and the larger engineering community.
  • We augment and accelerate your engineering of innovative assays and technologies by facilitating access to the clinical and translational landscape and expertise.

While primarily focused on the needs of the cancer research community, the BET platform aims to enable innovation, support research and federate the wider interdisciplinary community active in translational bioengineering.

The AGORA Cancer Research Center

The AGORA Cancer Research Center was built with the support of the ISREC Foundation to regroup multidisciplinary research teams composed of medical doctors, biologists, immunologists, bioinformaticians and bioengineers from the partner institutions. The AGORA is the place where fundamental and clinical research meet to push the limits of science towards the development and clinical translation of novel technologies and therapies against cancer. EPFL (Swiss Institute of Technology in Lausanne) is one of the main AGORA partners together with CHUV (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois), UNIL (University of Lausanne), Ludwig Cancer Research in Lausanne, and HUG (Hôpitaux Universitaires Genève).

Aim of the platform

Work in the platform is underpinned by a research and development function which undertakes continual improvement in order to introduce new techniques and to increase capacity and quality of existing ones.

We aim to be active throughout the users’ projects cycle, including identification of needs, prototype design, implementation, application and analysis. We aim to offer creative, collaborative lab, where skills, ideas and techniques can be shared and maintained. We aim is to help researcher design and produces their own devices, assay and prototypes to resolve their research questions. We also aim to facilitate the liaison with external production experts and to facilitate the maturation of technologies with commercial potential at the pre-incubation phase. For this we work closely with the local innovation and industrialization offices.

Technological axes

The platform develops along three main axes:

  • a research and development laboratory for the implementation of novel bioengineered systems and instruments, and for the development of specialised assays.
  • an “open” bioengineering facility for microfluidic systems and advanced cellular models development, production and analysis, including organoids/tumeroids, organ-on-chips and microphysiological systems.
  • an innovation, educational and knowledge center in bioengineering that catalyses interdisciplinary collaborations through ideation and design, technological incubation, and direct interaction with the clinical centers and industrial partners.

The platform will provides access to rapid prototyping facilities (polymer microfluidics, 3D printer, CAD, etc.), BSL-II level cell biology infrastructure (cell culture equipment, automation of assay, advanced high-content live-cell imaging, biobanking), will offer trainings for autonomous use of selected equipments, and will support scientists with our internal expertise in the design of projects in the space of bioengineering.

How to collaborate

We are open to collaborate along three main models

Fee-for-access:

Training sessions enable user to subsequently access specific instruments or technologies on their own. Expert support is available as a service.

Consulting and design:

Initial discussion about the scientific question enables needs identification. Design constraints are defined and the project can then be developed accordingly in an iterative process with the support of the platform expertise. Projects are not limited to the using platform infrastructure. We will help identify how the support of other platforms at EPFL and AGORA partners can be most ideally be used.

Collaborative projects:

Longer and more exploratory projects will be undertaken in collaboration, most often starting with joint funding application, which enables involving/hiring dedicated collaborators for the duration of the project.