At ENAC, we aim to innovate at different levels, keeping sustainability at the center of our mission. Taking digital technology as our starting point, we produce technological and social innovations that contribute to sustainability in the natural and built environments, focusing on three areas:
Innovative research: Our students and researchers are stimulated to think beyond disciplinary boundaries and to conduct cutting-edge research that generates original and groundbreaking ideas that have potential practical applications for society.
Technology and knowledge transfer: We encourage our students and researchers to be entrepreneurial, to launch startups and to bring their research to the market in the form of relevant services and products. Our focus is on creating solutions and projects that support the Swiss economy, foster best practices and address sustainability challenges in today’s society.
Partnerships: We are convinced that working closely with external stakeholders (NGOs, regulators, the public and private sectors, and more) promotes co-creation and knowledge production and contributes to holistic approaches for sustainable development. We have created an association, Future Sustainable Territories, Infrastructures and Cities (FUSTIC), that promotes best practices and a culture of innovation across diverse sectors of the Swiss economy. Together with ENAC’s clusters and centers, FUSTIC provides a creative space for researchers, students and external partners to develop a culture of sustainable innovation and transformation. FUSTIC and its community are doers and solvers – they will bring to fruition sustainable solutions to climate change, global warming and the challenges of preserving vital resources.
ENAC Innovation Seed Grants
The ENAC School has decided to dedicate seed funds to a specific program to ease the long path from fundamental research to innovation, technology transfer and market uptake and to encourage entrepreneurship for promising ENAC ideas & people in the form of ENAC Innovation Seed Grants.
Innovation news from ENAC
Using images and artificial intelligence to inspect bridges
EPFL startup SwissInspect has developed a novel bridge-inspection system that combines structural engineering with drone technology, artificial intelligence and computer vision. SwissInspect is the result of research at Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics Laboratory (EESD) in collaboration with Swiss Data Science Center (SDSC) on the image-based inspection and monitoring of structural elements.The company plans to test its system, which offers major advantages over visual inspection methods, on around 50 bridges in Switzerland.
Making installed train windows permeable to mobile-phone signals
EPFL spin-off nu glass has successfully tested a portable system that makes the window panes on railcars permeable to mobile communications. This can bring significant environmental and cost benefits to railway companies and mobile-phone operators, since they’ll no longer have to install signal boosters to provide wireless connectivity for passengers.
Using heat from underground parking lots to warm apartments
EPFL spin-off Enerdrape has developed technology that can recover heat from underground parking lots and use it to warm the apartments above. Its geothermal wall panels are currently undergoing pilot tests at a building in Lausanne’s Sébeillon district.