Our Purpose: Pioneering Innovation from SV for Societal Advancement

To concretely support EPFL’s Innovation objective, SV has created the Catalyze4Life program to prepare the next generation of life sciences entrepreneurs and to foster the translation of discoveries from the school into technologies that benefit society. With a multifaceted approach that encompasses education, project funding, networking, and expert advice, C4L has become the core of innovation within SV. The program is committed to supporting early-stage technologies and innovative projects with high potential, guiding them on the path toward application, technology transfer, and product development. The ultimate vision is to advance and harness these technologies for the betterment of society. With a focus on nurturing innovation through education, project support, and networking, C4L operates in close collaboration with scientists and aligns seamlessly with the missions of the Vice Presidency of Innovation and the Technology Transfer Office at EPFL.a

A significant obstacle, for the development of early-stage university discoveries, is the lack of funding and mainly the lack of R&D expertise for accomplishing the proof-of-concept and validation studies needed to demonstrate commercial potential.

This issue is enhanced by the lack of knowledge and expertise in the academic community on the complex R&D process required for life sciences projects. This often results into promoting misplaced priorities, at the wrong timing, on technological development, especially in the context of university translational research and/or early startups establishment.

Without a solution, particularly in the life sciences sector, where attrition rates and risk profiles are high, most promising technologies and start-ups are slowed down or have difficulty developing on a path of less resistance towards a sub-optimal objective.

Catalyze4Life provides R&D expertise and network, funding, business development support and industrial network, to help validating technologies and identifying potential industry partners, thus help advancing these technologies towards technology transfer and the marketplace.

We want to contribute to the technological advancement of innovation projects in the life sciences, which are based on reproducible research of excellence and high application potential. For this purpose we support projects by offering :

  • Industry expertise seminars and R&D workshops
  • Project identification, selection and monitoring support
  • Design advice for attractive prototypes for the POC industry
  • Enabling partnering and networking, with industry design and promoting Life Sciences Innovation projects and initiatives
  • Start Upping
  • Fundraising to secure a long term Life Sciences Innovation support
  • Quality and International Visibility
  • Technology prospection, diligence, selection: identify and guide innovative LS technologies to industry POC (Proof Of Concept)
  • Offer industrial R&D expertise and network to establish LS drug and technology development strategies
  • Offer professional business expertise to support early startup initiatives and mentor early entrepreneurs
  • Facilitate partnering and networking, with industry to enhance technology transfer
  • Fundraise to potentially secure a long term LS Innovation with not only EPFL internal resources
  • Expertise knowledge building via organization of industry expertise seminars and workshops to promote innovation
  • Coaching Life sciences startup initiatives at EPFL (with Innosuisse Business Concept)