Toolbox for Innovation

There are many aspects that determine the value of a translational project but most important are its scientific inventiveness, robustness and reproducibility. In addition a key aspect that is often neglected is the industrial feasibility and applicability of the project.

This can be understood and established through the lens of the industrial expertise : regulatory, manufacturing, safety, pharmacology, clinical development and business.

This expertise is usually not readily available in an academic environment therefore we offer access to this expertise on a case-by-case basis. Thus, we can, in collaboration with the scientist, understand whether a technology has a potential value for the society and can be developed through an industrial process, towards commercialization.

A thorough and knowledgeable diligence of a research project’s scientific robustness, applicability and product development feasibility, and Intellectual property, constitutes a solid and necessary basis to de-risk and secure a successful technology development for the Academia, Industry and startup Entrepreneurs.

Partnering through research collaborations and/or Licensing is the most effective way towards technology transfer and product development. Catalyze4Life proactively supports technologies connecting to potential industrial partners.

Additionally, dedicated events are organized bringing together scientists, with robust projects, and industrials with sufficient resources. As such, we strive to act in complementary fashion to a dynamic partnering support ecosystem that is already present at the EPFL.

Closing the funding gap that exists in current health care and biomedical translational and applicable research is challenging. On a project-by-project basis, we evaluate with scientists all potential solutions, including industrial collaborations, private and public investments. For thoroughly selected projects, we contribute by financing strictly translational activities.

Catalyze4Life is the Life Sciences School innovation encouragement program, operating in close proximity with scientists, and acting upstream and in support of the missions of EPFL’s Vice-Presidency for Innovation, and the Technology Transfer Office (TTO). We believe that teaching the best R&D expertise tools allows scientists to succeed in their research that can then support people in need.

We aim to offer comprehensive support in terms of industrial R&D and business expertise and education through courses, seminars and workshops with volunteer industry experts. In addition, we organize training courses at EPFL on how industry develops a product based on old technology in collaboration with the University of San Diego, propose regular bimonthly translational innovation evenings between EPFL innovators and volunteer industry experts, and we ensure the opportunity to constantly exchange with PhDs, PostDocs and PIs to support and enhance applicable projects. Catalyze4Life is committed to enabling translational innovation and mapping career options for graduates and post graduates.


Associate Dean for Innovation : Bart Deplancke

Office : SV 3823

Mail : [email protected]

Phone :  +41 21 69 31821

Program Director : Gautam Maitra

Mail : [email protected]  

Phone : +41 79 439 59 56

Mailing address

EPFL School of Life Sciences
Station 19
CH-1015 Lausanne