A new EPFL incubator for education technology

© Alain Herzog / EPFL 2017

© Alain Herzog / EPFL 2017

EPFL’s new Swiss EdTech Collider will be home to around 30 startups involved in developing new education technologies. This coworking space, which is being inaugurated today, will give these companies the chance to enhance their visibility among both clients and investors and to generate synergies. The startups will also have the opportunity to become involved in the cutting-edge research conducted by EPFL professors who specialize in education technology.

For several years now, EPFL has played a leading role in developing digital education, particularly through its massive open online courses (MOOCs), which more than 1.5 million users have signed up for since they were launched in 2012. Digital education platforms are an ever-growing market, and investments in this area will exceed USD 250 billion in 2020 (according to the EdTechXGlobal and IBIS Capital report, 2016). In Europe alone, EUR 227 million was invested in this sector in 2016, primarily in France and Germany.

With its new Swiss EdTech Collider, EPFL has taken a decisive step towards developing an international hub for digital education based in Switzerland.

Entrepreneurs active in educational technologies and EPFL professors conducting cutting-edge research will be able to come together in this nearly 300m2 coworking space. Thanks to its location in the EPFL Innovation Park, this unique ecosystem will also benefit from being close to the EPFL campus and to the current Center for Digital Education and several research laboratories.

The challenges of an increasingly digital society

The main aim of the Swiss EdTech Collider is to contribute to the development of the education technology sector in Switzerland. Using new methods and solutions, the incubator will strive to meet the challenges of an increasingly digital society, from nursery schooling to continuing education for adults and corporate training. The latest studies in machine learning and data science will also be used to enhance research in the area of education.

The Swiss EdTech Collider is managed by a not-for-profit association and has four EPFL professors on staff: Pierre Dillenbourg, Denis Gillet, Francesco Mondada and Marcel Salathé. The association will work in partnership with the Digital Switzerland initiative. The incubator received funding from EPFL, the Jacobs Foundation, the Henri Moser Foundation and the EPFL Innovation Park Foundation.

Images to download

Cristina Riesen, coordinator, and Pierre Dillenbourg, president. © Alain Herzog / EPFL 2017
Cristina Riesen, coordinator, and Pierre Dillenbourg, president. © Alain Herzog / EPFL 2017

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