Andrea Cavallaro to be Idiap's new director

© 2022 EPFL

© 2022 EPFL

In anticipation of the retirement of its current director, Hervé Bourlard, the Idiap Foundation Council is pleased to announce that Andrea Cavallaro will soon be taking over as director of the institute. He is also appointed full professor at EPFL’s School of Engineering.

"The choice of Professor Cavallaro as head of Idiap was made in the spirit of continuity so that the institute's researchers can maintain a high degree of autonomy, while making the most of their skills," said Anne-Laure Couchepin Vouilloz, president of the institute's foundation board. Currently professor at Queen Mary University of London, Andrea Cavallaro is also the founding director of the Centre for Intelligent Sensing at Queen Mary University. His entrepreneurial spirit and expertise in many of the fields developed at the Institute will enable him to continue the development of Idiap, whose budget was recently increased by 60%.

Beyond his international background, Andrea Cavallaro also has strong ties to Switzerland. In addition to his doctorate at EPFL, he leads or participates in several scientific projects with Swiss institutions, including Idiap. His research areas, particularly in the field of autonomous systems interacting with humans, have led him to focus on machine learning applied to multi-modal perception, computer vision, audio processing, and information privacy. This interdisciplinary approach corresponds perfectly to the spirit of Idiap, inherited from the Italian industrialist and Idiap founder Angelo Dalle Molle, which has been focusing on artificial intelligence at the service of society since its inception.

Continuity and excellence

The new director will take office on March 1, 2023. Andrea Cavallaro will take over from Professor Hervé Bourlard, who has directed Idiap since 1997 and made it a world-renowned research institute. The arrival of Andrea Cavallaro at the head of Idiap is accompanied by his appointment as a full professor at EPFL, within the School of Engineering. In accordance with the agreement between Idiap and EPFL, Prof. Cavallaro will assume a professorship at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

The arrival of Prof. Cavallaro at the head of Idiap and his involvement at EPFL will contribute to strengthening the already existing links between the two institutions and to reinforcing Switzerland's international leadership in the strategic fields of artificial intelligence.

Idiap Foundation Council and EPFL’s Presidency welcome Andrea Cavallaro and look forward to working with him in his role as Director of Idiap in Martigny.

Idiap Research Institute is among world leaders in artificial intelligence for 30 years and counts overs 160 employees. Voice and visual recognition, human–computer interaction, robotics, and language analysis are among the Institute’s fields of expertise. Based in Martigny, Switzerland, Idiap is engaged in local, national, and international projects. The non-profit Idiap Foundation was created in 1991 by the city of Martigny, the State of Valais, the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), the University of Geneva, and Swisscom.