Linking EPFL Schools via Interdisciplinary Projects



With the idea to promote and encourage collaboration among scientists, the College of Management of Technology (CDM) has initiated a new Interdisciplinary Strategy to seed new collaborative research ties between key research areas of the College and other research domains present at EPFL.
This strategic program aims both at boosting the huge potential of interdisciplinary projects which already feature at EPFL and at fostering the integration of the College on the EPFL campus.

About CDM’s Interdisciplinary Strategy

In 2019, EPFL launched the Interdisciplinary Seed Fund, as a useful mechanism to promote interdisciplinary research across EPFL's schools and colleges. However, this fund is not able to fully support the huge potential for interdisciplinary projects which a campus such as EPFL has to offer. For this reason, CDM Direction chose the option to develop its own instrument, inspired by the School of Life Sciences’ iPhD program, aiming at promoting interdisciplinary work with other EPFL schools by gravitating around CDM's key research areas (management, economics, finance, operations research) and other research areas present at EPFL.

This first call (and those to come) offers the opportunity for EPFL professors to discover the research portfolio and agenda of the CDM. Mutual knowledge and a real involvement in the research undertaken at each school/college are naturally a pre-requisite for developing interdisciplinary collaborations. The winners of the call benefit from a 60% sponsorship from CDM Direction for a newly hired PhD student for a maximum duration of 2 years. The hired student must be co-supervised by the two professors and 40% of the remaining costs are equally shared by the labs/chairs.

The interdisciplinary grant is a great idea to foster collaborations within EPFL and to establish projects that would otherwise be likely to fall "between the cracks" - projects that are often the most innovative ones, as they span the boundaries of individual fields!

Prof. Marc Gruber, winner of one of the projects together with Prof. Claudia Binder (ENAC)

2020 Winners

The call was initiated in autumn 2020 and the grant was awarded to 3 projects, which all use an interdisciplinary approach and are devoted to seeding new collaborative research ties.

Prof. Marc Gruber (CDM-ENTC) & Prof. Claudia Binder (ENAC-IIE)

Research Project: “A Framework to Develop and Assess Entrepreneurial Approaches for (Re-)Building Resilient Rural Communities”

Prof. Negar Kiyavash (CDM-BAN) & Prof. Patrick Thiran (IC-INDY2)

Research Project: “Learning Causal Interactions in Large Networks from Incomplete and Noisy Observations”

Prof. Luisa Lambertini (CDM-CFI) & Prof. Christophe Moser (STI-LAPD)

Research Project: “Using SOLO to solve data-intensive finance and economics problems”

Solo (Scalable Optical Learning Operator) is a new hardware that leverages the speed of light for computations to solve data intensive finance and economics problems

Prof. Christopher Moser

CDM Interdisciplinary grant

In Fall 2021, the next call will open and the CDM Direction strongly encourages applications.