Looking back at 2018 (1/2)
Solar cells with record efficiency, a system that secures electronic voting, a wireless patch to control vital parameters, an assessment of the impact of the energy transition, a revolutionary material for tomorrow's electronics… Some of the EPFL's research and milestones that marked the year 2018.
31.01.18 - Josué Gehring, a doctoral student at EPFL, took part in an international meteorological measurement project. With a group of around ten researchers from other countries, he flew to South Korea on February 5, 2018. He then collected meteorological data in the mountains, close to the Winter Olympics venues of Pyeongchang, Gangneung and Jeongseon. His two-month stay will allow him to follow the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in their entirety. He is writing about the experience on the EPFL Out There blog.
05.02.18 - Vanadium dioxide’s unique properties make it perfect for outperforming silicon and giving rise to a new generation of low-power electronic devices. Under the Phase Change Switch project, which is being funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research program and coordinated by EPFL researchers, engineers have shown how this compound can be used to create programmable radiofrequency electronic functions for aerospace communication systems. Other applications – such as in neuromorphic computing and artificial intelligence – are also on the cards.
14.02.18 - How much impact does research carried out at individual universities have on innovation globally? To find out, a team of scientists from several schools developed a ranking system based on citations in patent literature. And on that score, EPFL sits in seventh place, just behind Stanford and above the California Institute of Technology.
08.03.18 - The University of Lausanne (UNIL) will introduce a gateway program that gives EPFL students in Life Sciences and Technology as well as university students in biology the opportunity to earn a Master’s degree in medicine. With this initiative, EPFL aims to prepare graduates for the digital and technology-driven healthcare of the future.
09.03.18 - A small, wireless patch developed by EPFL spin-off Smartcardia can measure emergency-room patients’ vital signs with the same reliability as existing systems involving cumbersome cables. After extensive testing at several hospitals, the device recently obtained the European Union’s CE marking for medical devices and will be launched on the market in the coming days.
20.04.18 - In its first investment in EPFL, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) and DAF, an advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, have awarded a research grant to the lab of Professor Bart Deplancke supporting the development of a web-based platform to analyze the transcriptome of single cells. With the grant, the genetics platform becomes part of the network of open computational tools for the Chan Zuckerberg’s project Human Cell Atlas (HCA).
24.05.18 - A handful of EPFL laboratories teamed up to compare three energy-transition scenarios that vary in their use of fossil fuels and renewable energy and their energy efficiency. The study found that greater use of renewable energy, combined with more measures to enhance energy efficiency, would create more jobs in Switzerland and increase the country's energy independence without having any impact on the overall cost.
11.06.18 - In Neuchâtel, researchers from EPFL and CSEM have combined silicon- and perovskite-based solar cells. The resulting efficiency of 25.2% is a record for this type of tandem cell. Their innovative yet simple manufacturing technique could be directly integrated into existing production lines, and efficiency could eventually rise above 30%.
27.06.18 - The Center for Artificial Muscles was inaugurated at Microcity following the announcement of a 12-million-franc donation by the Werner Siemens-Foundation a little over six months ago. The Center will allow EPFL – working first with the Bern University Hospital (Inselspital) and then with the Zurich University Hospital – to develop a less invasive cardiac assistance system for treating heart failure..
29.06.18 - An e-voting system based on blockchain technology has been developped and tested at EPFL. The system serves as a digital guarantee, ensuring that competing sides have faith in the voting process. This open-source technology will soon be available on the Center for Digital Trust’s software platform.
10.07.18 - Physicists at EPFL used Scanning Tunneling Microscopy to successfully test the stability of a magnet made up of a single atom. Single-atom magnets are alternative storage devices still under study that promise enormous data capacities.
11.07.18 - This summer Joëlle Perreten, who has just completed her Bachelor’s degree at EPFL, has collected permafrost samples in the Arctic as part of the Swiss Arctic Project. The aim of this private research initiative is to raise Swiss people’s awareness of climate change. Perreten has posted updates on the EPFL Out There blog.
19.07.18 - EPFL, SRG, Ringier and Triangle Azur—a cooperation network between the Universities of Geneva, Lausanne and Neuchâtel—are joining forces to create the Initiative for Media Innovation (IMI), a consortium of public and private partners. This alliance aims to foster innovation in the media and IT sector. The Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) will also support projects under this initiative. The IMI is open to all private and public organizations, in Switzerland or abroad, who wish to join and are active in the relevant fields.