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Zurich and Lausanne unis launch 43 startups

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Photo: ETH Zurich
09:09 CET+01:00
Switzerland's top-ranked universities, the federal institutes of technology in Zurich (ETH) and Lausanne (EPFL) created a total of 43 startup companies in 2015.

At ETH Zurich, 25 spinoff businesses were founded last year, more than ever before, the school said in a press release.

Following a trend established over the past few years, more than a quarter of the startups at ETH were established (seven) in the field of information and communication technology.

Entrepreneurs at the Zurich university also launched new companies in the fields of biotechnology (four), medical devices (three) electrical engineering (three) and consulting (three), among others.

Among the breakthroughs of the companies, new methods have been developed to measure muscle fatigue or to optimize liposomes for patient detoxification, ETH said.

Improved batteries and smart light bulbs programmed for greater protection against burglaries are among other products produced by the spinoffs.

The school said 330 spinoff companies have been created at ETH Zurich between 1996 and 2015, with more than 20 created annually since 2007.

Eight of ETH's new spinoffs last year were founded by "Pioneer Fellows" from a programme that supports Master's students looking to transform a business idea into reality with donations from third parties.

"It shows that it pays off to encourage young researchers to turn their ideas into marketable products at a very early stage," Detlief Günther, ETH vice president of research and corporate relations, said in a statement.

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ETH said that the federal government is planning to integrate its fellowship model into a "new support programme" to be expanded across Switzerland.

At EPFL, eight of the 18 spinoffs created in 2015 are active in health sciences, with five in information technologies and four in electronics.

An additional business created at the Lausanne school is specialized in the energy and environment domain, the ATS news agency reported, citing an EPFL spokesperson.

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