Facts and figures
PSI's annual budget of 2012 amounts to CHF 337.2 million, divided up as follows (in millions of Swiss Francs):
|| 100 %
| Division of funds
| Financial contribution from the Confederation
| – Basic financing
| – SwissFEL
| Third-party funds
|| 26.3 %
| Provenance of third-party income
| Private sector
| Funds from the Confederation to support research
| EU programmes
| Other income
|| 100 %
The 2012 budget is distributed between the Paul Scherrer Institute's research areas as follows:
At the end of 2012, employment at PSI corresponded to 1500 full-time equivalent staff positions, of which 34.9 % were occupied
by scientists, not including the PhD students employed by the Institute. A further 51.4 % of the positions were occupied
by technicians and engineers, a relatively large number, reflecting the importance of technical staff for the successful
operation of a large laboratory with its variety of scientific facilities. 6.9 % of the positions were held by administrative staff. Of the total staff, 25.2 % were women and 47 % were non-Swiss citizens.
Teaching and postgraduate support
In 2012, more than 300 postgraduate students were working on their doctoral research projects at PSI. More than 200 were employed on a regular basis by PSI. Most of these young researchers had previously undertaken undergraduate studies in physics, chemistry or engineering, mainly at ETH in Zurich or EPFL Lausanne, at the Universities of Zurich or Bern, or in other countries. However, PSI's researchers were not just engaged in the further education of students on-site at Villigen. More than 100 PSI scientists hold a lecturing post at a Swiss university or technical university. This involvement at universities is mostly unpaid, thus generating a double benefit for the universities, as they can offer their students access to state-of-the-art research at large facilities not available at any university. At the same time, the universities are also able to provide their teaching at a lower cost.
Research and publications
PSI is the largest publicly funded energy research centre in Switzerland. It carries out research and development on new energy technologies, in the area of renewable energies as well as in nuclear energy and combustion research. Industry in generally, and the energy industry in particular, make a significant contribution to the research projects in energy technology. Researchers at PSI produced 1045 ISI publications in 2012.
Knowledge and technology transfer
PSI has successfully transferred its detector development from the fundamental physics research stage into practical application. Former PSI employees established in 2006 the spin-off company Dectris AG for this purpose and both the turnover and workforce of the company have almost tripled since then. As a result, Dectris AG acquired new premises in Baden AG two years later in order to provide enough space to fulfil its contracts. PSI receives correspondingly more licence fees, which it is investing in new research projects in the field of detector research for physics and medicine. More PSI spin-offs can be found here
User laboratory and international network
PSI makes significant contributions as a national user laboratory to researchers from both the universities and industry. About 55 % of the total budget go towards the operation, maintenance and ongoing development of the large research facilities, as well as the supervision and support of researchers from Swiss universities. The Institute supported more than 2700 scientists at its large facilities in 2012.
The success of a user facility is reflected in the interest of the scientific community in performing experiments at that facility and in the number of publications generated which are based on experiments carried out at it.
In 2012, around 730 articles based on experiments at PSI's large scale facilities are published in scientific journals, and more than 5000 visits to PSI take place of scientists from around the world who come to perform experiments at one of the facilities. Most users of neutrons or synchrotron light come to PSI from Switzerland or member countries of the European Union. The Swiss scientists are evenly distributed between PSI itself and other centres. Most of the external researchers come from ETH Zurich, but regularly scientists come from EPF Lausanne, the Swiss universities and the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research, Empa. In the case of muon experiments, an extraordinarily high percentage of users come from overseas. One reason for this is certainly the fact that PSI is the only institute in the world operating a facility for experiments with slow muons.
| Statistics for the year 2012
| PSI Facility
|| Swiss Light Source SLS
|| Spallation Neutron Source SINQ
|| Swiss Muon Source SμS
|| Laboratory for Particle Physics LTP
|Number of user visits
|Number of experiments
Proton therapy – immediate benefit for the society
Some sections of society benefit directly and immediately from out-patient proton therapy at the Institute. In 2012, PSI registered again more than 5000 visits from cancer patients. A success rate of more than 98 % puts PSI at the very forefront internationally in regard to the successful irradiation of melanoma of the eye. In 2012, approx. 60 % of the patients with deep-seated tumours were children and teenagers.
More than half of whom were infants, who received their treatment under anaesthetic. The success and social relevance of these projects persuaded the Cantons of Aargau and Zurich to grant a subsidy of 20 million CHF to PSI each towards the further development of proton therapy, as well as the strengthening of clinical research. These funds will be used for the development and enlargement of the irridiation stations (Gantry 2 and Gantry 3), as well as for adaptations of the technical infrastructure for the patient preparation for therapy. Thus research will be strengthened and even more Swiss cancer patients will be able to benefit from this innovative treatment in the future.