Partnership to enhance both research and practice
Energy transition, climate change, biodiversity, and scarcity of resources – the challenges we face today are complex, and tomorrow won’t wait. It’s time to join forces and intensify collaboration. That is the goal of the four research institutes of the ETH Domain: Empa, Eawag, WSL, and PSI. Now these four institutes are positioning themselves with new cooperation platforms and joint projects. As «4RI» they are developing innovative solutions to problems and forming the crucial link between research at the two Federal Institutes of Technology and practice.
The people of Switzerland recognise the current challenges and want solutions: 69 percent see climate change as a major problem that demands immediate action. This was one finding of a recent survey commissioned by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR.
The research institutes of the ETH Domain are addressing these pressing questions. Empa, Eawag, WSL, and PSI are jointly developing solutions for a sustainable, livable future. "We can only solve the great challenges, such as the energy transition or an ageing society, if we work together, and this requires the close cooperation of the institutions," says PSI Director Christian Rüegg, who represents the four research institutes in the ETH Domain.
Reinforcing progress on shared topics
To strengthen their collaborative efforts, the four institutes have joined forces to form 4RI: the 4 Research Institutes of the ETH Domain. Together they have identified their central topic areas and have started new projects that cross institutional boundaries. Net-zero technologies, circular economy, and personalised medicine are among these key topics. The four institutes are also establishing a common platform for internal training and further education. Swiss Sensor Net, a joint project for sensor technologies and networks, will serve to precisely determine data and facts that will enable the development of tailored improvements. In this way, science can provide the foundations for well supported policy decisions.
At the same time, 4RI is expanding collaboration with the two Federal Institutes of Technology, ETH Zurich and EPFL Lausanne. Accordingly, the four research institutes are oriented towards the strategic areas of the entire ETH Domain as well as its recently approved Joint Initiatives. Likewise, further initiatives have been launched, for instance in the area of personalised medicine, here too in coordination with activities of ETH Zurich and EPFL in areas such as biosensors.
4RI and the two Federal Institutes of Technology are in agreement: Sound research results are the basis for future-oriented and sustainable solutions. Thus they are contributing today to making the right decisions for coming generations.
Short video on the four research institutes of the ETH Domain: «4RI – 4 our future»
Text: Paul Scherrer Institute/Laura Hennemann, based on a text from EMPA/Andrea Six