Innovation, research and development

While Valais stands out in terms of its idyllic landscape and renowned tourist resorts, it also distinguishes itself by its creative strength in specialised industries. As a true centre for innovation and technology, Valais relies on an ecosystem geared towards the development of ideas thanks to its various research institutes, its universities of applied sciences and an innovation park which encourages start-ups to flourish. This strong network of partners attracts many students, researchers and entrepreneurs from Switzerland and abroad.

Idiap Research Institute

Based in Martigny, the Idiap Research Institute is a not-for-profit foundation specialising in research and development within the field of human-computer interaction and the processing of multimedia information. Idiap has a shared development plan with the EPFL since 2008. In total, around a hundred permanent researchers, doctoral and post-doctoral students work at this institute, which is recognised internationally for its multidisciplinary projects in the processing of audio and video signals, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Idiap is one of the most active independent research institutes in the world in the field of information technology.

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Foundation for innovation

Founded in 2004 by the Canton of Valais, The Ark Foundation supports the establishment and incubation of start-ups and the growth of businesses in Valais in the areas of information and communication sciences, life sciences as well as energy and environmental sciences. The foundation offers its incubation, growth and innovation services to assist researchers and entrepreneurs distributed across the six sites of the Valais technology park, between Visp and Monthey.

The Valais technology park spans more than 25,000 square metres.

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Universities of Applied Sciences

Thanks to its 9 courses of study and 7 research institutes throughout the canton, the HES-SO Valais/Wallis is an established centre for skills and innovation. It is made up of four universities of applied sciences specialising in health, tourism management, engineering and social work, and trains some 2,300 students each year. Employing around 490 full-time staff, the HES-SO also contributes to the economic and social development of Valais.

The Institute of Systems Engineering within HES-SO Valais- Wallis works in particular in the space sector alongside NASA and ESA.

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The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL)

Dedicated to scientific research in the energy, health and environmental sectors, the Valais branch of the EPFL in Sion currently has 9 research chairs and 3 research groups. There will soon be 8 new environmental research chairs in the Sion branch. Every day, 180 researchers, professors and doctoral students work on EPFL’s Valais site. In the future, 400 people will work on the Sion campus.

39 different nationalities work on the EPFL Valais campus.

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Did you know?

The driverless bus system in Sion, developed by PostBus Switzerland and the Mobility Lab Sion-Valais, is a world-renowned test project.