Swiis Federal Institute of Technology Zürich

01/09/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/09/2017 04:08

Building their own companies with timber and robots

The topical focus of the 25 new spin-offs reflects the entire breadth of research at ETH Zurich. With eight new companies, the field of information and communications technology is once again well represented. There was also a welcome increase in the field of mechanical engineering, where no fewer than six new spin-offs were founded - twice as many as in the previous year. In the field of biotechnology, four spin-offs were founded, matching the figure for 2015.

Among the newly founded spin-offs, two companies offer solutions in the field of timber engineering. This is not by chance; on the contrary, the startup Swiss Timber Solutions emerged from the House of Natural Resources project. This unique building, owned by ETH Zurich, is used for testing innovative technologies and new structural parts made from Swiss hardwood. The spin-off deals with questions relating to the fire protection, structural design and maintenance of timber structures. The second spin-off, Swiss Wood Solutions, develops and markets high-quality timber products around the world. For Detlef Günther, these are impressive examples that demonstrate how knowledge transfer works at ETH Zurich: 'When we inaugurated the House of Natural Resources a year ago, we were fascinated by the possibilities that our researchers discovered in timber construction. Now, these findings are already leading to the establishment of new companies.'

Robotics is another stand-out area among last year's new startups. With the companies Aerotainment Labs, ANYbotics and Wingtra, renowned walking and flying robots from ETH are poised to make the leap into independence. These robots vary widely and can be used for inspection tasks on difficult terrain, for monitoring tasks in the agricultural sector, or even for animation and entertainment.