Materials, surfaces, and metrology

A forerunner in microtechnologies

Materials and microtechnologies are an integral part of our daily lives. They can be found in all of the objects we use every day – in our telephones, our homes, and our clothing. Switzerland, which has a rich heritage in the fields of watch manufacture and precision engineering, continues to be a rich microcosm of microtechnology, firmly rooted in the country’s traditions.

The canton of Vaud is home to many high-tech companies and leading, internationally renowned academic research. These fields of activity, with high added value, integrate competencies in electronics, IT, physics, microsystem technology and captors, micromechanics, robotics, and material characteristics; they are yet another fundamental discipline in the Swiss academic landscape.

Several institutes carry out leading research in the canton and create innovative technologies based on tomorrow’s materials and microtechnology methods. They find their applications in extremely varied sectors, such as medtech, health, aerospace, and robotics.

The EPFL houses dozens of laboratories working on material sciences and microtechnologies. Their sheer variety – with laboratories working on metallurgy, polymers, and advanced composites – illustrates the diversity of this universe. The HEIG-VD also has different poles which revolve around materials science, while the CSEM, which specializes in microtechnologies, nanotechnologies, and micro-electronics, provides the final touch to this rich seam of expertise, giving the region a dynamic and generating a considerable quantity of innovations.

Businesses specializing in composite materials abound in the canton of Vaud. They include Décision, North Thin Ply Technology, Brulhart & Cie, and Dynatec, while in the field of metrology there are world leaders such as Sylvac, Trimos, and Tesa.

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