Cooperation with Korea

Opening of “KRISS Joint Research Office”

Jun 23, 2016 | MICHAEL HAGMANN
Cooperation between Empa and the Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS) in the field of nano-safety research has been intensified further by the inauguration of a KRISS “branch” in St. Gallen. On 23 July last year, Empa CEO Gian-Luca Bona and KRISS Vice-President Hyun Min Park signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a closer collaboration between the two institutes.

Empa is one of the world’s leading research institutes in the field of nano-safety; its research focuses include interactions between nanomaterials and human cells and tissues, as well as the release of nanomaterials into the environment. KRISS develops standards in nanomaterial synthesis and characterization, accelerating the transfer of innovative nanomaterials from the lab all the way to their practical use. The “combined” knowhow of the two institutes thus enables a safe and sustainable use of nanomaterials e.g., in consumer goods and healthcare products. The collaboration with the world’s leading institutes in the field of nanotechnology is extremely important for both institutes to achieve a facts-based and target-oriented harmonization of the necessary regulations for nano-products. The networking and intensive exchange on location are boosted further by the strategic cooperation between Empa and KRISS.

“We’ll be collaborating in two specific areas,” explains Peter Wick, Head of Empa’s Particles Biology Interactions lab. “On the one hand, we conduct research into how nanomaterials are absorbed by cells, where they accumulate and what impact they have on human tissues; on the other hand, we need innovative, but also reliable methods to understand these complex interactions and draw the right conclusions from them.”

A center where innovations are co-developed

The inauguration of the new KRISS Joint Research Office took place at the Startfeld innovation center in the presence of Isabel Schorer, member of the cantonal council of St. Gallen who is also Head of the St. Gallen Business and Economic Development Division, Nam Woong Song, Head of the Center for Nano Safety Metrology at KRISS, and Alex Dommann, Head of the Department “Materials meet Life” and a member of Empa’s Board of Directors. “The Startfeld innovation center is the perfect location for the KRISS Joint Research Office,” says Startfeld’s managing director, Peter Frischknecht. “It’s a place where innovative entrepreneurs and outstanding scientists get together to discover and develop new things right on Empa’s doorstep.”


As the Republic of Korea's National Metrology Institute, KRISS, the Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science, provides internationally recognized national measurement standards to its customers in various industries as a means to help improve the quality and competitiveness of Korean industrial products in global markets.

Further information

Dr. Peter Wick
Head of Laboratory for Particles-Biology Interactions
Phone +41 58 765 76 84


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