Vision and Mission Statement

Our Vision: Materials and Technologies for a Sustainable Future

Our vision is as simple and straight-forward as it is bold and ambitious. It is a beacon of sorts that shows us where we ought to be heading and what we should strive for. It serves as a gold standard for many if not all our activities.

To cope with the manifold challenges that loom ahead, it will be crucial to deliver sustainable and resilient solutions with the help of science and technology. At Empa, we are taking on the task of developing and sketching out paths into a livable future for the coming generations.

One thought is key for us: Wherever possible, we would like to help close materials cycles with the help of innovative technologies, i.e. we want to move away from today's throwaway society and pave the way to a circular economy. Because our natural resources are finite – and far too valuable not to be recycled or reused.

To assume this role responsibly Empa has elaborated, based on the institute’s vision, a comprehensive mission statement spelling out its goals, core values and corporate culture, which guides all of us in our endeavor to excel and to contribute to making the world a more sustainable place.

At the very heart of all of this are the 1’000-odd scientists, engineers, technicians and general staff, the asset that makes Empa a world-renowned research institute for materials science and technology.

Together with our partners from research, industry or the public sector we are pushing the limits in science and technology for a prosperous tomorrow.

Our Approach: Kick-starting Innovation

As an interdisciplinary research institute of the ETH Domain, Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, conducts cutting-edge materials and technology research. Our research and development activities focus on meeting the requirements of industry and the needs of society, and thus link applications-oriented research to the practical implementation of new ideas in the areas of nanostructured, “smart” materials and surfaces, energy, sustainable building and environmental technologies as well as medical technology and solutions for personalized medicine.

We are thus capable of providing our partners with customized solutions that not only enhance their innovative edge and competitiveness for global markets, but also help to improve the quality of life for the public at large. Through an efficient technology transfer Empa is turning research results into marketable innovations – true to our mission statement:

Empa – The Place where Innovation Starts

So that Switzerland will continue to lead the global innovation rankings in the future.

Prof. Dr. Tanja Zimmermann

Mission Statement


Our Mission Statement provides a detailed overview about our goals, values and corporate culture.

Organizational Chart

You can download our Organizational Chart with detailed information about our departments, laboratories and centers.

Empa - the book

The book "Beyond Materials – A brief history of Empa" reveals how Empa has evolved from a modest basement laboratory to a top-notch research institute – an entertaining journey through a remarkable period of Swiss history.