Most technological innovations originate in the lab. But just because something runs like clockwork in a laboratory doesn’t mean it will work on a large, industrial scale. The road from an invention and its development in the lab to a successful innovation that can succeed on the market is often long and fraught with obstacles. In order to accelerate the innovation process, Empa set up a series of demonstrators, so-called Research and Technology Transfer Platforms (RTTPs). These are large-scale projects with several research partners in close collaboration with industry and under the lead of Empa that are designed to yield marketable solutions in the building, mobility and energy sector.
There is hardly any any other branch of industry where it is so difficult to realize new concepts and ideas on the market as in the building sector. For a new material or system to make its mark in practice, demonstration platforms like NEST are crucial. Thanks to NEST, many more building innovations can reach the market – faster and technically mature.
The mobility of tomorrow needs to be cleaner and more energy-efficient. One option is to convert renewable energy into energy carriers such as hydrogen or synthetic gas and use it as fuel. In “move”, the demonstration platform for future mobility, this is being realized technically for different powertrain concepts for the first time.
The goal of the Energy Hub – or ehub for short – is to optimize energy management at district level. In conjunction with NEST and move, ehub enables energy flows in the mobility, housing and work sector to be combined, new energy concepts to be tested in practice and the potential for increasing efficiency to be explored.
Digital technologies are changing the competitive landscape in the areas of buildings, energy and mobility. The "Digital Hub" (dhub) connects the three research and demonstration platforms NEST, move and "Energy Hub" at the Empa site in Dübendorf on a digital level - thus linking the building sector with the energy and mobility sector.
self – as a matter of fact NEST’s predecessor – is a self-sufficient living module, where two people can live and work. The prime goal is to make the best out of limited resources. self can be transported quickly and easily, which makes it just the ticket for use at a wide variety of locations, not to mention for demonstration purposes.