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Beyond materials

A brief history of Empa

Empa conducts materials research and develops new technologies with which to drive innovation. This is very much in keeping with its identity as ‘the place where innovation starts’. During its 140-year history as a research institute, Empa has changed and evolved time and again in order to continue to contribute to the challenges of a changing society. After all, as Heraclitus said, ‘The only constant in life is change. During the first few years of Empa’s existence, the young institute’s success wasbased on high-quality inspection, measuring and testing procedures. However, it soon became clear that its profound understanding of materials and their manufacturing enabled it to identify important connections between systems and applications that were of technical – i.e. economic and societal – value. In our increasingly fast-changing times, creative discovery and research, swift implementation of practical applications and open interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary collaboration between different teams and disciplines are essential if Switzerland is to remain successful as a small national economy in a globalised world.

What has remained the same despite Empa’s fundamental transformation is its role as an interface between science and business, one that aims to anticipate and tackle future challenges for the benefit of Swiss industry and the good of society. After all, the boundaries between different disciplines are a rich source of surprising new discoveries. With this in mind, this book is merely a snapshot of our fastchanging world.

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Price: CHF 36.- (plus shipping & handling), 216 pages, 129 images and illustrations, ISBN: 978-3-905594-69-0

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«A pioneering spirit working on the solutions of tomorrow»

"Empa has achieved a huge amount over the past 140 years. We will face major changes across all areas of life in the coming years: our world is becoming more face-paced, more digital and more interconnected. At the same time, the pressure of international competition and environmental requirements is increasing. In short, we are facing huge challenges that we can only tackle by uniting forces."

Carmen Walker-Späh, Cantonal Government Councilor and Economic Director of the Canton of Zurich

«A unique bridge between research and industry»

"Empa always aims to stay one step ahead. It identifies new trends and helps to shape them, while remaining open to industry requirements. Empa is an indispensable Swiss research institute with specialized expertise in the fields of materials, technologies and digital networking. It is always breaking new ground, overcoming barriers and reinventing itself. It is a research institute that serves our economy, and is able to recognize and leverage opportunities and possibilities at an early stage."

Johann Schneider-Ammann, former Federal Councillor and Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research

«Is Empa Swiss? You will hear me say: Absolutely!»

"Ever since I got to know Empa a little from the inside, I like to tell people at every possible opportunity – appropriate or inappropriate – that Empa embodies the attitude that has made Switzerland so successful. (...) Switzerland doesn’t live inside its comfort zone – it is a laboratory for a brighter, freer, better future. For me, this is what Empa is all about."

Ludwig Hasler, Journalist, Philosopher and Physicist

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