ROBOTICS AND MOBILITY
AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES AND NAVIGATION, FLYING AND WALKING ROBOTS, DIGITAL FABRICATION
Switzerland is a world-leading location for robotics research, a combination of precision mechanics, sensor technology and artificial intelligence. Switzerland Innovation Park Zurich aims to build on this expertise. Physical proximity supports exchange of information and facilitates synergies among researchers, companies located at the park, start-ups and student projects in a way that would not be possible elsewhere. Various teams from the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) with their projects and start-ups from the area of robotics and mobility have shown significant interest in establishing a location at the park – thanks not least to the opportunities for testing in the hangar and on the airfield.
The focus areas of research range from microscopically small robot parts for biomedicine and robot-assisted rehabilitation therapy to autonomous drones and walking machines and vehicles that are used in inspection and exploration or for construction. The innovation park’s initial focus will be placed primarily on autonomous systems. With the aid of on-board cameras or laser sensors, autonomous robots can navigate independently and with no external infrastructure such as GPS or motion-capture systems. The research being carried out involves technologies for flying, walking, driving and floating systems with the aim of developing learning robots and autonomous flying and driving vehicles that respond to their environment and can move independently and carry out missions on even the most difficult territory. Thanks to arms and grippers, they can also be used for digital architecture, that is construction robotics.
ACCELERATING DEVELOPMENT AND MANUFACTURE
One of the reasons why industries such as pharmaceuticals, medical technology, machinery and plant engineering, watchmaking and electronics are so successful in Switzerland is because they use progressive manufacturing technologies. These technologies enable them to develop innovative products with new functionalities and bring them to market quickly and in a cost-effective way.
It is planned that the innovation park will house a center for advanced manufacturing, in which research and industry work together to develop such progressive manufacturing technologies. A center of this kind will help Swiss industry to reinforce its competitiveness, and continue to develop in the direction of industry 4.0.
POSITIONING, COMMUNICATION, OBSERVATION
Space travel is about more than rockets, astronauts and missions to explore the planets, and involves many more specialist areas beyond mathematics, IT, natural sciences and technology. Today, space travel comprises elements that help the modern knowledge society to progress. In addition to manned and unmanned space travel, this includes navigation (e.g. GPS), earth observation, exploration of the solar system, astrophysics, the principles of physics and telecommunications.
Nowadays, life on earth without space travel would be unimaginable. Weather forecasts based on information from weather satellites tell us whether we will be needing an umbrella the following day, or warn us of extreme events. They also help to make international air traffic more safe. Cell phones and navigation systems now use GPS for geolocation, while communications satellites are used for Internet connections, telephony and television.
Investments have been made in various areas of space travel in the greater Zurich area in recent years. The planned SpaceHub Zurich is designed to bring research teams together and, thanks to knowledge exchange and synergies, promote implementation in the form of new products. The innovation park in Dübendorf, for its part, offers the necessary space for encounters, interaction and joint experiments.
Blockchain Swiss made
Networked transaction processes are the heart of every financial system. Thanks to its decentralized approach, blockchain technology enables transactions to be processed in a simpler and more secure way.
The aim is to build up a national blockchain research and innovation center with an international reach at Switzerland Innovation Park Zurich, under the name of Trust Square: Blockchain Swiss Made. A feasibility study is being carried out as a first step.
A public-private partnership model is being considered for the structure of the organization and the operation of the center, and is one of the aspects being investigated as part of the feasibility study. From an operational perspective, it is thought that the center would offer platforms for research teams from scientific research, the private sector, public institutions and start-ups, as well as conferences and symposiums.
Switzerland Innovation Park Zurich is particularly suitable as a location for the center thanks to the good network of relationships between all relevant universities active in the field of blockchain research in Switzerland (Federal Institute of Technology Zurich [ETHZ], University of Zurich, University of St.Gallen, Institut für Finanzdienstleistungen Zug IFZ/Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts). What is more, the park is also situated in close proximity to globally leading companies in the finance and technology industries.
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