Higher education excellence
The excellence of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) is regularly highlighted in international rankings. One of EPFL’s biggest success stories is Nexthink, the leader in digital employee experience (DEX) manage- ment software. With $180M in financing, this EPFL spin-off reached a $1.1 billion valuation making it the second unicorn (a startup that has gone on to be valued at over one billion US dollars) after MindMaze. Another unicorn from Vaud is ADC Therapeutics, which in 2019 achieved the best fundraising on a Swiss scale with CHF110 million raised. Despite fewer funds being put into new projects in 2020 due to the pandemic, it is impressive that five Vaud startups raised a total of CHF 272 million in 2020, ranking them in the Top 20 most important fundraising rounds in Switzerland.
EPFL also houses the National Center of Competence in Research Robotics, as well as the Swiss Data Center run jointly with ETH Zurich. These centers aim to accelerate the use of data science and machine-learning techniques for both the academic community and the industrial sector. Of particular importance is the Trust Valley, Switzerland’s center of expertise on digital trust and cybersecurity, launched in 2020.