USI fosters many initiatives in the field of innovation. Among these we find application-oriented research - with spin-offs, field studies and projects, translational research and dedicated centres and observatories - the promotion or participation in competence centres, specialised networks, osmosis and reflection initiatives, technology and knowledge transfer support, and startups.
These initiatives are part of the University's so-called "third mandate", which aims at affirming the role of USI as an active contributor towards the economic and social development of the region.
The so-called "spin-offs" are companies born as an "applied" productive offshoot of research activities. Some examples:
- Humabs, a spin-off of the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB), now part of Vir Biotechnology;
- Fabula AI, a spin-off of the Institute of Computational Science (ICS), now part of Twitter;
- BigOmics Analytics, a spin-off of the Institute of Oncology Research (IOR);
- Algo4U, a spin-off of the Euler Institute (EUL)
Field studies and projects
In addition to basic research, researchers from all areas of the University also engage in studies and consulting at institutions, companies and other organisations. These activities also include Field Projects (projects carried out with the involvement of students) and regular collaborations with cultural institutions to value funds, collections and works for public benefit.
In the specific field of medical and biomedical research, USI also engages in so-called translational research, which aims to enable the timely transfer of research results "from the laboratory to the patient's bedside". Translational research is performed in the context of a network of collaborations with the Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale, clinics and physicians.
Specialised centres and observatories
Certain research centres at USI are more directly and systematically focused on application-oriented research, R&D, and/or implementation of analyses and recommendations for the benefit of regional economic entities and institutions:
- Centre for Computational Medicine in Cardiology (CCMC)
- Tourism Observatory (O-Tur)
- Observatory for Economic Dynamics (O-De)
- Observatory for Public Finance and Energy (O-FPE)
- Spatial Development Observatory (OST)
Competence centres and networks
Switzerland Innovation Park Ticino
Switzerland Innovation is an ecosystem which, through competence centres created within so-called "innovation parks", enables the collaboration between businesses, startups and universities to share ideas, accelerate the transformation of research results into products and services and thus strengthen Switzerland's position as one of the most innovative countries in the world. The ecosystem is organised in six parks in Switzerland. Park Ticino is an associated entity of Park Zurich and USI is an academic partner of it. Find out more
Swiss Drone Base Camp
The Swiss Drone Base Camp is a competence centre that aims to explore, innovate and activate cutting-edge projects in the field of drones and their use through the development of research, technology, know-how and regulatory and commercial aspects. USI is one of the academic partners of the centre, which is part of the Switzerland Innovation Park Ticino. Find out more
Lifestyle Tech Competence Center
LTCC is an association that promotes collaboration between companies and academic institutions in the Lifestyle sector, with the aim of stimulating technology and knowledge transfer, boosting innovation and fostering organic growth both nationally and internationally. USI is one of the academic partners of the platform. Find out more
Locarno Media City
Locarno Media City is a coordination platform promoted by the City of Locarno, Locarno Film Festival, Palacinema Locarno, Swisscom and USI. It aims to strengthen existing collaborations within a framework initiative and share new projects and activities in the field of creative industry related to communication and the art of cinema and audiovisuals.
Lugano Living Lab
Lugano Living Lab (L*3) is an initiative by the City of Lugano to promote and enable digital and technological innovation. L*3 is committed to creating, testing, and developing digital and technological solutions, integrating research and development projects related to digital transformation to make Lugano an innovative city with a human face. USI is a partner of the project. Find out more
Ticino Blockchain Technologies Association
Ticino Blockchain Technologies Association is committed to fostering innovation and research, creating synergies between the public and private sectors, to raise awareness and development in all technologies related to blockchain and decentralised applications. USI is one of the partners of the platform. Find out more
Il Litorale is an initiative of USI, a place in the heart of the city of Lugano where the academic world (students, researchers, faculty) meets society to develop a dialogue around innovation, entrepreneurship, and fostering social-economic growth in the region. Find out more
House of Sustainability
The House of Sustainability is an outpost of USI in Airolo that aims to educate and raise awareness on the major sustainability challenges through a hands-on approach to test ideas and solutions. Find out more
Innovate with us
World-class research, a people-friendly environment that enables the exchange of ideas and an informal spirit, contribute to making USI a breeding ground for innovation with surprising perspectives. To promote the transformation of ideas and research results into innovation, the University offers support in technology and knowledge transfer, startup development and entrepreneurship training.