The Energypolis Campus is a technological site at the centre of the town of Sion, very close to the SBB railway station. Here, researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL - Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) rub shoulders on a daily basis with young start-ups supported by The Ark Foundation. Researchers and students from the HES-SO Valais-Wallis will soon be arriving on the site too, making Energypolis an important place of synergy between pure research, applied research and entrepreneurship. By 2020, the Energypolis Campus will be home to more than a thousand specialists in the fields of energy, biotechnology and health.
Working closely together, these key educators and researchers, together with the Ark Foundation and the entrepreneurs, will constitute a complete innovation value chain that will greatly benefit the economic fabric of Valais. The Energypolis Campus is already part of the Swiss National Innovation Park, which aims to position Switzerland as a world leader in innovation.
Future innovation district
The Ark promotes the development of new expertise originating in the universities of applied sciences, and the cantonal and national research institutes. Its presence in Energypolis makes perfect sense, therefore, where it can ensure the best commercial advantage from this research work.
For now, The Ark Foundation has offices in the Industrie 17 building, where it supports a number of innovative start-ups. In the future, it will have a much larger space in which to welcome SMEs and start-ups, and create a veritable innovation district in the heart of Sion.
Start-ups present in Energypolis
EPFL in Valais
For the EPFL branch on the Energypolis Campus, 10 laboratories have been installed on site with 160 researchers, technicians and administrative staff, 31 nationalities, 55 PhD students and 7000 m2 of floor space. The researchers working in Sion benefit fully from the investment made by the canton of Valais and the town of Sion as they are provided with state-of-the-art equipment; shared instrumentation including laser, chromatography, nuclear magnetic resonance, electronic imaging, mass spectrometry and X-ray diffractometry laboratories; a fabrication laboratory; a machine shop and electronics workshop; and a chemistry store.
The first building on the Energypolis Campus was opened in December 2014. Watch the video of the official opening of Energypolis here.