Energypolis Campus: Innovation at the heart of the Alps

The Energypolis Campus, a veritable ecosystem of innovation, is shaping Valais’s future. Visionary and unifying, it brings together the skills of EPFL Valais Wallis, HES-SO Valais-Wallis, and The Ark Foundation’s services, amongst many others. Together, these partners respond to today’s major concerns in the domains of energy, health, and the environment using cutting-edge technology.

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The aim of the Energypolis Campus is to create a complete value chain by accompanying an idea’s development from A to Z – from fundamental research to the marketing of bold solutions. It connects training and research excellence with business know-how to shine a global spotlight on Valais. Eventually, the Energypolis Campus will bring together over a thousand people on one site.


The Campus Energypolis
in a few figures

Number of students at HES: 400

Number of collaborators: 550

Campus size: 43'000m2

Number of laboratories: 29


Challenges related to energy transition are central to the Energypolis Campus, particularly the production, efficient use and storage of renewable energy, as well as its impact on power grids.


Thanks to nanotechnology, it is now possible to understand and model matter on infinitely small scales. This opens the door to the study of new materials and alloys with surprising properties, particularly in terms of energy efficiency, storage capacity and purification ability.


Saving our environment is of the utmost importance. Producing electricity without damaging the environment is a major focus, but other important aspects include cleaning up polluted areas, transforming flue gas into fuel and studying alpine and extreme environments, which are highly sensitive to climate change.


Thanks to digital technology and artificial intelligence, the management of industrial processes has great potential for improvement – a subject which is being studied by the campus’s researchers through the prism of energy efficiency, yield and production data.


As medicine evolves, the human body has never been so well cared for, yet it has never been so threatened. The quality of food and an ageing population are the growing challenges confronted by the campus’s researchers. Food technology and neuroengineering are a focal point for the many skills found on campus.


A joint platform

The most solid research projects are developed by teams with a varied profile. To ensure qualitative interdisciplinarity when creating new, innovative projects, the Campus offers a joint research platform for EPFL Valais Wallis and HES-SO Valais-Wallis. The Campus also encourages collaborations with research institutes present in Valais, such as Idiap, CREM, the Icare Institute and the Swiss Distance University Institute.

The joint platforms cover shared programmes and equipment for training, continuous education, research and tests, as well as joint marketing to promote the engineering profession and technology transfer.

1:1 Demonstrators

To encourage the development of effective models, researchers have access to a full-scale laboratory: the Campus itself. They can also take advantage of an environment specially adapted for the implementation of large-scale demonstrators.

Demonstrators are life-size test installations for testing technology developed in the laboratories of EPFL Valais Wallis and HES-SO Valais-Wallis. Technology such as the autonomous shuttle bus winding through Sion’s old town, the Grid Lab which studies the integration of renewable energy in the electrical networks of the future, or Martigny’s demonstrator which offers a complete value chain for the production, storage and distribution of hydrogen.

Innovation Network

Furthermore, the Energypolis Campus is now part of the Switzerland Innovation network, a national initiative which aims to position Switzerland as a global leader in innovation by clearly defining the skill areas of each of its ten partners. It allows Switzerland to keep its position at the cutting-edge of innovation and ensures it remains competitive in the future. The objective is to establish innovation cells from large companies throughout the country, with their production units to follow.

The Switzerland Innovation Park Network West EPFL offers Swiss and foreign companies an environment which stimulates exchanges between international companies and the academic stars of French-speaking Switzerland in order to encourage innovation.


In the life cycle of a traditional photovoltaic panel, the heaviest energy consumption results from the extraction and purification of silicon. Prof. Nazeeruddin from EPFL Valais Wallis and his team are working on a revolutionary material. Perovskite, a crystal structure which is cheap and simple to produce, offers a similar yield to silicon cells. There are high hopes for this new material.
With its 46 dams, Valais produces more than a quarter of the hydroelectric power consumed in Switzerland. Despite the canton already being the top producer in the country, Cécile Münch-Aligné and her team at HES-SO Valais Wallis want to harness all the kinetic energy that water has to offer using various types of mini turbine. Waterways, by-channels, industrial pipelines and even small pipes: all of this adds up to a significant sum of lost energy that deserves our attention.
Researchers at EPFL Valais Wallis have successfully developed a super sponge with incredible properties. Known as MOF (Metal-Organic Framework), the sponge is made from standard and non-polluting organic and metallic elements. This powder is able to capture CO2 in the air, as well as heavy metals in water, such as fluorine or gold. With the potential for multiple applications, this discovery has already attracted interest from a number of industries.
Current knowledge of the nervous system is leading to the development of ever more efficient robotic prosthetics. Thanks to the Megane Pro project developed at HES-SO Valais-Wallis, amputees can control a prosthetic hand using a completely unique device which looks like a simple bracelet worn on the forearm.