Programmes and initiatives
National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCR)
National Centres of Competence in Research (NCCR) promote long-term research projects in areas of vital strategic importance for the development of science in Switzerland, for the economy of the country, and for Swiss society.
NCCR improve the research structure in Switzerland, promote research of outstanding, internationally recognized quality, enable knowledge and technology transfer, offer training and foster the promotion women in research.
Contribution of the ETH Zurich to NCCR
Research groups from the ETH Zurich are involved in 14 out of 21 currently ongoing NCCR.
For three NCCR, ETH Zurich acts as the leading house:
The NCCR "Molecular Ultrafast Science and Technology" (NCCR MUST) opens up new perspectives for the study of molecular systems and time-resolved structural investigations in physics, chemistry and biology. It focuses on the multidisciplinary development of experimental and theoretical tools.
The NCCR "Quantum Science & Technology" (NCCR QSIT) is active in a field which unites the key discoveries of the 20th century: quantum physics and information theory. Potential applications are primarily focused in the area of computer science and sensors.
The NCCR "Digital Fabrication" examines innovative processes of design, engineering and construction in architecture. The main focus is research into digital design and manufacturing processes and their synthesis through the use of novel technologies.
ETH Zurich is the Co-Leading House of four other NCCR:
The NCCR "Molecular Systems Engineering" (NCCR MSE) aims at creating complex, functional systems from molecular, biological and chemical components, and in this way further develop systems biology into a new form of molecular engineering.
The research activities within the NCCR "RNA & Disease" aim at advancing our understanding of fundamental mechanisms in RNA biology, identifying disease phenotypes related to these mechanisms and developing ideas for novel therapeutic and diagnostic approaches.
The NCCR "Mathematics of Physics" (NCCR Swiss MAP) is a multidisciplinary project at the crossroads of mathematics and theoretical physics which aims to encourage the interactions between both fields.
Swiss Competence Centers in the Energy Sector (SCCER)
In order to be able to implement the decision by the Federal Council and parliament to phase out nuclear power by 2035, the efficiency of renewable energies must be increased and new opportunities in this area must be exploited. The Federal Council intends to boost energy research under the Coordinated Energy Research in Switzerland Action Plan. The key element of this plan involves setting up inter-university research networks, or Swiss Competence Centers for Energy Research (SCCER). The Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) finances and controls the setup with support from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).
There are seven predefined action areas for the competence centres:
- Grids and their components, energy systems
- Power supply (supply of electrical energy)
- Economy, environment, law, behaviour
- Efficient concepts, processes and components in mobility
Energy competence centres have been approved in all seven action areas. There is one SCCER in each action area, except for "Efficiency". In this action area two SCCER have been approved.
Researchers of the ETH Zurich participate in all eight SCCER. For altogether three SCCER ETH Zurich is the Leading House:
The SCCER “Supply of Electricity” (SCCER-SoE) has been established to develop fundamental research and innovative solutions in the domains of GeoEnergies (Deep Geothermal Energy and CO2 sequestration) and HydroPower.
The SCCER “Effiicient Technologies and Systems for Mobility” (SCCER-Mobility) aims at developing the knowledge and technologies essential for the transition of the current fossil fuel based transportation system to a sustainable one, featuring minimal CO2-output and Primary Energy Demand as well as virtually zero-pollutant emissions.
It is intended to continue SCCER activities in the next funding period (Dispatch on Education, Research and Innovation in the years 2017-2020), provided the SCCER still meet the expectations formulated in the objectives.
National research initiatives and programmes
Researchers of ETH Zurich are actively engaged in the following national research initiatives.
In addition, ETH Zurich ist involved in several national research programmes of the Swiss National Science Foundation.