Main focus areas
ETH Zurich carries out fundamental research to broaden the knowledge base and provide the starting point for future innovative applications. The research is focused on the needs of society – be that at local, national or global level – and so makes a valuable contribution to the economy, politics and society in general.
ETH Zurich’s main focus areas are as follows:
World food system
At present, there are over seven billion people living on Earth, and by the year 2050 that figure is expected to have reached nine billion. How to feed that growing world population while at the same time preserving limited natural resources is one of the biggest challenges facing mankind.
Cities of the future
Cities are cultural centres and the driving force behind the local and global economy. However, in their present form they are not sustainable, from an ecological, social or economic point of view.
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the world’s population. The broad, interdisciplinary approach that is taken at ETH Zurich gives it a soundly based, holistic perspective on the problem of climate change.
Today’s global energy system, which is mainly based on the use of fossil fuel resources, is not sustainable for a growing world population that is living in increasing prosperity. Energy research at ETH Zurich is therefore geared towards the aim of creating a 1-ton CO2 society.
A society with an ageing population poses major challenges for scientific research. At ETH Zurich, researchers from many different disciplines are working to ensure that we maintain a good quality of life into old age.
In an increasingly networked world, the risks also become more complex and can assume global proportions. It is important to identify, understand and model these risks in order to be able to react more effectively to crises.
Nowadays, data can be processed more and more efficiently. ETH Zurich is carrying out ground-breaking work to tackle the technological, scientific and socio-economic challenges facing our information society.
Many of the achievements of modern society have only been made possible by the development of new materials. Materials research at ETH Zurich makes an important contribution to this work.