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Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

When Patrick Aebischer came back to his native Switzerland in 1992 and set about co-founding Modex Therapeutics, all the VCs he talked to advised him to start the company somewhere else. Switzerland didn't have the infrastructure to support a start-up they said. Today, things look very different in Switzerland. Some ten to twenty biotechs have issued in the last two or three years from the country's universities, most of which now have professional technology transfer departments. The government-funded Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) has a long tradition of links with industry and in 1998, its official technology transfer arm, the Services des Relations Industrielles, was set up. Since then, nearly 40 companies have been spun off from work at the EPFL.
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