In 2019, CSEM’s scientists made notable advancements in several fields: Artificial Intelligence-based systems that can detect potential train incidents; systems for continually monitoring epileptic patients’ brain activity to help doctors develop better treatment protocols; and more effective methods for detecting breast cancer. The year ended with record growth on several fronts, enabling the Center to face the future with confidence.
Growth in revenues and headcount
CSEM’s revenues rose 6.6% in 2019, bringing it to a record level. Much of this increase can be attributed to a 30% climb in competitive public research funds (e.g. Innosuisse, the Swiss National Science Foundation, and EU projects). The level of public contributions remained largely unchanged, and industrial projects stayed close to the record level reached in 2018. These figures reflect the confidence that businesses and public-sector organizations have in CSEM’s research capabilities – as well as CSEM’s capacity to transform research funds into value-added technology that is transferred to industry. Thanks to the Center’s solid finances, it was able to create 27 new jobs in 2019, expanding its headcount by 5.7%.
Supporting the digital transformation
CSEM also made progress in its efforts to help Swiss businesses implement their digitalization strategies. Through a series of projects completed in 2019, the Center showed that even small and medium-sized companies can digitalize their key processes, including companies operating in traditional industries. For instance, Schmid Federnfabrik – winner of the 2019 CSEM Digital Journey competition – is using the award to develop a smart spring system that can detect potential mechanical failures and pinpoint areas where maintenance is needed to prevent costly plant shutdown. This year CSEM will select not one but two winners, enabling two Swiss firms to take concrete steps towards digitalization.
In the coming years, the Center will focus its research efforts on Deep Tech, which is disruptive technology arising from advancements in Digitalization, Artificial Intelligence, Renewable Energy, and Advanced Manufacturing. Progress in all these fields will be crucial for Swiss manufacturers to retain their competitive advantage on the global stage.