Zurich – A record-breaking 27 companies were founded as spinoffs from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) in 2018. Most of the companies are in ICT and medicine, while others are working with artificial intelligence.

The ETH reported a record number of spinoffs in 2018, with 27 companies founded from the university, according to a statement. Over the past two decades, the number of ETH spinoffs has continuously increased in a trend that now seems set to continue.

Of the 27 spinoffs, 12 are in the field of ICT. Eight from various fields are developing products for the medical sector. Some of the founders are working on a new method of root canal treatment, for example, and others on an easy-to-handle and inexpensive PET scanner for the early detection of Alzheimer’s.

With the digital transformation, artificial intelligence (AI) is also increasing in importance – a fact represented by the six new companies working on machine learning methods. One of them, Scailyte, is developing a software that can analyse patterns in huge volumes of data from individual cells and link them to various diseases.

However, young founders don’t only have good ideas – they can also attract investors. In 2018, spinoffs from the ETH attracted more than 170 million Swiss francs in capital. ClimeworksVerity Studios and Beekeeper concluded rounds of financing with over 30 million francs, 18 million francs and 13 million francs respectively. Alongside these investments, acquisitions and initial public offerings also showed the success of ETH spin-offs. The ETH cites as an example the successful IPO of the sensors manufacturer Sensirion in March 2018.

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