Zurich/Lausanne – The Swiss Data Science Center, launched by the two Federal Institutes of Technology, is off to a successful start. It has already initiated a platform for data exchange that will also benefit companies. Now, the first research projects have kicked off.

The Swiss Data Science Center is a joint initiative of the Federal Institutes of Technology in Zurich (ETH) and Lausanne (EPFL). Founded at the start of the year, the center is designed to ensure that Switzerland has the data science competences needed to succeed on the international stage.

The center is now off to a successful start, the ETH revealed in a statement. In September, scientists at the center launched their open source platform Renga.

Researchers from a wide range of disciplines can use the platform to store organised and – if necessary – anonymised data, which are then made available to other scientists. The result is a bridge between researchers who produce data and those who develop new data analysis and data system technologies.

An industrial day demonstrated how companies too could benefit from the new platform. In future, businesses will be able to make use of the platform’s data.

However, the Swiss Data Science Center does not plan to promote interdisciplinary projects with the platform alone. It also offers funding contributions. Funding lasts for two years and amounts to between 300,000 and 600,000 Swiss francs per project.

Eight projects have now been selected, according to the statement. They are primarily drawn from environmental sciences and health sciences, as well as deep learning – a form of machine learning that uses artificial neural networks to recognise typical patterns and objects in large data volumes. One project is using this method for medical image computing.

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