Advancing the future of the construction industry together

The Innovation Park Central Switzerland, dedicated to the topic of "Building Excellence", and NEST, the research and innovation building of Empa and Eawag, are launching a new partnership. Together, innovative solutions for buildings and urban districts are to be designed, tested and made ready for the market.
NEST and the Innovation Park Central Switzerland join forces to drive innovation processes in the construction sector. Image NEST: Zooey Braun

The Innovation Park Central Switzerland and NEST have a common goal: to promote innovation for buildings and urban districts. In both institutions, industry, research and the public sector work together to achieve this goal. In order to make best use of their combined strengths and to further accelerate innovation processes, the Innovation Park Central Switzerland and NEST are now entering into a new partnership.

Conceptual design in the Innovation Park and...

"The Innovation Park Central Switzerland has extensive expertise in the conception of innovative solutions in the building sector, the NEST team and its partners specialize in the implementation and demonstration of such concepts. We see enormous potential for this new partnership ", says Melissa Kneubühler, Innovation Coordinator at the Innovation Park Central Switzerland. In order to fully take advantage of this potential, NEST representatives will be working in the Innovation Park's "labs" in the future. In these labs, partners work together to develop solutions and answers to specific questions in an "Open Innovation" approach. The NEST team will contribute its expertise, particularly in the areas of digitalization, energy and circular economy.

... Implementation at NEST

The concepts developed in the labs can finally be implemented and developed further at NEST. "Located on the Empa campus, NEST provides us with a test environment where real-world conditions prevail. This enables us to efficiently validate the concepts we develop with our new partners at the Innovation Park Central Switzerland and to evaluate their marketability", says Reto Largo, Managing Director of NEST. At the same time, the networks of the two institutions can connect partners and kick-start new projects.

One thing is clear for both parties: By combining the strengths of NEST and the Innovation Park Central Switzerland, the innovative strength and the competitiveness of all partners in the construction sector will be significantly enhanced.

Innovation Park Central Switzerland

The Innovation Park Central Switzerland is committed to the Open Innovation philosophy. Within the theme of "Building Excellence", the industry, science and public sector work together on specific issues and benefit from the interdisciplinary expertise. The park offers its members a competent network, an inspiring setting and professional excellence to promote innovation. Furthermore, the park arranges meetings, organizes methodical ideation and enables rapid prototyping. It also cultivates the exchange of relevant developments and organizes various events. For companies, universities, institutions, start-ups and students, the Innovation Park is an attractive place to jointly advance innovation projects. An accreditation as a site of the Swiss Innovation Park Zurich by the Switzerland Innovation Foundation is aspired.


NEST is the modular research and innovation building of two Swiss research institutes, Empa and Eawag. It was opened in 2016 and is located on the Empa campus in Dübendorf. More than 150 partners from research, industry and the public sector work closely together in NEST. At NEST, new technologies and construction concepts are tested under real-world conditions, developed further and demonstrated in everyday practice. As a result, innovative construction and energy technologies can be brought to the market much faster.