Federal Council, 22 February 2017

On application of the ETH Board, the Federal Council reappointed the Director of Empa, Gian-Luca Bona, for another four years on 22 February 2017. His third term of office will start on 1 September 2017.

Under the leadership of Gian-Luca Bona, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Empa, has evolved into an internationally leading research institute for materials research and innovative technologies. Thanks to this scientific basis, Empa prepares innovations for the market in cooperation with partners from industry. The knowledge and technology transfer in the economy and in society is driven forward by numerous initiatives; by now, Empa’s network extends to more than 500 partner firms in Switzerland alone. In close cooperation with academic and industrial partners, Empa’s development projects include research transfer platforms with which innovative technologies and concepts can be translated into practice at a faster rate. Current examples are the Coating Competence Center and the Center for Advanced Manufacturing, the modular building laboratory for sustainable construction, NEST, a demonstration platform for tomorrow’s energy-efficient and resource-conserving mobility, “move”, as well as the energy research platform “ehub” (short for “energy hub”), which aims to optimise energy management at the level of urban quarters and to evaluate its impact on the entire energy system.

Gian-Luca Bona studied physics at ETH Zurich, where he obtained his doctor’s degree in 1987. After joining IBM, he worked in various fields in research and development, both in Switzerland and in the US. In 2009, he took up the post of Director of Empa, and in this capacity was also appointed Professor of Photonics at ETH Zurich and at EPFL. Gian-Luca Bona is a member of various bodies involved in knowledge and technology transfer, such as in the Swiss Innovation Park Zurich Foundation, in Technopark Zurich and in the support centre for start-ups and innovation processes, glaTec.