Innovation Strength measured by Spin-offs at ETH and EPFL between 2017-2020

Members of the research institutions of ETH and EPFL launched 176 spin-offs between the years 2017 and 2020. On an annual basis, ETH and EPFL launched 28 and 17 spin-offs, respectively, during the same period. Putting the latter two numbers in relation to enrolled students, full-time equivalent professors, and the number of faculties shows that on an annual basis more spin-offs are founded at EPFL in relation to students. At ETH, on the other hand, more spin-offs are founded in relation to professors and faculties.


The relative deviation of spin-off per student and spin-off per professor between the institutions is less than 10% based on the ETH figures. In that sense the innovation strength measured by spin-offs at the ETH and EPFL is similar. Both institutions seem to contribute equally to the startup ecosystem in Switzerland. They thus both ensure that new competitive companies emerge with an international orientation in various industries and technologies. The ratio of spin-offs per faculty is left out of this discussion because, in our view, it is purely based on the organisational structure of the universities and thus does not say much about their innovative strength.