Becoming an Innosuisse expert, a true vocation

A recognised track record in scientific research and innovation and a desire to learn: these are the ingredients you need to become an expert. Yves Perriard has many years of experience in this area. The professor and director of the Integrated Actuators Laboratory at the Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) has been evaluating innovative projects since 2014, first for the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) and now for Innosuisse. He is passionate about this role. Interview.

How did you come to be working as an expert for Innosuisse?

As a professor at the EPFL, I was already personally involved in several projects during the CTI era. In 2014, I was approached by another expert who told me about his role and interest. I applied and was accepted as an expert in the Engineering group. It was an honour for me. I was again appointed to the pool of experts following the transition to Innosuisse.

In your opinion, what are the advantages of becoming an Innosuisse expert?

The clear aim for experts at Innosuisse is to enable others to benefit from our expertise in a specific field. But it’s not a one-way street. With every project I evaluate, I learn a lot about the institutions, SMEs, companies and people submitting the application. So it’s a process of constant enrichment.

What are your duties as an Innosuisse expert?

My first task is to read the application file, which may contain several documents, including the formal application and annexes. Once I’ve finished reading, the next step is to establish the state of the art via publications or patents to confirm or invalidate certain statements made by the authors. Finally, I have to draw up a report to give the Innovation Council an idea of the projects. I also include my own recommendations.

What types of project do you have to appraise?

There are two types of project: research projects between academic and industrial partners, and research projects without an industrial partner, which are for feasibility purposes only. We are therefore called upon to analyse different types of projects, all of which come from universities of applied sciences, universities or Federal Institutes of Technology. We then have two weeks to analyse it and submit our comments.

Last modification 22.06.2020

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Yves Perriard, Innosuisse expert and professor and director of the Integrated Actuators Laboratory at the Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL)