About CCMX

In 2006, CCMX was given a ten-year mandate to link the research capacities of Switzerland’s academic institutions and to build strong industrial partnerships. With a total of 59 companies and federal entities involved in CCMX projects since then, offshoot projects amounting to more than CHF26 million, 65 PhD theses and 549 reviewed ISI publications, we can say that this mission has been fulfilled.

CCMX is nonetheless carrying on. We’ve secured our legacy beyond ETH Board funding with the support of four new professors and five Materials Challenges initiatives in a range of Materials Science domains and we’re continuing to invest in future generations of materials science engineers by organizing numerous courses and events. Please help us sustain the vibrant Materials Science network with your active participation in the years to come.


CCMX harnesses the strengths of four ETH Domain institutions—EPFL, ETH Zurich, Empa, PSI—along with CSEM, and involves the active participation of partners from industry, industrial associations and Swiss universities. The Centre is headed by a Steering Committee comprising members from EPFL (chair), ETH Zurich, PSI, Empa, CSEM and industry.

Education and training

CCMX offers a wide range of continuing education, including advanced courses, seminars and specialised workshops. Topics chosen are targeted to the needs of PhD students, engineers, and scientists from both industry and academia. Lecturers are experts in their respective fields, invited from the Centre’s network of partner institutions.

Professor Chairs

Four new tenure-track professors have been co-funded by CCMX, together with EPFL and ETH Zurich respectively, in areas of materials science that industry has identified as critically important. These professors will be fully supported by their home institutions after CCMX funding has run out.

Materials Challenges

These platforms for pre-competitive research tackle underlying scientific questions essential to Swiss industry. Materials Challenges are co-funded by CCMX and industry partners for five years from 2016, after which a structure will be in place for industry to continue supporting mid-term research in materials sciences and engineering.

CCMX’s History

One of four centres of excellence mandated at the national level by the ETH Board in 2006, the Competence Centre for Materials Science and Technology (CCMX) worked to reinforce collaboration between academia and industry in terms of research, education, and technology as a means for serving the Swiss economy. CCMX built bridges between the scientific and industrial communities, addressing targeted needs with an emphasis on developments relevant to future applications in materials science and technology.

During the main funding period, CCMX fostered world-class pre-competitive research, reinforcing academia’s interaction with the sector of Swiss industry that relies on materials science. The interactions that CCMX maintains with industry have been decisive in the process of technology and knowledge transfer. By involving multiple institutions and industrial partners, CCMX ensured access to fundamental and applied expertise, allowing both large and small companies to have access to ongoing scientific and technological developments.The Analytical Platform supported the development and use of materials characterisation facilities in its partner institutions.

The research ticket programme established during the Centre’s first several years progressed into a more targeted funding strategy for 2012-2016. At the heart of this strategy was a tandem approach for supporting Professor Chairs and Materials Challenges, now at the heart of the present-day CCMX.