Transfer of Knowledge
from Research into Practice

For Schools

Next Evolution in Sustainable Building Technologies (NEST)

On its premises in Duebendorf, Zurich, EMPA (the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology and Institute of the ETH Domain) constructed a modular research and innovation building (NEST) to test innovative, resource-efficient building and energy technologies.

The test-building has three platforms representing a number of sustainable building and energy technologies, such as: :

  • resource-efficient lightweight construction
  • use of recycled materials
  • optimimized energy and water consumption
  • digital production of building components
  • new renovation technologies
  • intelligent building wiring
  • energy extraction technologies inside and outside the building
  • glass as construction material

Ways from Science into Society

The building is an interesting demonstration object and serves as an illustrative example of transferring knowledge from research into practice.

The Hirschmann Foundation has launched a project in cooperation with EMPA and the University of Education Lucerne. The project aims at transferring knowledge from ETH research into society, especially into schools. The building allows for testing possible ways of knowledge transfer.

How can interest in new technologies be aroused among pupils?

How can R&D findings be imparted best to theme?

The project aims at raising the participants’ awareness, triggering contemplation, questions, discussions, as well as considerations for their own future.

The partner organizations EMPA and the University of Education Lucerne intend to promote the transfer of knowledge into society, since knowledge reduces prejudices, insecurities and fears for the future.

Benefits for Professional Training and the Work Space

Pupils will look into their own future and learn about technical professions with great potentials.

EMPA and the University of Education Lucerne will develop three workshop modules that involve modern communication tools:

  1. Preparing a visit to the NEST platform
  2. Visiting the NEST platform
  3. Evaluating the visit to the NEST platform

The modules will be tested and continuously adapted. As soon as they fulfill all the criteria, they are implemented into practice.


The Hirschmann Foundation is partnering with EMPA and the University of Education Lucerne. The Hirschmann Foundation funds the project with a total amount of CHF 181,000 between the years of 2018 to 2022.