Top performance in a unique global environment
The Davos research location has a tradition dating back more than 100 years. During this time, research institutions have emerged that are world-renowned and contribute to the current state of knowledge in their respective fields. In total, no fewer than six scientific institutions are active in Davos in the fields of allergy and asthma research, osteosynthesis, gastroenterological surgery, snow and avalanche research, radiation and climate research and risk research.
A look at the fields of activity of the research institutions shows that these are also linked to the natural conditions and the importance of Davos as a health and tourism destination. Davos has thus succeeded in attracting research institutions that use the site-specific conditions to advance their research.
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AO Research Institute Davos (ARI)
The mission of the AO Research Institute (ARI) is to advance outstanding applied preclinical research and development in the field of traumatology and musculoskeletal disorders. The aim is to translate this knowledge into clinical practice in order to help improve patient care worldwide.
The AO Research Institute was founded on June 18, 1959 by the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Osteosynthesefragen (AO). It was initially known as the "Davos Laboratory for Experimental Surgery" and was later endowed with the corresponding statutes and articles of association of a foundation.
Today, the research carried out at ARI aims to solve everyday surgical problems in the treatment of fractures and degenerative diseases. To this end, ARI conducts basic and applied research in the fields of biomechanics and biology of bone, disc and cartilage (including research activities in the fields of tissue engineering and musculoskeletal infections), as well as biomaterials science (degradable polymers and polymer-based transport systems).
In addition, the institute conducts research in the field of "intelligent surgery". This includes "intelligent" implants, intracorporeal navigation and aids for surgical teams and surgeons.
Clinical experts are closely involved in all projects as consultants to ensure clinical relevance. Clinical specialists often spend 6-12 months at the institute as fellows to contribute directly to the research work.
The resulting work then forms the basis for the development of new implants and treatment methods.
Further information: www.aofoundation.org/ari
Physical Meteorological Observatory Davos / World Radiation Center (PMOD/WRC)
Since the founding of the Davos Physical-Meteorological Observatory in 1907, studies have been carried out on the influence of solar radiation on the Earth's climate. As early as 1926, the PMOD became part of the Swiss Research Institute for High Mountain Climate and Medicine.
In 1970, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Federal Council entrusted the PMOD with the establishment and operation of the World Radiation Center (WRC). The WRC maintains the primary standard of solar radiation intensity, which is measured with a group of absolute radiometers that serve as a global reference for similar instruments. At the request of the WMO, the WRC's field of research has been continuously expanded to include calibration tasks in the areas of infrared, atmospheric spectral opacity and ultraviolet.
The PMOD/WRC develops and manufactures various types of radiometers, which are among the most precise of their kind in the world and are used for ground and space measurements. These instruments are also available for purchase and are used by many international weather institutes.
In recent years, the PMOD/WRC has been involved in imaging and spectroscopic measurements in space - the first instruments of this type are on board the ESA Solar Orbiter Mission launched in 2020. The institute is involved in a number of future missions with space agencies around the world, both for imaging instruments and spectral irradiance measurements.
Ground and space measurements will be used in research projects to study climate change and solar science. The director, Louise Harra, is a professor at the Institute of Particle Physics and Astrophysics at ETH Zurich. Through this connection, the PMOD/WRC works closely with ETHZ in the areas of training, student support and technical aspects.
Further information: www.pmodwrc.ch
Naturforschende Gesellschaft Davos (NGD)
Since its founding in 1916, the Natural Research Society Davos (NGD) has been committed to ensuring that employees of the individual research institutes and the Davos clinics meet and exchange ideas about their work. Events such as the Davos Science Rally or the Science Olympics are organized for this purpose. The NGD also sees itself as a bridge builder between scientists from different disciplines and institutes and as a mediator of scientific findings for the interested population. The “Davos knows more” lecture series, lectures, panel discussions and the organization of the science café in Davos serve this purpose. It promotes the study of natural sciences and research into the Davos landscape from a scientific perspective. For example, it honors outstanding Matura theses in the natural sciences at the Swiss Alpine Middle School (SAMD). The NGD is a member of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (ScNat).
Naturforschende Gesellschaft Davos (NGD) (ngdavos.ch)
Swiss Institute for Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF)
The Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF), in its current form, was founded in 1988 by the Medical Department of the Swiss Research Institute for High Altitude Climate and Medicine Davos (SFI). SIAF has been affiliated with the University of Zurich since 1996 and has been a member of the Life Science Zurich Graduate School, a joint educational project of the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, since 2007. SIAF staff members play a leading role in national and international organizations as well as in the editorial boards of renowned journals in the fields of allergy, asthma, and clinical immunology. In addition, SIAF fulfills teaching obligations at the University of Zurich and the Fachhochschule Graubünden. The institute has been organizing the internationally renowned World Immune Regulation Meeting (WIRM) in Davos for years, which is considered the most attractive congress of its kind worldwide.
The research at SIAF is focused on patient-relevant translational research and the investigation of immunological principles of allergic diseases and asthma to find new preventive and curative treatment approaches for the benefit of patients and their families. SIAF also emphasizes personalized medicine to develop treatment approaches that are better tailored to the needs of individual patients. The main research goals are the development of curative treatments and preventive measures for allergies and asthma. The continually growing SIAF has published approximately 1,700 scientific contributions, which have been cited over 96,000 times. This positions SIAF among the internationally most cited and leading institutions in this field.
Further information: www.siaf.uzh.ch
WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF
In the beginning was the snow. Systematic measurements and research work began as early as 1936 on the Weissfluhjoch above Davos. The Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research emerged from the first research activities of the Swiss Snow and Avalanche Commission in the 1930s and moved into its first institute building at 2665 m above sea level in 1943. At the beginning, the focus of research was exclusively on snow, the dangers associated with it and protection against it. In the meantime, the spectrum has broadened. The approximately 180 employees of the SLF research numerous aspects of the Alps, from natural hazards, thawing permafrost and landslides to protective forests and the biodiversity of flora and fauna. Since 2021, the SLF and the CERC (Climate Change, Extremes and Natural Hazards in Alpine Regions Research Centre), which is supported by the canton of Graubünden, have been investigating the increasingly visible consequences of climate change for the Alps and developing adaptation strategies.
The SLF researchers not only work at the institute itself, but also use numerous locations and areas around Davos and beyond, such as the reforestation on the Stillberg and the Weissfluhjoch test field in the Parsenn ski area, where scientists measure various key figures day after day in the snow, even in summer if necessary. It is the only place in the world at this altitude where such a continuous series of measurements has been carried out for over 80 years.
The SLF cooperates with state authorities at local, cantonal and federal level, particularly in the prevention of natural hazards. In addition, there are numerous projects at national and international level, from the consequences of climate change on vegetation in Greenland to avalanche warnings in Tajikistan. In addition, many SLF employees and the institute itself are members of research networks such as the Swiss permafrost monitoring network PERMOS and the European Avalanche Warning Services (EAWS) working group.
SLF employees also provide numerous services for the general public. The best known of these is the avalanche bulletin, which is published twice a day during the winter season. The institute's experts also advise those responsible on protective measures against and warning systems for natural hazards.
The SLF is part of the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL and thus belongs to the ETH Domain. Its employees are involved in teaching at ETH Zurich and other universities in Switzerland and abroad and regularly train and educate safety experts from all over the world. Year after year, numerous theses are produced in Davos, with which students earn academic degrees at ETH Zurich, EPFL and other universities, from Bachelor's to Master's to Doctorate. In addition, the SLF provides on-site training in various teaching professions.
Regular guided tours of the institute as well as a permanent exhibition, a website, various social media channels, its own publications and numerous articles in print, radio, TV and online media inform the general public about the SLF.
Further information: www.slf.ch
Christine Kühne-Center for Allergy Research and Education
Since its founding in 2009, CK-CARE (Christine Kühne - Center for Allergy Research and Education) has become an important institution in the field of allergies with a focus on atopic dermatitis (AD, neurodermatitis).
Allergic diseases and asthma affect approximately one billion people worldwide. For almost a century, research efforts have been undertaken and thus a significant contribution has been made to the quality of life of those affected.
Nevertheless, there are still gaps in knowledge and, due to insufficient scientific knowledge, limited preventive and therapeutic options. The declared aim of CK-CARE is to promote research, education and prevention in the field of allergies and to improve the implementation of research results in clinical care for the benefit of affected patients. The supporting pillars are highly qualified and well-networked research activities in the field of allergies and education of medical professionals based on current findings.
CK-CARE's work now has global resonance and this strong position has enabled it to launch or catalyze significant ventures in clinical allergy research. CK-CARE is developing new approaches in diagnostics, therapy and prevention (such as skin care, healthy microbiome and education, among others).
With the intention of increasing the scientific impact of CK-CARE, a process of centralization has been initiated. This aims to concentrate CK-CARE's biomedical research at the Davos Wolfgang Medical Campus (MCD) and to generate scientific added value in the context of collaboration with other research institutions located in Davos (Cardio-CARE, Hochgebirgsklinik, Davos BioSciences and SIAF).
Further information: www.ck-care.ch
Lab42 opened its doors on July 1st, 2022 in the Villa Fontana which has a rich history of hosting world leading research institutions.
Lab42 is a global artificial intelligence (AI) research lab aiming for a giant leap: creating human-level artificial intelligence for humankind.
Lab42 accelerates scientific discovery to improve the quality of life on a global scale. Unlike other initiatives in the field, Lab42 focuses on AI challenges that are unsolvable to today’s algorithms, crafting a new generation of technology far more powerful than today’s machine learning approaches.
By collaborating with world's leading scientific institutes and organizations, Lab42 aims to bring humanity into a new golden age through the creation of human-level artificial intelligence (HLAI). For this, Lab42 brings AI talents and enthusiasts together from all over the world.
Scientific discoveries are slowing down and scientist face an increasing information overload. That's why Lab42’s strategy is as simple as it is ambitious: Unite minds from all over the world and from different backgrounds to explore the fundamental principles of intelligence. By bringing together the ideas and creativity of thousands of people around the world, we reduce the time and effort required for a breakthrough in AI.
Further information: www.lab42.global