ETH Board appoints new Vice President for Innovation at EPFL

Upon application of EPFL President Martin Vetterli, the ETH Board appointed Ursula Oesterle as new Vice President for Innovation for the 2021–2024 period.

Ursula Oesterle holds a Master’s degree in physics and chemistry from ETH Zurich, and a PhD in physics from EPFL. Her research years on quantum photonics at EPFL led to first interactions with industry research projects, and after further education at IMD in Lausanne she decided to completely move to industry. She has held several positions, most notably she has been the Vice President for Innovation at the Swisscom Innovation outposts USA and Asia. 

In her various roles, Ursula Oesterle has always helped companies harness the power of digital innovation and constructively collaborate with start-ups. She designs transformation programs and coaches leaders in the new mindset and ways of working that are required to execute on disruptive innovation.

Outgoing Vice President for Innovation
The ETH Board would like to sincerely thank the outgoing Vice President for Innovation, Prof. Marc Gruber, for his strong commitment and major contributions during the last years. Marc Gruber has been highly successful in strengthening innovation and technology transfer at EPFL, in particular by advancing the development of Innovation Park and by significantly increasing the number of industry collaborations. 

In addition, Marc Gruber launched successful programs to support Bachelor’s and Master’s students in their entrepreneurial ambitions, and developed major offerings that help small- and medium-sized companies to collaborate with EPFL researchers. 

With Ursula Oesterle as EPFL’s new Vice President for Innovation, Martin Vetterli has filled all open positions on EPFL’s board for his second term during the 2021–2024 period, except for the Vice Presidency for Finances. This search is still ongoing and public since November 2020.

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