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Biopôle and Catalyze4Life EPFL join forces

Biopôle SA, the company behind the life sciences campus and community in Lausanne, is thrilled to announce its partnership with Catalyze4Life. Run by the EPFL School of Life Sciences, the initiative aims to foster entrepreneurship and innovation in the sector. This collaboration will offer EPFL students the opportunity to explore career prospects within the life sciences industry, while also gaining experience in a fast-paced start-up environment. Simultaneously, Biopôle’s members will be able to connect with talented recent EPFL graduates, thereby forging valuable connections.

From left to right : Patrick Kessel, (Co-founder, CEO & chairman of the board) Yisong Mao (intern), Dr. Serife Kucur Ergunay (Co-founder, CTO and board member) and Maciej Jordanek (Front-end Software Engineer)

Biopôle SA and Catalyze4Life have formally agreed to finance up to three internship projects per year, with each internship lasting up to six months.

Here is some key information about the initiative:

  • The internships will form an integral part of specific Master’s theses or projects.
  • The salary for each intern will be shared equally among Biopôle SA, Catalyze4Life and the start-up hosting the intern. The team at Catalyze4Life will act as scientific project supervisors throughout the internships, providing students with scientific expertise and support.
  • The suitability of both the student and the start-up will be assessed during the selection process.
  • Candidates for the internship must demonstrate strong commitment to the programme, and start-ups are required to submit an innovative project proposal.


In the summer of 2023, three Biopôle start-ups successfully participated in the pilot programme and hosted a student each: Limula, PeriVision and biped.ai.

We are committed to strengthening our engagement with students and facilitating their access to jobs in the life sciences industry

Nasri Nahas, CEO Biopôle SA

Patrick Kessel, CEO and Co-Founder of PeriVision, explains the benefits of the programme for start-ups like his: ‘Programmes like Catalyze4Life provide emerging companies with the opportunity to scale up their teams and also meet exciting new talent who can contribute their skills and energy to our mission.’

Nasri Nahas, CEO of Biopôle, commented: ‘We are committed to strengthening our engagement with students and facilitating their access to jobs in the life sciences industry. Switzerland’s universities are full of gifted individuals, and we are delighted to introduce them to our members.’

‘We really value our partnership with Biopôle SA,’ said Bart Deplancke, Vice-Dean for Innovation at EPFL School of Life Sciences. ‘The Biopôle campus is a vital hub for the life sciences within Vaud and Switzerland as a whole, and Biopôle members represent a rich and vibrant pool of opportunities for our young people.’ He added: ‘We are excited that the first three students have now gained an invaluable insight into the dynamic world of start-ups, and we look forward to future internship opportunities.’

Catalyze4Life, an innovation program of the EPFL School of Life Sciences, is dedicated to fostering promising technologies and concepts coming from academic lab at EPFL. The program collaborates closely with scientists, working hand-in-hand with the Vice Presidency of Innovation and the Technology Transfer Office at EPFL to streamline the path towards technology transfer and potential commercialization. The Catalyze4Life Team’s work, carried out in close partnership with scientists, supports the mission of the Vice Presidency of Innovation and the Technology Transfer Office at EPFL.

Perched on the banks of Lake Geneva, Biopôle’s campus hosts over 130 companies and organisations across eight buildings. Its dynamic life sciences ecosystem will provide abundant opportunities for students to work with innovative start-ups.

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Apply now

  • Biopôle start-ups interested in participating can submit their internship proposal via the EPFL platform by 1stDecember, 2023.
  • The deadline for student applications is 2nd February, 2024.

EPFL Platform