- IMD Business School
News Stories · Strategy

IMD and EPFL announce TransformTECH, a new joint program for creating business value through artificial intelligence, robotics and IoT

Combining IMD’s leadership in business transformation with EPFL’s expertise in cutting-edge technology
June 2017

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND, (6 June 2017) IMD business school and EPFL announced today a collaboration to establish TransformTECH. The new program, which is scheduled to begin in January 2018, will focus on how business leaders can use exponentially-improving technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT), to identify new business opportunities.

The program combines IMD’s leadership in business transformation, innovation and entrepreneurship with EPFL’s expertise in cutting-edge technology and tech-enabled business models to create a unique and experiential learning experience. Participants will engage with key technology experts from start-ups and research labs who will serve as guides and a source of inspiration for innovation.

“Unlike technology conferences, TransformTECH combines technological insight with hands-on experiential learning on business transformation, entrepreneurship and innovation. Through its collaboration with EPFL, IMD can take you to the source of innovation—the laboratory,” said Bettina Büchel, Program Co-Director, IMD.

“We will expose you to a range of technologies from various perspectives. In an experiential manner, we will familiarize you with nimble innovation practices—such as the venturing world and rapid-prototyping—to get you ready for an open source approach to innovation.”

At the end of the program, participants will be able to demonstrate how they can use these technologies within their companies by creating a prototype business idea, either for a new product or service, for transforming the customer experience or boosting operational efficiencies.

“By exploring exponentially-improving technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and IoT, we will embark on an innovation journey that will let you explore and articulate the impact that such technologies could have on the future of your business,” said Marc Gruber and Pierre Vandergheynst, Program Co-Directors, EPFL.

“We will help you to achieve a sought-after business transformation, from delivering products and services in new ways and gaining back-office efficiencies, to opening up new customer experiences you never imagined before.”

TransformTECH addresses three key areas of innovative technology that can be applied to all businesses:

1] Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics

The program will equip participants with the knowledge of how advances in AI, computational systems and machine learning are revolutionizing human capacity to analyze data and extract meaningful insights from countless sources of unstructured information—augmenting the human brain.

2] Intelligent Robotics

Participants will discover the scientific and technological issues that researchers, startups, and funding agencies are addressing to enable a new generation of robotic companions, and gain an overview of the potential of robotics to transform their organizations.

3] The Internet of Things

Companies must learn to embrace the opportunities offered by the IoT and its underlying smart, connected technologies, and how to apply them. Participants will learn about three key areas of the IoT that relate to businesses: smart platforms, communication and back-end infrastructures.

TransformTECH will use an innovation methodology to help participants identify and develop a business opportunity through a range of experiential learning opportunities.

Participants will visit different EPFL laboratories in small groups to see in practice cutting-edge technologies: the latest in robotics, visualisation of data and smart sensors. They will interact with scientists and try their hand at immersive drone flight, wearable devices linked to cloud computing services, smart watches, and other inventions.

They will also gain insight into the rich and dynamic ecosystem of startups hosted at EPFL and discuss how companies can take on venturing to develop and augment innovation.

IMD has also designed a Digital Business Acceleration Series that can complement TransformTECH, to further enable teams to deliver the best digital strategy for their organizations.

About IMD

IMD is a top-ranked business school, expert in developing leaders, transforming organizations and creating immediate and long-term positive impact. IMD is based in Lausanne, Switzerland, and Singapore.


About EPFL

Ranked #1 for universities less than 50 years old by the Times Higher Education, the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), is one of the two Swiss federal institutes of technology and one of the Europe’s most innovative and dynamic institutes. EPFL is home to more than 300 laboratories and research groups as well as the EPFL Innovation Park, which provides a dynamic location for high tech companies and a network of entrepreneurs.


Media Contacts:

Alessandro Sofia — IMD, Head of Communications, +41 21 618 06 36, [email protected]

Florence Renggli — EPFL Spokesperson, +41 21 693 19 62, [email protected]