In 2014, the Adolphe Merkle Institute became the headquarters of the new National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) for Bio-Inspired Materials at the University of Fribourg. Since then, the new interdisciplinary center has been striving to become an internationally recognized hub for paradigm-shifting research, innovation, and education in the domain of “smart” materials whose function and design are inspired by nature.
Transcending traditional disciplines, the center integrates the research activities of all AMI's research groups as well 10 others from the University of Fribourg (departments of chemistry, medicine, and physics), the University of Geneva, and the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) and Lausanne (EPFL).
The overarching scientific goals of the NCCR are:
Research is organized in three modules that focus on:
Each of these modules tackles major unsolved problems, provides opportunities for great scientific advances on its own, and requires an interdisciplinary research approach. In the long term, the interconnection of these themes through cross-cutting projects and the common goal of being technologically relevant will create substantial synergies, which can only be harnessed if addressed within a multidisciplinary Center.