The Idiap research institute celebrates 30 years of innovation

Based in Martigny in the canton of Valais and specialized in the field of artificial intelligence, the Idiap research institute celebrates its 30 years of existence.

Idiap celebrates 30 years of existence
The Idiap Research Institute is among the most active independent research institutions in information technology.

Founded in 1991 by the city of Martigny, the State of Valais, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, the University of Geneva and Swisscom, the Idiap (Dalle Molle Institute of Perceptive Artificial Intelligence) aims to promote quality of life through scientific progress, specifically in the field of computer science.

The institute's activities encompass basic research, training (at university and post-graduate levels) and technology transfer activities in the field of artificial intelligence, both at the theoretical and practical levels.

Today, Idiap's research areas include, among others, speech and visual recognition, machine learning, human-computer interaction, robotics, language analysis, social computing, genomics or bio-imaging. Idiap's activities are divided into fourteen complementary and multidisciplinary research groups.

Over the course of its 30 years of existence, Idiap has been involved in several historic moments such as :

  • The first internet connection in Valais,
  • Facial recognition on cell phones,
  • The identification of Osama Bin Laden's voice,
  • A Swiss-German transcription technology,
  • The development of the artificial intelligence software Torch, used for example in most autonomous cars.

30 years, an international recognition and bright future prospects

The institute is affiliated with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and is one of the most active independent research institutions in the field of information technology. The director of the institute is Professor Hervé Bourlard, also a professor at EPFL and director of the LIDIAP laboratory.

A first for a Swiss researcher, Prof. Bourlard will receive the IEEE James L. Flanagan Medal in 2022. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) grants this distinction in recognition of his numerous contributions in the field of signal processing.

Idiap has also become the third biometrics certification center in the world, having also obtained an accreditation from FIDO and Android.

Following the evaluation and acceptance by the Swiss Science and Innovation Council of its 2021-2024 research program, the institute will play a leading role in strengthening the socio-economic impact of technologies related to artificial intelligence, which will lead to the creation of 60 jobs with very high added value.


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