News Overview

Team PARK INNOVAARE: new contact person for industry representatives

Dr. Francesco Colonna: building bridges between lab and market
Dr. Francesco Colonna: building bridges between lab and market

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Recently coming on board, Francesco Colonna has made PARK INNOVAARE’s team complete in his role as a Senior Project Manager Innovation and Funding. Francesco obtained his PhD in Physics at the University of Amsterdam (2011) and gained first-hand experience in industrial R&D and project management at the Materials Innovation Institute and at the Fraunhofer Institute IWM. In 2015 Francesco pursued an executive education in technology innovation at the Politecnico di Milano (MIP). He will be taking over the implementation of innovation strategy and further development of industrial relations at PARK INNOVAARE.

What is your role at PARK INNOVAARE?

As Senior Project Manager Innovation & Funding, my main responsibility is to take care of industrial relations at PARK INNOVAARE. I want to make sure that companies are aware of the potential available at here. Based on the expertise of the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Northwest Switzerland FHNW, we focus on four core innovation areas: energy, materials & processes, human health, and accelerator technologies. There is tremendous potential for transferring research results to new products and processes. My task is to identify possibilities for collaboration with different industrial partners and research groups and to actively build bridges between lab and market.

What is your mission?

As an innovation park, we want to build an attractive platform for companies who want to innovate. Based on the expertise available around us, we can define possible solutions and create relevant business cases for each project. Thus, my mission is to accelerate innovation by identifying potential cases, connecting the relevant competencies and resources, and thus creating shared value. I also want to connect with companies and R&D groups to understand their specific needs.

How do you work?

We follow a simple approach. By connecting with entrepreneurs, R&D specialists and researchers, we explore possible ways to engage in interesting collaboration. We assist the companies in funding acquisitions for their R&D projects, help them settle in at our site and foster close collaboration with the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI). It is important for us to be a service-oriented platform that is easy to access.

What are your next actions?

At PARK INNOVAARE, we are developing ecosystems for life sciences and materials analytics, energy research and its implementation, and accelerator technology. We are working on creating synergies among the companies we have on board and are making sure their collaborations create added value. We are also building thousands of square meters for laboratories and offices to be available in a couple of years. The first laboratory and co-working spaces are already in place and are fully available to the PSI spin-offs and external companies for developing their activities. This is quite a milestone because it extends our service offering for the industry. The infrastructure is available for industrial R&D groups that can benefit from the proximity to the PSI, Switzerland’s largest research centre for engineering and natural sciences. This is an ideal space for experimenting with ideas before jumping in for real projects and collaborations.

If you have any questions for Francesco, please do not hesitate to get in contact with him at or by phone +41 56 461 70 73.