Institutes and laboratories

| Research institutes | Laboratories/Research groups

With its several institutes and laboratories, HEC Lausanne features a very dynamic research environment.

Research institutes

Enterprise for Society (E4S)

Conscious of their responsibility in the face of the unprecedented challenges confronting society, the University of Lausanne through its faculty of Business and Economics (UNIL-HEC), the Institute for Management Development (IMD) and EPFL under the stewardship of the College of Management of Technology have joined forces in Enterprise for Society (E4S). E4S is dedicated to helping society overcome its challenges and to spearheading the transition towards a more resilient, environmentally responsible and inclusive economy.

This centre is active on three levels:


Research Center for Grand Challenges

The HEC Research Center for Grand Challenges is a faculty-wide focal point for research and teaching on grand challenges, which engages with society and the economy. Grand challenges comprise global societal problems, such as the transition to a carbon-free economy, the fight against poverty and inequality, and the alleviation of precarious working conditions. 

Organized around the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the center focuses on interdisciplinary research. It brings together different experts through an online marketplace, and presents its research results on its blog to the community, media, businesses, government actors and other institutions to encourage informed public debate. An online database of researchers active at HEC Lausanne on these issues is also available on its website.


Swiss Finance Institute

The Swiss Finance Institute (SFI) is a partnership between several Swiss research institutions. As a Swiss inter-university institute, the best finance professors from all the national territory contribute to the quality of SFI’s research, of which several professors are counted at the University of Lausanne, within the Faculty of Business and Economics (HEC Lausanne). Additionally to its high quality research activities, SFI also offers a PhD program, as well as continuing education programs in the fields of banking and finance.


Bank Innovation Competence Center (BAICC)

The Bank Innovation Competence Center (BAICC) is specialized on the new financial technologies and their impact on banking business models and operations. In a context where banks face several challenges, this competence center aims at helping decision makers evaluate opportunities and threats pertaining to digital technologies, elaborate models, methods and tools for banking institutions, as well as offer a platform for exchange and experimentations around digital technologies and their integration in the banks' strategy and operations.  

The BAICC was created by HEC Lausanne, in partnership with other academic institutions and regional partners.


Center for Risk Management (CRML)

The Center for Risk Management Lausanne (CRML) focuses on risk management and quantitative methods. The main objective of the CRML is to carry out internationally competitive research and to translate breakthroughs into ideas that are implemented in the local and global industry as well as by the regulator and central banks.


China Economics and Finance Center (CEFC)

Created in 2018, the China Economics and Finance Center (CEFC) aims to build a platform for exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and Swiss universities and companies. Based on this platform, CEFC provides companies with tailored training programs about banking and finance, management, technology, start-up incubation and other professional competences to help Chinese and Swiss entrepreneurs achieve innovation and development. CEFC is also an interdisciplinary center conducting cutting-edge research on the Chinese economic development, economic cooperation between Switzerland, European countries and China, to help Swiss and Chinese researchers carry out joint work in fields such as international economy, financial services, transnational and innovation management. Besides, CEFC regularly holds seminars and conferences on Chinese economy and management topics.


Futures Lab

The Futures Lab is an observation, analysis and research entity for all issues related to obsolescence and the updating of professional skills induced not only by technological breakthroughs, but also by major societal changes and unprecedented environmental constraints.

We scan trends impacting the economy and the evolution of professions and define and shape the new skills portfolios that individuals must develop today to thrive in tomorrow’s world and that companies must anticipate in order to sustain their human capital.

The Futures Lab connects and collaborates with academic experts from all campus institutions as well as experts from the professional world to empower individuals, entities and organizations to out-think uncertainty, out-imagine the unknown and out-vision the status-quo for them to own, shape and design their future, with a learning plan.

The Futures Lab also hosts a UNIL-EPFL research project (CROSS) that aims to identify the skills that will enable humans to resist machine advances.


Institute of Applied Economics (CREA)

The CREA Institute provides the private and public sectors and international organizations with a team of economists for the realization of punctual economic research projects. It regularly publishes works designed to bridge the gap between academic research, the business world and the public. This institute specializes in economic analysis and forecasts at national and international level. It is the only institute in Switzerland to publish economic forecasts for Switzerland.


The Lausanne Center for Health Economics, Behavior, and Policy (LCHE)

The Lausanne Center for Health Economics, Behavior, and Policy, LCHE, at the University of Lausanne (UNIL) promotes research, teaching, and policy advice in the fields of health economics, behavior, and policy.

The interdisciplinary center brings together researchers of the Center for Primary Care and Public Health (Unisanté), the Faculty of Biology and Medicine (CHUV-FBM), and the Faculty of Business and Economics (HEC Lausanne). 


Swiss Center for Luxury Research

Founded by Prof. Felicitas Morhart in May 2020, the Swiss Center for Luxury Research (SCLR) unites luxury researchers and experts from top academic institutions in Switzerland to build a hub for thought leadership on the future of luxury management. In collaboration with the online media Luxury Tribune, the center pursues several objectives such as raising Switzerland’s capability and visibility for innovation in the luxury industry, observing large-scale developments in society, informing and supporting innovation in managerial practice in the luxury industry and building future-oriented graduate and post-graduate educational programs for the next generation of luxury managers.


Tax Policy Center

The University of Lausanne’s Tax Policy Center is hosted jointly by its Faculty of Law, Criminal Justice and Public Administration and its Faculty of Business and Economics, HEC Lausanne. It aims at bringing together the research and teaching activities in this area carried out at the University of Lausanne, and facilitating exchanges with outside experts and students. The Center actively collaborates with the OECD and the IBFD, and it coordinates a research network on fiscal federalism. It manages two executive education programs: the Master of Advanced Studies in International Taxation (MASIT) and the Executive Program in Transfer Pricing (EPTP).



Laboratories/Research groups

Business Information Systems and Architecture (BISA) Lab

BISA stands for Business Information Systems & Architecture, a lab headed by Prof. Christine Legner, at the Department of Information Systems. The research conducted focuses on the implications of new technologies for businesses and the management of business and IS architecture.


Distributed Object Programming Lab (DOPLab)

Since its creation in 2004, DOPLab has focused its research and teaching activities on the design and implementation of programming and communication abstractions for creating reliable distributed systems, with a special emphasis on the object paradigm. One of the key elements of the DOPLab as a laboratory of the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Lausanne is to consider not only the theoretical and practical aspects of distributed technologies, but also to encompass business concerns, such as the deployment and maintenance of distributed architectures, or the adoption of new programming abstractions within a development team.

Today, the research conducted at the DOPLab focuses on understanding how best to use the next generation of distributed systems based on the Internet of Things (IoT), which are facing extreme mobility requirements and the lack of centralized trust. Extreme mobility implies the need to design systems capable of scaling by the mere addition of computing nodes (horizontal scalability), while the lack of centralized trust requires the adoption of distributed architectures based on the blockchain technology.


Interpersonal Behavior Laboratory

The Interpersonal Behavior Laboratory is headed by Prof. Marianne Schmid Mast. The research carried out in the lab aims at a better understanding of human interpersonal behavior, mostly at the workplace. The lab is situated at the crossroad of social psychology, management, and leadership. Research in the lab focuses on topics such as nonverbal behavior, first impressions, power and leadership, interpersonal communication, behavioral adaptability, responsible interpersonal behavior, interpersonal accuracy, and effects of physical environment on behavior.

One of the particularities of this lab is to use immersive virtual reality technology to explore interpersonal behaviors.


Information Security and Privacy (ISP) Lab

The Information Security and Privacy (ISP) Lab is headed by Prof. Kévin Huguenin. The research interest of the lab is in security and privacy in mobile (social) networks, with a special emphasis on the human and social aspects. The lab carries interdisciplinary research projects on privacy, at the frontier between computer science and social sciences (incl. law) and medicine (mHealth, genomics). The current activities focus mainly on the exploration of the privacy / utility trade-off in location-based and activity-based online social networks.


Interdisciplinary Platform


The Interdisciplinary Platform is headed by Dr Marc Laperrouza and it aims at equipping our students with interdisciplinary competences to prepare them for interactions in challenging projects involving stakeholders from different backgrounds. The Interdisciplinary Platform leverages the close proximity of a wide range of disciplines on the campus and creates and promotes learning experiences for interdisciplinary group work, co-design, rapid prototyping, agile project management and other 21st century skills (collaboration, creativity). Particular attention will be given to cross-faculty collaboration.

Operations Laboratory (OpLab)

OpLab is a laboratory under the professorship of Suzanne de Treville. Its mission is to create and deploy tools that calculate the value of supply-chain responsiveness. These tools are based on quantitative finance, under the realization that a responsive supply chain can exercise extremely valuable - but often invisible - real options.

A first tool offered by OpLab is the Cost-Differential Frontier (CDF). It calculates the percentage of reduction of production costs necessary to justify relocation, knowing that it will be necessary to decide, by offshoring, the quantity to be produced before knowing the level of demand. Other tools are available in beta form that provide deeper insights into how to translate responsiveness and its option value into innovation and sustainability. OpLab also develops teaching games and simulations to aid managers and other decision makers in using tools and interpreting results. 

Website of the CDF tool:

Persuasive Technology (PET) Lab

The Persuasive Technology (PET) Lab is headed by Prof. Mauro Cherubini. Research conducted at the lab focuses on how technology can improve people’s lives. We research the use of technologies for self-improvement, and that support people in becoming better citizens of the organization or the society they are part of. The lab carries interdisciplinary research crossing several fields: human-computer interaction, psychology, behavioral economics, and privacy. Current projects focus on increasing physical activity, supporting job seekers, and decreasing multi-party privacy conflicts online.


Research group on mathematical logic

The activities of this group mainly focus on descriptive set theory — which classifies some well-behaved classes of subsets of the real line or more generally of Polish spaces — as well as some applications  to theoretical computer science (more precisely, automata theory). The methods used arise from the mathematical framework of game theory as developed in set theory: infinite two-player games with perfect information.


Visual Collaboration Lab

The Visual Collaboration Lab, headed by Prof. Yves Pigneur and Prof. Stéphanie Missonier, focuses on the development of visual collaborative tools that aim at supporting team in solving problems and/or innovating.

By providing a shared language and/or a shared visualization, visual collaborative tools support several challenges of collaboration related to sense-making and sense-giving and action planning in multi- or transfunctional teams. One of the goals of these tools is to assist teams to explore and/or brainstorm on a given problem. This is especially useful in processes which need to generate new options and alternatives through design. These tools allow for better structuring and bounding of a problem and facilitate solution searches in innovative ways during collaboration.



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