Research profile

Research profile

In applied research and development, Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH achieves valuable research results in the areas of technology, the arts, business and the social sciences, and channels these into innovations with market or social relevance. They are applicable equally to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), large corporations, public institutions and authorities, and cultural organisations.


In terms of content, research at Bern University of Applied Sciences has a number of general emphases or foci, within which are specific areas of research.

Market-orientated emphasis

Both the university’s application-orientated research and development and its external service activities link selected research emphases to current market requirements. They serve the needs of innovation promotion and technology transfer, and are closely linked to courses at master’s level.

Fundamental research

BFH undertakes fundamental research in those areas where equivalents to its course offer at the traditional universities do not exist. It guarantees linkages from research and development activity and services for third parties back to student learning at all levels.

Business start-ups / Patents and licences

BFH consistently promotes the foundation and development of spin-offs and start-ups. The aim is that there should develop around the University a network of innovative companies which use the results of the research and make it available in national and international markets. BFH manages patents and licences in a professional manner. Every year, patents for five to ten inventions are applied for. Interested third parties can either make use of these intellectual property rights by means of a fee-payable licence or acquire them through purchase.

Facts + Figures

In 2017, more than 480 large research projects (> CHF 50,000) were being carried out in all eight departments of Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH. Many of these projects are rooted in practical life and thus generate cultural, social or economic benefits. The figures for 2017 stand as proof of the strong practical application of our research and development: Over 1'100 partners from business, society, the cultural world and the public service, as well as from other higher education institutions, were involved in research projects and BFH contracts.


Many problems in modern society are complex and cannot be easily classified into straightforward professional categories or academic disciplines.  Holistic problem solutions require an all-round understanding of the problem: an understanding that draws together the contributions of various specialist areas.

A partnership that pays off

The many and various disciplines united under one roof and their longstanding orientation towards the practical world make BFH a powerful partner for inter- and trans-disciplinary research activities.


BFH brings together the knowledge and experience of various specialist areas in one location and so fosters a lively exchange of knowledge and technology between the university and its partners. In this way, innovative ideas can be implemented and major innovation processes can be set in motion, for example through co-operation with international partners and exchanges within national networks.

Access to research promotion programmes

Collaboration with BFH benefits its partners. In the case of publicly funded cooperation projects, a large proportion of the expense is often paid for by one of the national or international research funding programmes. BFH offers you access to programmes and initiatives such as Innosuisse. The Euresearch Office BFH is available as a contact partner to companies from the Canton of Bern and BFH researchers, in particular with regard to the EU framework programme

Charter + Code

When recruiting and appointing researchers, BFH adheres to the «Charter & Code» – in other words, the «European Charter for Researchers» and the «Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers» that forms part of it.


This set of guidelines outlines the rights and responsibilities of researchers and their employers and sets out principles for the allocation of jobs and funds. It is an initiative by the European Commission aimed at improving working conditions for researchers and developing the European Research Area.


European Charter for Researchers
The European Charter for Researchers contains general principles and requirements that specify the roles, responsibilities and entitlements of researchers as well as of employers. The aim of the Charter is to ensure that the nature of the relationship is conducive to successful research, training and education as well as to the career development of researchers. The Charter also recognises the value of all forms of mobility as a means for enhancing the professional development of researchers.


Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers
The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers stands for fair basic conditions when appointing or recruiting researchers. It contains principles and requirements that should ensure observance of values such as transparency and equal treatment. Recruitment processes should be open, transparent, effective and internationally comparable.


The International Relations Office of BFH is working with research and HR representatives to implement the «Charter & Code» at BFH.


The DORA declaration

BFH is a signatory to the 'San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment' (DORA). This requires an open and adequate system of grading research which is not restricted to bibliometric performance indicators. BFH is committed to the recommendations of the DORA declaration regarding handling of the impact factor when evaluating research and researchers. 


Bern University of Applied Sciences: Open Access Policy

Supporting and promoting Open Access (OA), as described in the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities signed by the Rectors’ Conference of the Swiss Universities (CRUS) – now swissuniversities – in 2006, is a strategic objective of Bern University of Applied Sciences. 

Knowledge and Technology Transfer

Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH promotes innovation through the transfer of knowledge and technology.

This may occur through

  • Implementation of common research and development  projects
  • Services for third parties (studies, expert reports, consultancy, etc.)
  • Systematic promotion of spin-offs and start-ups
  • Communication of non-confidential research results
  • Encouraging qualified  new staff

or through offering a broad range of educational programmes , including continuous education.

The BFH offer is directed towards the needs of the economy, society, the cultural world and the public service. It is centred on innovative and marketable products and technologies.

Make Bern University of Applied Sciences your knowledge and technology platform!

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