The Idiap Research Institute, based in Martigny (Valais/Switzerland), is an independent, nonprofit, research foundation affiliated with Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Its activities encompass basic research, training (graduate and post-graduate levels), and technology transfer in the area of multimedia information management.
Idiap was founded in 1991 by the Town of Martigny, the State of Valais, EPFL (Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne), the University of Geneva and Swisscom. Since 2008, Idiap has reinforced its connection with Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne through a joint development plan and a strategic alliance with the "ETH Domain". Several of Idiap's scientists hold an EPFL academic title and are teaching graduate and undergraduate courses.
Idiap's budget, which amounts to more than 10 million Swiss francs, is 60% financed by research projects awarded following competitive processes, and 40% by public funds. There are approximately 100 staff members in residence at Idiap, including senior researchers (principal investigators), researchers, post-doctoral fellows, PhD students, and visiting researchers. Administrative staff provide unique computational and research support services. Since 2007, all the personnel work at Centre du Parc in Martigny, where it currently occupies 2,500 m2 of premises over four floors.
Through its research activities, Idiap pursues its main objective to conduct fundamental research projects at the highest level in its preferred areas, thus taking its place among the best on a national, European and global scale. Idiap benefits from a wide network of partners internationally and works actively with large universities, public and private research centres. Idiap's activities can be divided into five complementary research themes like perceptual and cognitive systems, social media, biometric person recognition, multimodal information interfaces, and large scale machine learning.
Idiap’s activities also covers ten application areas which include Human-Human, Human-Machine & Human-Robot Interaction, Exploitation of Rich Multimedia Archives, Collaborative and Creative Systems, Mobile Systems, Energy Management, Health and Bio-Engineering, Security and Risk Management, Smart Cities, Entertainment and Games and Home Automation (Domotics).