About us

The Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI) at the University of Basel is a center of excellence for nanosciences and nanotechnology. It was founded in 2006 by the University of Basel and the Swiss Canton Aargau in order to support research, education, and technology transfer in the nanosciences and in nanotechnology in Northwestern Switzerland.

The SNI emerged from the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) Nanoscale Science, which was founded in 2001 with the University of Basel as leading house.

Since the SNI was founded, interdisciplinary teams of scientists of various research institutions in the SNI network have conducted basic and applied research and have supported actively the knowledge and technology transfer to industry. Collaboration with industrial partners in northwestern Switzerland are initiated via existing contacts of scientists in the network, via direct inquiries by companies and via the Hightech Zentrum Aargau in Brugg. Around half of all applied research projects – funded in the Nano Argovia program – are carried out in collaboration with companies from the canton of Aargau where nanotechnologies are highly relevant in industry and research.

Within the study of nanoscience (bachelor’s and master’s program) and the SNI PhD School, the SNI trains excellent young scientists and prepares them for careers in industry and academia through a range of different activities.

The SNI provides different services like nano imaging and nano fabrication to partners from research and industry.

In addition, the SNI’s management team is involved in public relations and outreach activities and specifically supports various initiatives, particularly those aiming to interest children, young people and their teachers in the natural sciences.

The SNI has a total budget of around 7.5 million Swiss francs, of which 5 million comes from the Canton of Aargau and 2.5 million from the University of Basel.


Roderick Lim
"The SNI is the center of excellence in nanoscale science and nanotechnology in Northwestern Switzerland. We focus on basic research, applied projects and education."

Professor Roderick Lim, Argovia Professor