Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin has laid the foundation stone for a Swiss university campus during a visit to the United Arab Emirates on Thursday.This content was published on May 14, 2009 - 13:12
The Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) is the first Swiss university to open an outpost outside Switzerland. The campus, in the emirate of Ras al-Khaimah, in the north of the UAE, is due to receive its first students in 2012.
The EPFL said the project would provide research opportunities for developing alternative energy sources, including solar energy.
The project is being financed by the Ras al-Khaimah Investment Authority.
A statement from the Swiss interior ministry said that Couchepin's three-day visit to the UAE would focus on science, culture and innovation.
Also in Ras al-Khaimah he will visit a project for an artificial island that is being set up in collaboration with Neuchâtel's Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) to produce electricity and hydrogen using solar power.
Couchepin, who is accompanied by a delegation of officials from a number of Swiss universities, is also to visit Abu Dhabi and Dubai during the trip.
swissinfo.ch with agencies
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