Our Mission

The Bits to Energy Lab combines digitalization and behavioral economics to support the design of innovative products and services, new business models, and rich customer interaction. Our focus is on mass market applications in the utility, mobility, and domestic sector where more and more smart products enable companies to stay in touch with their customers and provide data that helps to better understand user behavior.


Our mission is to contribute to information systems research (data analytics and consumer behavior), to support companies to master their digital transformation, and ultimately support a sustainable development of our society.

How we work

We apply scientific methods and theories to practical problems. Techniques we use and develop further include machine learning to uncover hidden information in data streams, behavioral interventions to transform user interaction, socio-economic models and randomized controlled field trials to empirically evaluate the impact of solutions and at the same time advance theory the respective fields.


Partnerships with leading companies and startups allow us to gain access to real-world data, to identify new problems early on, and to jointly validate the results in innovation projects.

Rooted in Academia

The Bits to Energy Lab is a research initiative of ETH Zurich (Information Management, Distributed Systems), the University of Bamberg (Information Systems and Energy Efficient Systems) and the University of St. Gallen (Technology Management). The Lab has founded in 2006 by Elgar Fleisch, Friedemann Mattern, and Thorsten Staake.


The Bits to Energy Lab is financed by competitive research funds (e.g. programs by the Swiss and German ministries, the European Commission), via direct industry projects, and by own resources of the associated chairs. This allows us to pursue a mix of topics that aim at solving current, pressing practical problems and to conduct research with a longer perspective. Reference to funding sources are provided at each of the project descriptions.