The first research institute founded in Switzerland by the Dalle Molle Foundation was established in 1972, the ISSCO, the name of which, "Istituto Dalle Molle di Studi Semantici et Cognitivi" (Institute for Semantic and Cognitive Studies), was already quite a syllabus. It was followed, in 1987, by the IDSIA, "Istituto Dalle Molle di Studi sull'Intelligenza Artificiale" (Institute for the Study of Artificial Intelligence) and in 1991 by the Dalle Molle Institute for Perceptual Artificial Intelligence", Idiap. In 1976, the ISSCO was moved from Lugano to Geneva in order to benefit from a university environment. All three form a consistent triad within the field of artificial intelligence. Their work is intended to facilitate "understanding" between man and machine.
The fourth institute, MEDIPLANT, was founded in 1988 in Conthey (VS), with the objective of proposing cultures that comply with economic laws and ecological demands.
All of these institutes have been and remain innovators within their respective fields. Today some of these institutes have changed their place of residence, others have altered their identity, but all have managed to develop affiliations with university environments while maintaining their independence and their dynamic nature.