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The institutions of the ETH Domain work together in the fields of energy, the environment, materials, and imaging at four subject-oriented competence centres. The ETH Board set up these competence centres for interdisciplinary research in 2006. In its strategic planning for 2012–2016, it firmly established their role as important elements in the implementation of the strategic focus topics. In 2012, it allocated them start-up funding of 16.1m CHF. The ETH Board intends to continue supporting the competence centres, but will gradually phase out its start-up financing for the individual competence centres in different stages as of 2013.