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Kickstart your digital health venture

Prepare your digital health venture to be implementation-ready in Switzerland – a handy guide providing clear and actionable recommendations to facilitate the transition between the end of design phase and the deployment phase.

This publication is addressed to players of the digital health ecosystem in Switzerland. It provides clear and actionable recommendations to facilitate the transition between the end of design phase and the deployment phase, tackling crucial aspects of the challenge. The recommendations were collected during an insightful event for digital health organisations in Western Switzerland co-organised by digitalswitzerland and Biopôle on 30 April, featuring Tigen Pharma’s achievements in the space and an interactive expert panel discussion.

Digital Health landscape in Switzerland

Digitalisation opens up a whole new source of knowledge for stakeholders to collect, store and share data between different healthcare stakeholders. Digital health solutions have been growing massively in Switzerland in the last years, expanding in various areas such as telemedicine, wearables, patient records, healthy ageing, mental health, femtech, value-based healthcare and personalised medicine. Western Switzerland has a strong footprint in the digital health innovation space with the presence of universities and university hospitals, innovation hubs, and a large biotech ecosystem2. Digital health startups and scaleups face many hurdles when transitioning between the end of design and the deployment of the digital health solutions. 90%3 of startups do not make it through their first year, and 50% survive through the first five years.

From left to right: Jade Sternberg, Sébastien Fabbri, Lorenza Ferrari Hofer, Anna Gräbner

Experts’ recommendations to successfully transition from design to deployment

Collaboration & partnerships

“We do not only collaborate with startups. We learn! We need to get this knowledge, it’s a real collaboration. We bring our skills and gain learnings from them – it’s important!”Sébastien Fabbri
Location

“This is precisely the role of the Genolier Innovation hub, to bring the healthcare stakeholders together under one roof (patients and doctors) and reduce the latency time.” – Anna Gräbner
Team

“Diversifying our team enriches our thinking, improves our decision making and strengthens our position in the market.” – Anna Gräbner
User centricity

Technology & Interconnectivity

“To differentiate, you need to have a strong concept. To be memorable you must be able to scale. You need a well-founded architecture with high privacy, security, interoperability aspects but also a user centric interface.” Sébastien Fabbri
Data & Knowledge 

Operations

Compliance & Regulations

“Please never disclose your know-how and your inventions in public publications because it will then fall into the public domain, and anyone can then use it.” – Lorenza Ferrari Hofer
Consent

Investment

Tigen Pharma’s insights to scale 

“You should not be in love with your first idea.” – Antoine Maison

About the experts

About Biopôle Lausanne

Founded in 2004 by the canton of Vaud public authorities, Biopôle SA is a private, not-for-profit organisation, which owns, manages and promotes the life sciences campus. We believe that interpersonal and inter-company relationships are the key to successful innovation. That’s why we focus on creating an environment in which you and your teams can prosper by collaborating with the Biopôle community and beyond. Biopôle is particularly active in supporting digital health. With dedicated offices and IT infrastructure (Digital Health Hub), innovation programmes (Biopôle/SHS Digital Health Vanguard Accelerator), and dedicated funding (Biopôle Fund – Digital Health track), Biopôle counts among its member more than 30 companies using digital health technologies to deploy their solution.

About digitalswitzerland

digitalswitzerland is a Swiss-wide, cross-industry initiative that aims to transform Switzerland into a leading digital nation. Along with our network of 170+ association members and non-political partners, including more than 1,000 top executives, we’re engaged in over 25 projects to inspire, initiate, co-create and lead digital change in Switzerland. Digital Health is a focus program of digitalswitzerland which aims to digitalise the entire healthcare system in Switzerland and make it patient-centric. We drive various activities in collaboration with the different healthcare stakeholders in the sector on topics like the electronic patient record, digital health literacy and more. digitalswitzerland also enables digital health scaleups to be positioned as thought leaders in the ecosystem through the Digital Health Academy, a 6-month cohort-based programme for scaleups which enable patients to better understand and monitor their data.

From left to right (Jade Sternberg, Sebastien Fabbri, Lorenza Ferrari Hofer, Anna Gräbner)
From left to right: Jade Sternberg, Sébastien Fabbri, Lorenza Ferrari Hofer, Anna Gräbner

Footnotes

1) ELCA supports Tigen to accelerate cell-based cancer therapies, 2023
(digitalswitzerland, 2023)
2) The Swiss healthcare system: entering a new digital era A visualisation of the pioneering solutions that inspire a digital health ecosystem
3) Power-Launch of the Swiss Startup Association
4) private data centres that companies house in their own facilities and maintain themselves
5) cloud computing environment dedicated to a single organisation
6) cloud computing model where IT infrastructure like servers, networking, and storage resources are
offered as virtual resources accessible over the internet
7) use of cloud services from more than one cloud vendor
8) Data security is the process of protecting digital information from unauthorised access, corruption or theft throughout its entire lifecycle.
9) Data sovereignty refers to a group or individual’s right to control and maintain their own data, which includes the collection, storage, and interpretation of data.

As an Alpine country, Switzerland is particularly hard affected by the consequences of climate change. Since pre-industrial times, the average temperature in Switzerland has risen by around 2 degrees Celsius – twice as much as the global average.

As part of the international community, Switzerland has committed to reducing its emissions by 50% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The study “Smart and Green – Digital Pathways to Net Zero” published by digitalswitzerland and economiesuisse in cooperation with Accenture, shows how digital technologies in the buildings, transport, industry, agriculture, and energy sectors can contribute to reducing CO2 emissions.This is an example sentence with a footnote reference.

The results are unambiguous: Digitalisation offers a significant contribution to the 2030 climate target. In the industries analysed, digital technologies have the potential to reduce emissions by 1.2 to 3.2 million tonnes of CO2eq. This corresponds to closing 7 to 20% of the existing climate gap (the emissions to be reduced from today until 2030).

Please find the full study in German, or check out the executive summary in English or French.

At the general assembly of digitalswitzerland it once more became clear that AI is a new and very dynamic next step in digitalisation. And the opportunities and risks involved and in particular the combination of AI with HI (Human Intelligence) make the dialogues among the members of this national initiative more important than ever.

To strategically drive this change forward, the participants of the General Assembly on 29 May elected Andreas Meyer as President. Following his time at ABB and DB, he drove forward the digitalisation of SBB in particular as CEO until 2020. As a founding member of “digitalzurich 2025” back in 2015, he worked towards expanding the initiative to encompass the whole of Switzerland. He also coordinated the Federal Council’s Digital Transformation Advisory Board for around three years. He succeeds Sascha Zahnd. As the first president after the merger of digitalswitzerland and ICTswitzerland, Zahnd led the organisation through the change with strategic impulses.

A change was also announced today with regard to the operational management. Franziska Barmettler will take up her position as the new CEO on 1 November 2024. As an economist, has been working at the interface between business, sustainability and politics for 15 years. She has shaped developments in the field of innovation and sustainability at the swisscleantech trade association, Migros and currently at IKEA. In addition to experience in association management and an understanding of future issues and change processes in the economy, she also has practical legislative experience as a politician. She succeeds Stefan Metzger. He has completed the operational integration of digitalswitzerland and ICTswitzerland, shaping the organisation over the past two years and preparing it for the future. He will remain CEO until 31 October 2024.

The exchange between business, science, government organisations and politics is at the heart of digitalswitzerland’s work. The aim is to utilise the opportunities offered by digital technologies by providing impulses and concrete contributions. In addition, the associated risks must be managed and people’s trust in the technologies must be promoted in order to transform Switzerland into a leading digital nation.

Review of 2023

Education, Professionals and Diversity

Our commitment regarding Education, Professionals & Diversity remains vital to transforming Switzerland into a leading digital nation. In 2023, we intensified our efforts to foster partnerships that enhance our educational initiatives.

Empowering Talent for the Digital Era

Since nurturing talent at every career level is an essential part to combat the ongoing shortage of skilled professionals, we have placed a strong emphasis on vocational training and development, which forms the backbone of our ICT workforce. Next to our own initiatives, our ongoing support for ICT-Berufsbildung Schweiz aims to further strengthen vocational training as a primary source of skilled ICT professionals.

Fostering Innovation through Diversity

We believe diversity is a key engine of innovation. In 2023, our #herHACK initiative drew more than 450 enthusiasts across 11 events, remarkably, two-thirds of whom came from non-technical backgrounds. This initiative serves as a gateway for diverse individuals into the tech world, broadening the innovation pool and infusing the tech landscape with varied perspectives and fresh ideas. 

Additionally, as a premium partner and an active member of the business advisory board for focus50plus, digitalswitzerland played an important role in advancing the platform’s mission – combating age-related stereotypes, and addressing the shortage of skilled workers through inclusive practices.

Building Digital Fluency

A cornerstone of our mission is to enhance digital skills across the board. The Boost Programme, supported by UBS, wrapped up this year, successfully equipping over 340 individuals with crucial digital competencies (you can find more in our impact report). Simultaneously, our Careers in Tech initiative aims to facilitate connections between talent seeking new opportunities and companies eager to adopt lateral hires into the tech sector. Several conducted interviews and workshops as well as the mentoring of a Bachelor’s and a Master’s thesis now form the basis for the development of a “Handbook for Companies”. The handbook is intended to support companies with advice and guidelines on the topic of lateral entry.

People, Culture and Mindset

Swiss Digital Days 2023: Uniting Communities, Empowering Minds

Swiss Digital Days 2023 showcased the power of collaboration, bringing together digitalswitzerland, partners, cities, and cantons to amplify the digital movement nationwide. Over the course of three months, more than 140 events in 11 cities fostered connections among the population, highlighting themes of digital inclusion, AI, and future skills. The event’s Flagship formats #herHACK, NextGen, and Digital Xchange highlighted the importance of bridging the digital divide, empowering individuals from all walks of life.

Shining a light on the digital landscape

The highlight of Swiss Digital Days, the Lighthouse event at the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne, drew over 200 participants. With a rich program and partner activities, the event provided a networking platform and insightful pitches by key figures of the Swiss digital landscape. Highlighted by a keynote speech by a German astronaut in the planetarium, the event successfully addressed the pressing topic of artificial intelligence.

NextGen Future Skills AI Experience: Inspiring Tomorrow’s Innovators

Artificial intelligence transcends traditional learning boundaries. Over 1’000 children and young adults participated in our Future Skills AI Experience workshops to gain knowledge about AI, including its associated opportunities and risks. During the workshops, children were able to use AI to create their own images on the theme of the digital future, complementing the slogan of Swiss Digital Days 2023. The 30 most aesthetically pleasing images, as rated by the AI software Aesthetify, were exhibited and awarded prizes at the Lighthouse event.

Digital Health

In 2023, the Digital Health initiative strengthened its footprint and activities within Switzerland through collaboration with all healthcare stakeholders. We released the study, “A Swiss digital healthcare system: What the population thinks”, available in English, French, and German. By the end of the year, the study was viewed over 7’000 times. It spawned 2 panel discussions, caught the attention of the media and was cited in various third-party reports. Based on the results, increasing digital health literacy among the Swiss population became a key focus.

Empowering Innovation

This year, in collaboration with Swiss Healthcare Startups, digitalswitzerland launched the Digital Health Academy, connecting four innovative startups and scale-ups that empower the Swiss population to own and understand their healthcare data. Over the course of six months, participants were invited to two panel discussions, two workshops, and a bootcamp, while profiting from expertise provided by our participating members. The academy concluded with the publication of the report ”The Swiss healthcare system: entering a new digital era”, receiving over 1 ‘000 views within the first two weeks after publication. 

Further, we released the Swiss Patient ecosystem map, illustrating digital solutions that improve and enhance the patient journey. At the end of 2023, the map featured 82 solutions; it is updated on a quarterly basis. Within our new “Community Talks” webinar series, we further spotlighted some of these solutions. Lastly, with the help of the Digital Health and Public Affairs committees, we actively contributed to the consultation on the Electronic Patient Record, advocating for citizen-centric healthcare solutions.

Strategic Partnerships for Ecosystem Growth

Strategic partnerships with leading organisations like Day One, Swiss Healthcare Startups, and the Swiss Health Data Space have strengthened the reach and impact of our Digital Health initiative. These partnerships help to drive us toward a more integrated, efficient, and patient-centred healthcare landscape in Switzerland.

Infrastructure & Cybersecurity

In 2023, digitalswitzerland prioritised three key areas within infrastructure and cybersecurity: digital identity (eID), data ecosystems, and cybersecurity. These efforts are aimed towards building a stronger digital foundation for Switzerland.

Enabling a Digital Identity for Switzerland

We intensified our involvement in enabling the eID and associated trust infrastructure by collaborating with expert groups like DIDAS as well as staying in close contact with the Federal Administration’s eID team. Our proactive advocacy in legislative and technical frameworks have positioned us as a thought leader in the field. digitalswitzerland is committed to enable a digital identity and digital credentials ecosystem for Switzerland.

Facilitating Data Ecosystems in Switzerland

We have facilitated discussions on digital sovereignty, digital self-determination and the strategic use of data during crisis. We closely align our activities in this area with the Swiss Data Alliance and federal authorities. These common efforts resulted in the development of a code of conduct for trustworthy data spaces as well as collaborations with reputable international bodies such as New York’s GovLab and the International Data Space Association. 

Increasing Switzerland’s Cybersecurity Resilience 

Our role in increasing cybersecurity in Switzerland has expanded. We advise on foresighted  policy and strategies to increase Switzerland’s cybersecurity resilience. Our national cybersecurity committee has grown to include 40 leading cybersecurity experts from a diverse set of industry sectors. digitalswitzerland co-hosted a cybersecurity seminar in Israel with the Alliance Digital Security Switzerland, thereby enabling dialogue between the Swiss and Israeli cyber ecosystems. Our cybersecurity awareness study, enabled by strong digitalswitzerland members and partners has been downloaded over 500 times and received extensive media coverage. digitalswitzerland also supported national initiatives such as the Global Cyber Conference in Zurich and promoted actionable tools such as the CyberSeal and the CyberNavi to enhance cybersecurity awareness and resilience in Switzerland.

eSustainability

Promoting sustainability through digital innovation was one of the core topics for digitalswitzerland in 2023, with a strong focus on biodiversity and emissions reporting.

Biodiversity Digital Academy

This year, we launched the Biodiversity Digital Academy with our startup cohort to combat one of the most pressing issues related to climate change: biodiversity loss. We selected ten leading startups from the Swiss ecosystem and paired them with experienced mentors from our network. This initiative supported and enabled the scale-up efforts of these startups.

WISER: Advancing Emissions Reporting

The team has continued to shape the Innosuisse Flagship project WISER. This collaborative project features five prestigious academic institutions and ten implementation partners from both the private and public sectors. The project’s goal is to create a unique open source digital ecosystem for accessing and verifying scope 3 emission factors and greenhouse gas (GHG) data. This initiative aims to simplify trustworthy and comparable scope 3 reporting in Switzerland. With 50% of the project completed, the WISER solution is paving the way for enhanced accessibility and accountability in environmental reporting.

Community Talks and Sustainability Lunch Bites

We hosted the first edition Sustainability Lunch Bites under the umbrella of our Community Talks webinar series, co-hosted with economiesuisse and ewz. This event provided valuable insights into recent developments in Swiss climate legislation and discussed how organisations could contribute towards achieving Swiss Climate Neutrality by 2050.

4T-DLT

In 2023, digitalswitzerland focused on strengthening the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) community. Our flagship event took place in Bern in June, where our members discussed digital assets and the tokenization of company shares. This event filled with learnings gathered 50 participants. This event helped enhance expertise and facilitate networking within our community. Our dedicated website attracted 1,556 visits, highlighting the growing interest in DLT. Additionally, our LinkedIn group expanded to 148 members, further establishing our presence and influence in the online community.

Creating a self-sustaining community

As we move into 2024, digitalswitzerland will shift its focus towards other emerging technological themes, confident in the 4T-DLT initiative’s ability to “fly on its own”. This transition is a testament to the robust ecosystem we have nurtured, enabling the initiative to continue driving innovation independently. Revisit the initiative’s history and its milestones here.

Politico-Economic Environment

digitalswitzerland’s Public Affairs Team initiated its 2023 agenda with a strategy workshop that defined its focus on four areas: AI, EU/Global Connectivity, eGovernment, and the Future of Work in the context of other strategic topics (see B2B).

Advancing AI and Legislative Frameworks

Activities in 2023 kicked off by supporting a postulate by Marcel Dobler, Vice President of digitalswitzerland and National Councillor, calling for the federal government to analyse Swiss law’s response to AI challenges and identify legislative gaps. This groundwork contributed to the digitalswitzerland AI discussion paper and announcement of the Swiss AI Alliance at Digital Gipfel Schweiz 2023, with preparations underway to make the Alliance operational by 2024.

Policy Engagement and New Initiatives

Across all focus areas, digitalswitzerland formed working groups to address regulatory and policy challenges through four principle-based discussion papers. These papers not only presented ideas for Switzerland’s future positioning, but also laid the groundwork for further Public Affairs activities, such as the new eGovernment programme at digitalswitzerland.

Election Year Dynamics and Broader Engagement

In 2023, federal elections were held in Switzerland. The Public Affairs team participated in policy and civil society forums, such as the Internet Governance Forum, Plateforme Tripartite and Parldigi, connecting with digitally minded parliamentarians. Three parliamentary election events held by digitalswitzerland in November addressed critical digital issues like Digital Health, Digital Sovereignty, and Cybersecurity.

Responsive and Proactive Policy Influencing

In 2023, The Public Affairs team has not only built up a proactive, forward-looking approach to digital policy, but has also been able to react to new developments in parliament in an effective, ad hoc manner. It utilised the Public Affairs Committee’s expertise to deliver policy stances on several major legislative initiatives, including the Electronic Patient Record and the new Information Security Law. In 2023, a total of nine policy statements have been submitted to the federal government and parliament, contributing to national policy discussions.

Regions

During 2023, digitalswitzerland worked diligently to expand its nationwide presence, particularly in the French and Italian-speaking regions, fostering greater engagement and outreach.

AI in Action at Locarno

In August, we hosted the “AI in Action” event at the prestigious Locarno Film Festival. Attracting 80 guests, the exclusive event provided a platform for discussing the impact and potential of AI technologies in the creative and film industries, enhancing our visibility and interaction with regional stakeholders.

Digital Competitiveness Forum in Lausanne

The Digital Competitiveness Forum, held in partnership with IMD and EPFL in November, drew 100 attendees to explore the themes of AI and Switzerland’s competitiveness. The forum also marked the release of IMD’s World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2023. Alongside this, the partners issued a white paper titled “Charting the Future”. This document and the discussions at the forum contribute to shaping the strategic direction for Switzerland’s digital landscape.

Member Engagement

We take pride in our network, which includes 170+ members and partners, along with 500+ CXOs from various sectors within the Swiss business, political, and educational ecosystem. Additionally, our VIP events have attracted 340+ guests.

Connecting and Empowering

In 2023, digitalswitzerland hosted several high-profile events that brought together leaders from across the Swiss business, political, and educational sectors, and even garnered international interest. These gatherings, such as the WEF Breakfast & Lunch, the Swiss Digital Days Lighthouse event, and the 5th Digital Gipfel Schweiz, highlighted critical topics like digital solutions for climate change, the AI revolution, the Metaverse, and innovation trends.

Enhancing Connections Through the Community Platform

This year also saw the launch of the “Community Platform,” an exclusive hub designed to enhance interactions among our members. This platform facilitates connections, collaboration, and the exchange of knowledge, providing members access to the latest research, best practices, events, and sources of inspiration.

The digitalswitzerland Foundation

In 2023, the Foundation worked towards fostering increased engagement from its 25+ partners within the digitalswitzerland ecosystem. This resulted in greater impact for our various private-public initiatives, underscoring the importance of bringing together diverse and complementary stakeholders from the association and the foundation. Leveraging various expertise, resources, and perspectives, we effectively addressed digital challenges and drove meaningful outcomes.

Fostering Dialogue and Addressing Public Concerns

Throughout the year, the Foundation intensified efforts to engage the public in an open dialogue about digitalisation. Through the ‘Digital Xchange’ project, we offered a platform for citizens to voice their hopes and fears regarding digital technologies. In collaboration with SRF, we organised a landmark event on Artificial Intelligence in the summer, which drew a large audience during a peak period of interest and concern about this technology. The Foundation also worked closely with the Association on several projects, including the Swiss Digital Days, where it hosted five Digital Xchange events across locations like Schwyz and Biel, capturing public feedback which helped our partners tailor their responses to the community’s needs.

Laying the groundwork for the future

Building on the ongoing efforts since 2022 towards advancing digital inclusion in Switzerland, the Foundation has been working towards the launch of the Alliance for Digital Inclusion in Switzerland, slated to happen in 2024. This new venture will foster collaboration among key stakeholders in civil society, government, and academia, focusing on e-accessibility and basic digital competences. The Alliance aims to create a cooperative space that supports Switzerland’s journey toward digital inclusivity, ensuring that digital tools and resources are accessible to all.

Outlook for 2024

digitalswitzerland will focus on qualitative growth to provide substantial value to both current and prospective members. As a nation-wide initiative, strengthening our presence across the nation is paramount. Hosting four major national events is one of the measures planned for 2024: the digitalswitzerland Village in Davos, The Digital Gipfel Schweiz in Central Switzerland, engaging activities at the Locarno Film Festival, and the Digital Competitiveness Summit in Lausanne. The Swiss Digital Days movement, initiated in 2017, evolves into a self-sustaining format led by local partners, cities, and cantons, enhancing community-driven innovation. While pushing forward our current programmes and initiatives, we must also adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape. New initiatives include the official launch of the AI Alliance and a strategic partnership with the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne to make digitalisation more accessible, reinforcing Switzerland’s position as a leader in innovation and digital transformation. This approach aligns with our current strategy, aiming at impact in society in clearly defined areas of action.

The Digital Health Academy is back. In collaboration with Swiss Healthcare Startups, we relaunched our 6-month cohort based program for AI-driven digital health scaleups who enable patients to better understand and monitor their health. We are proud to announce that five scaleups will be participating in this year’s edition alongside our valued partners: ELCA, Ergon Informatik, HKT Design, IBM, MME Legal, PersonalPulse, Swiss Post and Salesforce.

The participating scaleups will benefit from: 

Introducing the scaleup cohort

We are very happy to give you a sneak peek of our five selected scaleups chosen for digitalswitzerland’s Digital Health Academy 2024.

AllesHealth is a comprehensive hospital and patient management solution enabling clinician efficiency, remote patient monitoring and personalised healthcare research. The holistic health management platform empowers patients to be in control of the care they receive and enables them to own their own health records.

CNS Therapy enables chronic patients to be pain-free using a neuromodulation device and behavioural therapy without medication, surgery, implants or cannabis. The solution combines physiological approach (cardiac gated stimulation) with psychological approach (eLearning-based behavioural therapy guided by biometric data) to eliminate chronic pain, restore the autonomic nervous system and increase life quality. It is low risk, non-invasive and highly successful.

Exploris Health provides impactful AI-based diagnostic and therapy solutions, which focus on significant improvement of the most challenging areas of diagnostics and therapy while reducing healthcare costs. The first product, Cardio Explorer to detect Coronary Artery Disease has already been launched (CE-marked). Further multi-marker algorithms are already in the pipeline (Heart Failure, Breast/Prostate Cancer).

Mobile Health offers a patient-centred software application which enables patients to record their well-being and symptoms as well as vital parameters and medication intake in a structured and standardised electronic way (ePROs). Patients can also automatically record their vital signs using various medical devices. The doctor receives a structured, clinical grade picture of the patient’s condition and the current and historical course of their therapy. The doctor’s decision-making is supported by AI modules.

Pathmate develops digital coaches to support people with chronic diseases and makes them accessible through its own certified coaching platform. Pathmate’s mission revolves around the fusion of medicine, behavioural psychology and data science to empower individuals on their health journey. At the heart of their solutions is a chatbot that informs, motivates and guides users to improve and take charge of their health.

Are you interested to learn more about the Digital Health Academy?

Internationally renowned speakers presented their thoughts on the rapid progress of artificial intelligence: Meredith Whittaker, President of Signal, Zack Kass, long-time top manager of OpenAI, Alex Osterwalder, internationally renowned bestselling author and strategy consultant, Henrik Werdelin, serial entrepreneur and Martin Hoffmann, Co-CEO of On AG. The 6th Digital Gipfel Schweiz, organised by digitalswitzerland, provided a relevant platform for exchanging views on the opportunities and risks of technology.

Read the press release in German or French.

Under the umbrella of digitalswitzerland, MME Legal and Swisscom launched the 4T-DLT initiative in January 2021, with the ambition to combine technical and legal standards to create an open repository, with the ultimate goal of building a secure, interoperable and reliable Swiss Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) infrastructure. 

The initiative quickly gained momentum, which led to SwissCaution and SDX joining the endeavour in March 2021, contributing knowledge and expertise. The four organisations became stakers, who contributed with funds and resources to the development of the initiative’s activities.

Raising awareness within the population with educational videos on the four pillars of trust

In April 2021, five short educational videos were released, outlining the foundation for a trustworthy Swiss infrastructure for digital data. MME and Swisscom gathered industry leaders and experts from academia to help create these blueprints outlining the four central pillars of a secure DLT infrastructure and combining the technical and legal spheres

To learn more about the videos and the contributors, read the article “4T-DLT” – Swiss Initiative Defines Four Pillars of Trustworthy DLT Ecosystem

Navigating Trust: The essential guide to a secure and interoperable digital infrastructure

The 4T-DLT initiative published a white paper in September 2021. Broken down into the 4 Trust pillars, the authors provide fundamental information on the technical and legal framework to establish and operate a secure, interoperable, reliable and trusted digital infrastructure. The white paper is both a navigation guide and a source of knowledge for users, advisors and authorities. 

The set-up of a new comprehensive, interoperable and reliable DLT ecosystem based on Swiss quality standards requires cooperation across companies, organisations and experts as well as interactions with policymakers and regulators. This will help citizens leverage the potential of DLT technology by enabling the independent storage of digital information, values and rights, as well as their straightforward, legally secure and efficient transfer. Ten principles have been defined, which all DLT interfaces should adhere to in order to achieve effective, secure and flawless communication. This is the overall aim of the different activities within the initiative. Find more insights in this interesting article.

Enabling dialogue: Highlights from the CMTA & DLT Event

In March 2022, Capital Market Technology Association and digitalswitzerland’s 4T-DLT initiative joined forces and gathered 80+ experts in Zurich for an insightful event to strengthen collaboration and exchange insights. This gave the DLT community a chance to connect on a deeper level, network and create partnerships.

Read more about the event or check out our gallery.

Empowering the community with the launch of a platform

The 4T-DLT website was created in May 2022. This platform was designed to enable users to find information, share resources and engage with the community. It enabled the community to add their own events and blueprints, exchange with their peers on the forum, as well as define important terms together. Over the months the community grew steadily until reaching over 200 members.

Following this willingness to collaborate and share perspectives, digitalswitzerland organised a meeting; gathering experts in Distributed Ledger Technology and Digital Assets. Capital Market Technology Association, Digital Assets Switzerland, Suisse Blockchain, Swiss Blockchain Federation, VNTR by Postfinance, TBTA and 4T-DLT experts discussed joint synergies to transform Switzerland into a leading DLT hub. As a result, digitalswitzerland created a LinkedIn Group to share events, insights and perspectives on the DLT landscape. 

Enabling organisations to grasp DLT potential and apply it to their business 

In June 2023, digitalswitzerland organised a learning event in Bern, where digitalswitzerland’s members could learn from their peers on topics such as digital assets or tokenisation of company shares. We had the chance to hear from Hochschule Luzern, DFINITY Foundation, daura, SDX, Swiss Post, Magic Tomato and Taurus. 

DLT ecosystem is ready to fly on its own

The power of collaboration, innovation and determination enabled the 4T-DLT initiative to drive positive change. Thus, digitalswitzerland will focus its resources on other topics which still require collaboration and innovation to transform Switzerland as a leading digital nation.

We would like to warmly thank all the experts who contributed to this successful initiative:

Shapers: Dr. Luka Müller-Studer, Harald Baertschi, Sebastian Bürgel, Yannick Hausmann, Dr. Jacques Iffland, Patrick Oltramare, Fedor Poskriakov, Dr. Mattia Rattaggi, Patrick Salm, Adrien Treccani and Gino Wirthensohn

Contributors: Guillaume Gabus, Rolf W. Guenter, Nathan Kaiser, Travin Keith, Aurelia Nick, Bruno Pasquier, Orkan Sahin, Marc Stammbach, Jade Sternberg and Dominic Vincenz

The 4T-DLT website will be live until 13 May 2024.

Women are still significantly underrepresented in tech-related professions. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, McKinsey & Company, the Competence Centre for Diversity & Inclusion at the University of St. Gallen and digitalswitzerland are releasing the white paper “The unseen code: Unlock Switzerland’s female tech potential”. It serves as strategic guidance for the executives, policymakers, and professionals in the technology industry who are navigating the challenges posed by this shortage, with a specific focus on Switzerland.

Featuring expert insights from leaders in the Swiss technology industry, The white paper highlights the need to address the talent shortage and to enhance Switzerland’s competitiveness by empowering female talents to enter or transition to tech professions: Creating a corporate culture that supports women is crucial, as is retaining talent, promoting career changers, and enabling women to enter the industry in the first place. Additionally, it is important to take measures across company boundaries to address structural factors and make the tech industry more attractive to women.

Find the full white paper here.

As we stand at the crossroads of innovation and progress, it becomes increasingly apparent that the interplay between education, a skilled workforce, and diversity will shape the success of businesses in the future. On 16 January, at the digitalswitzerland Village during the World Economic Forum in Davos, we brought together experts from education, business, and politics to explore practical strategies and innovative approaches to unlock the full-potential of our population and to close the tech talent gap in Switzerland.

Breaking Barriers
Close the talent gap: Women in Tech as the best bet to tackle our skills-shortage.

Breaking Barriers is not just a catchphrase; it’s a call to action in the fast-evolving landscape of technology. As we navigate the challenges of the rising skills-shortage in Switzerland’s tech landscape and at the same time only about 1/5 of the tech workforce are women, it becomes clear that we need to act. In a first-of its kind workshop with all the participants, we collaborated with Dr. Ines Hartmann and Nicole Niedermann from the Competence Centre of Diversity & Inclusion at University of St. Gallen as well as Anna Mattsson, President of Advance and Partner at McKinsey & Company to find out how to bridge the female tech talent gap.

Some key measures that were highlighted include:

Shaping Learning
Delve into the future of learning and find out more about the transformative impact of digital innovation in education.

Moving on from more women in tech, we looked at how technology plays an important role in shaping the way we learn and how it opens up new opportunities, for example with a more personalised learning experience for all. In an insightful impulse speech, Jean-Marc Tassetto, strategic advisor EMEA at Go1 and co-founder of coorpacademy, highlighted the importance of creating learning experiences with the end-user in mind. These learning experiences are not optional, by 2027, nearly 100 million jobs may emerge which are more adapted to the division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms.

Anat Bar-Gera, Prof. Dr. Joël Mesot, Jean-Marc Tassetto, Dr. Luciana Vaccaro, Prof. Dr. Misiek Piskorski (from left to right).

In an exciting panel discussion, moderated by Prof. Dr. Misiek Piskorski (Dean IMD Asia and Oceania), and with our experts Anat Bar-Gera (Tech investor and board member), Prof. Dr. Joël Mesot (President ETH Zurich), Dr. Luciana Vaccaro (President swissuniversities and rector HES-SO) and Jean-Marc Tassetto, it has become clear that we face an upskilling emergency with new and softer skills becoming the imperative. Universities and companies alike play a crucial role in enabling people to stay up-to-date with state-of-art, personalised learning experiences leveraging the power of technology and at the same time include the skills that are learned best through personal interaction such as collaboration, initiative, empathy, and more.

Re-Thinking Work
Explore the power of human/tech collaborations with corporate foresight and a human centric approach.

Making sure people are appropriately skilled is paramount to prepare for the future of work. In the era of digital transformation, the nature of work is undergoing unprecedented changes. In an insightful impulse speech, Martin Wezowski, Chief Futurist at SAP, highlighted the case for learning how to “surf” and following one’s personal vision, as we need to with the flow and many jobs that will exist in 2030 have not been invented yet.

Martin Wezowski, Chief Futurist, SAP.

Following the impulse speech, we took a deep-dive in the discussion with our fantastic guests, Jolanda Grob (Chief People Officer, Zurich), Catrin Hinkel (CEO, Microsoft Switzerland), Prof. Dr. Martin Vetterli (President, EPFL), Martin Wezowski and our moderator Prof. Dr. Misiek Piskorski (Dean, IMD Asia and Oceania). It became paramount to prioritise people and lifelong- / or continuous learning as 50% of the employees will need reskilling in the next years. Looking at innovation through creativity, it becomes clear that it happens more and more through human/technological collaboration.

Prof. Dr. Martin Vetterli, Jolanda Grob, Catrin Hinkel, Martin Wezowski, Prof. Dr. Misiek Piskorsk (from left to right).

Inspired to know more and be part of the journey towards mitigating the skills-shortage in tech and ensuring Switzerland is on the right path when it comes to education, skilled workforce and diversity? Let us know your thoughts and find out more about our work here.

In our latest whitepaper, “Charting the Future: Switzerland’s Path to Generative AI Leadership in 2024 and Beyond”, we dissect the transformative impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and generative AI (GenAI) in Switzerland as of 2024. Backed by a survey of 279 Swiss professionals and insights from expert-led Digital Xchange workshops, the findings paint a vivid picture of the GenAI landscape.

The Current Landscape: The survey reveals a robust 62% adoption of AI, with a significant 30.6% implementation across five or more business functions. However, a closer look uncovers a landscape in flux, with 50% of respondents anticipating a major shift in jobs within the next three to five years.

Challenges and Concerns: While enthusiasm for GenAI is palpable, concerns remain. Privacy, data breaches, and over-reliance on technology emerge as key worries. Furthermore, a staggering 52% of organisations lack clear policies on AI in the workplace, indicating a critical need for guidelines.

Urgent Issues: Two pressing issues demand immediate attention. First, the survey signals an outright explosion in demand for skills training as GenAI reshapes the workplace. Second, there is a concerning lack of awareness among Swiss professionals regarding official GenAI policies, with only a third advocating for more government regulation.

Actionable Recommendations: Our whitepaper concludes with strategic recommendations for policymakers, business leaders, and education providers. Urgent actions include the establishment of a robust educational and political framework, investment in transforming continuing education, and a focus on the judicious use of GenAI to maximise opportunities while minimising risks.

Join the Conversation: As Switzerland stands at the crossroads of GenAI innovation, we invite you to study the full whitepaper, to gain a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Read the full report here.

This whitepaper was jointly created and published by digitalswitzerland, IMD and EPFL.