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Bringing the digitalswitzerland challenge webpage to the next level

Our revised version of the digitalswitzerland challenge webpage is out! We would like to take this opportunity to thank all participants of the challenge for their commitment and the cooperation regarding this webpage.

For those who are new around here: With the challenge, digitalswitzerland enables interdisciplinary and cross-sector teams to implement their innovative ambitions within a competitive framework.  The challenge demonstrates why Switzerland is a model for sustainable innovation: It opens up potentials, creates new networks and visibly positions Swiss strengths and values within the global competition.

New bets & contacts

All bets are listed on the new website; this means that both bets placed in 2017 and those placed this April are now online. Bets are categorized by status: “successful”, “in progress” and “not pursued”. For example, you can find this year’s audience award winner  “Digitalization as Enabler to Re-Connect Families in Time of War” under “in progress”. The bet “National Research Programs” which has been redeemed appears under the category “successful”. Consequently, the category “not pursued” is for bets that did not make it across the finish line.


If you want to search for bets thematically, you can do that with the new filter: it is divided into topics such as ‘Real Estate’ and ‘Health’, as well as technologies such as ‘A.I.’ and ‘Blockchain’. Challenges, which look at solutions based on blockchain and dealing thematically with health, you can click on both criteria; only the bet “Blockchain Solution for Healthcare and Life Sciences” matches these criteria.

Artwork & Updates

We are also very happy about the new look of the webpage. The new key visual and new pictograms for each bet give the digitalswitzerland challenge a unique look that is recognizable.

We are also pleased to announce further cooperation with Joel Blom. Like last year, Joel will visit new and old bets bringing you the latest news and provide exciting insights. You can check Joel’s posts about last season here.

Place your bets

Do you have an idea how digitalization could solve a pressing issue? You want to see your idea discussed by a larger audience and you would like to give input on other’s ideas? For this purpose, we have put online a channel on the Open Challenge Platform. To access the channel, please register first.

The channel functions as a collecting basin for ideas and bets for the next season of the digitalswitzerland challenge in 2019. As soon as we start the new digitalswitzerland challenge campaign, these ideas will be incorporated, i.e. the idea automatically will be included in digitalswitzerland’s first assessment of the next challenge season.

We are looking forward to your contributions!

Submit your Matterhorn project now. Register here. The campaign closes this Friday, June 22, 2018.

Around 30 ideas submitted, how about yours?

A few weeks back, we launched the Matterhorn Project: We are looking for colossal ideas with the potential to transform Switzerland and the world in a sustainable manner!

We have already received around 30 great ideas. Some of the ideas even have some parallels to projects of Switzerland’s greatest innovator so far, Alfred Escher:

New educational institution
Like Escher found the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, we could found a new educational institution. The formation of an ETM Eidgenössische Technische Mittelschule (“Federal Middle School of Technology”) with a clear focus on STEM subjects would ideally prepare talented pupils for their digital future.

Swiss-wide network for commercial drones
Like Escher pushed forward with the railway network as well as the Gotthard tunnel in Switzerland, we could push launch a Swiss-wide network for commercial drones. Switzerland is already one of the leaders in the drone technology sphere and could push ahead as the first country to have commercial drones in the airspace.

Smart contract-based blockchain solution for the financial industry
Like Escher founded the Schweizerische Kredit Anstalt (today Credit Suisse) to finance the Gotthard, we could develop a smart contract-based blockchain solution for the future of the Swiss financial services industry, thereby building the fundament of future digital ecosystems across borders.

These are just three disruptive projects that could bring Switzerland and the world sustainably forward. Do you have further ideas for the Matterhorn Projects? Register here and submit your idea now until June 22, 2018. Or just check out, vote and comment on the already submitted ideas!

After June 22 the most promising ideas will be selected. The best idea(s) will be presented on stage on the 25th of October 2018 during the Digital Day. The support of the digitalswitzerland network to turn the idea into reality will follow after the announcement of the selected idea.

If you want to stay up to date on all things Matterhorn Projects, please subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter.

digitalswitzerland’s mission statement is aiming high: We want no less than making Switzerland a Leading Digital Innovation Hub. Worldwide!

To turn the mission statement into reality, we need to think bigger: We want to generate more international buzz for Switzerland, raising its visibility and international connectivity. Hence, it is with pleasure that we introduce our new and sixth project pillar “International Connectivity”.

Fostering international awareness

digitalswitzerland wants to foster the international awareness for the Swiss innovation and technology ecosystem and create an own narrative. Just as Israel, Berlin and Silicon Valley trigger associations, Switzerland must also be able to develop its own identity regarding the digital future. We want Switzerland to trigger more associations than just cheese, chocolate and mountains.

Because we have a lot to talk about. For example:

Not even all Swiss know these facts. While with our other initiatives we push ahead in Switzerland. The flaw from our point of view is that these facts are not known abroad or are not presented uniformly. We will propagate these stories with the new pillar “International Connectivity”.

The plan

To tell the world a different story, besides one of cheese, chocolate and mountains, digitalswitzerland is committed to three levels:

First steps towards becoming an international hub of innovation

Where to start?

Our first small step is digitalswitzerland’s participation in the Viva Technology Conference, the world’s rendezvous for startups and leaders, in Paris from 24 to 26 May 2018.


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To this aim, digitalswitzerland partners with the Swiss Pavilion at VivaTech (Collaboration), which is presented by Presence Suisse and Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE).

Visibility: The newly launched Presence Suisse campaign “Switzerland – Home of Drones” aims to strengthen Switzerland’s position as a leading location for innovation and technology. Furthermore, Switzerland Global Enterprise and its Swiss Business Hub in France enable innovative Swiss companies from various technology areas (Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, energy, smart city, etc. to show their products. The aim is to draw attention to growing industrial sectors in Switzerland.

The pavilion will demonstrate the advantages of the Swiss ecosystem:

Connectivity: digitalswitzerland will be present! We want to network with other hubs, identify congruent interests and explore possible collaborations to make the global network larger and more intensive.

digitalswitzerland is very much looking forward to this international endeavour!

Stay tuned: We will report in detail about Vivatech via our Twitter channel and stay updated via our newsletter, subscribe here!

digitalswitzerland projects are about impact. Together – society, politics, business, culture and academics – we want to achieve sustainable progress. Digitalisation is happening at an incredible pace, which is why we believe that we need platforms for visionary projects to be collaboratively and successfully launched. The chances of digitalisation are here – but they must be used socially responsible without losing sight of the dangers. This is why digitalswitzerland wants to use its platforms to find Matterhorn-Projects.


With the Matterhorn-Projects, we want to identify ideas that promise Switzerland and the world sustainable progress. Ideas, which in their implementation themselves would astonish even Elon Musk and Jack Ma. Visionary, colossal and crazy ideas!

We are looking for ideas that have an effect on the macroeconomic level. In his brilliant article, comparing Alfred Escher to Elon Musk, Philipp Stauffer describes common traits between the two entrepreneurs, and what their vision entails: Creating value chains for tapping new profit pool that benefits next generations. Here are some of Alfred Escher’s projects of which Switzerland profits to this day:

We are confident that through new technologies, such paradigm changing projects are imminent – and Switzerland should be at the forefront! These Matterhorn Projects will benefit from the digitalswitzerland structures by using the existing platforms and networks, as well as the Digital Day.

The Dots – Establishing an Ecosystem

The Digital Day, a unique event that enables all of Switzerland – students, kids, parents, grandparents, workers, researchers, artist, politicians, federal councillors and businessmen – to exchange views on the coming challenges of digitization that must be mastered together. These challenges must be identified and ideas and solutions defined. We need to find the digital visionaries like Alfred Escher and give them the means to follow with monumental projects.

At the same time, digitalswitzerland launched the open challenge – an open innovation platform. With this platform, we try to combine the concentrated innovation power of Switzerland. On the platform, questions are asked to the community how innovation and digitization can be taken to a new level through collaborative projects and/or new methodological approaches.

Connect the Dots

With these two platforms – the open challenge, as well as the Digital Day on October 25, which takes place all over Switzerland – the opportunity arises to share pioneering ideas, which were conceived in a digital space, during one of the biggest live-event with the whole of Switzerland.

We are convinced that Switzerland has the most innovative and creative minds, as well as a population that can make conscious and responsible decisions. These elements, a digital platform, a big stage, as well as bright minds and an enlightened population make a one of a kind mix for a groundbreaking change. That is why digitalswitzerland is launching the Matterhorn Projects!

Process of a first ascent

That’s why we need your support! As of April 30, we are looking for ideas for the Matterhorn-Projects on the open challenge platform. Ideas, with the potential to revolutionize Switzerland and the world in a sustainable way.

Ideas can be entered until June 22. What matters to us is a lively exchange on the platform – thereby raising acceptance and the quality of ideas.

After June 22 the most visionary, most colossal and most promising ideas will be selected. At the Digital Day on the 25th of October 2018, these ideas will be presented and with a concrete implementation plan.

Venture of Switzerland for Switzerland

Ideas are a good first step, but not enough to get to the top. If the plan for a first ascent is defined, its feasibility must be checked. What team does the first ascent need, what material and what means – and is there an intermediate camp? digitalswitzerland will do its utmost to identify the right stakeholders and get them on board to realize the groundbreaking and monumental ideas.

That’s why we’re talking about a Venture of Switzerland for Switzerland. From the ideation phase to financing and implementation, we will together – meaning the whole of Switzerland – set a good example and trigger a sustainable and socially responsible innovation wave.

Here you can register for the openchallenge platform.

Here is the link to the openchallenge platform (if you have already registered).

Join us for the new campaign “Matterhorn Challenge” and submit your ideas until the 22nd of June 2018.

The winning projects will get rewarded with a cash prize of CHF 1’000 and VIP tickets to the Digital Day on the 25th of October 2018 in Zurich.

For the first time since 1954, there will be a circuit race in Switzerland on June 10, 2018. But those expecting loud engine noise will be disappointed. The ABB FIA Formula E Championship with its electric racecars makes its premier stop in the Limmatstard as part of the Julius Baer Zurich E-Prix.

The Race is on

On April 20, Sébasteien Buemi, an ex-formula E driver, surprised his compatriots with a ride in a Formula E racing car through the streets of Zurich.

This heralds the start of the Julius Baer Zurich E-Prix. This race, which will be shown on TV, is hopefully the starting point for Zurich to take up a pioneering role in the global discussion about Smart City and sustainable mobility.

More than a race

In order to reach this goal, it also needs the appropriate dialogue platforms. The eDays are the official supporting program of the Julius Baer Zurich E-Prix and take place the week before the race weekend. digitalswitzerland is the proud partner of eDays. Under the motto “More than a Race”, the goal is to raise public awareness about renewable energy and innovation issues.

As part of the digitalswitzerland Market Entry Bootcamp, the eDays enable a platform for start-ups in the fields of smart city, e-mobility and renewable energies with innovative ideas and solutions. The eDays startups will be presented as part of the digitalswitzerland Market Entry Bootcamp. The program will take place in Zurich from 4 to 7 June, giving young companies access to a unique network, bringing them new business knowledge and making international startups known to the Swiss corporates and accelerators.

Other topics of the program are the eDays Campus at the ETH Zurich and the eDays Dialog.

The eDays Campus facilitates the exchange between science, industry and the interested public. The event, which will be held at ETH Zurich, will provide groundbreaking exchanges through discussion opportunities and keynotes with international speakers on sustainability, electric and urban mobility and new technologies. A mobility that is climate-friendly, energy-efficient and payable at the same time: this is a central topic of research and education at ETH Zurich.

The eDays dialogue is organized by TEDxZurich. The proven TEDx concept provides a stage for visionary ideas and projects. Self-driving cars, the Hyperloop, water and air taxis, drones and flying bikes all seem to become part of our reality sooner or later. It’s time to talk about the impact of transportation on society once again. Under the theme “What moves us”, ideas that cause head-shaking today, but tomorrow a respectful nod, will be discussed.

It was full house or rather full Kraftwerk on Monday, 9th April. Invited guests from business, politics, society and academics gathered to assess the results of the first round of the digitalswitzerland challenge and to officially launch the second round. The evening of the Demo & Pitch Day was all about innovation, the importance of failure and above all, moving Switzerland forward.

Mission accomplished.. or almost

The digitalswitzerland challenge project was launched exactly one year ago. A total of 18 key projects involving digitalisation in Switzerland were ready for launch on April 3, 2017. Over 80 influential partners from the worlds of business, science and government took part in the projects, which were presented in the form of bets. They have been investing in the projects for a year now and the big question on Monday was whether it had all paid off.

Eleven bets reached the finish line. Of these, four bets did not quite make good on their promises but will continue to work towards their ambitious goals. In recognition of the work that they did manage to achieve, they received the «Prix de Persévérance».

The jury, including…

…selected Riva Digital as the winner of the first round of the challenge and presented them with CHF 10,000 in prize money. The main reason: The E-Health team has not only won its bet but is also creating a project for the general public.



And the winner is: An App to prevent high blood pressure

Wir feiern: Riva Digital gewinnt Challenge Demo Day @dgt_switzerland. Das ist Teamwork für Innovation und mehr Gesundheitskompetenz für alle. Grosses Dankeschön an unsere Partner fürs #MitmachenFitmachen
— Riva Digital (@riva_digital) 10. April 2018

Riva Digital, an association of 20 companies, including Post, Migros, Swisscom and the Schulthess Klinik, made a bet with the goal to establish a digital ecosystem to increase public healthcare with the long-term aim to lower blood pressure. The result is an app that can be used to measure blood pressure directly. With the help of an algorithm and the smartphone camera, measuring its own blood pressure will soon only take 30 seconds. A huge step in the prevention of high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks or strokes.

After the award ceremony, the futurist Georges T. RoosCounselor of Geneva, Anja Wyden Guelpa and Head Development and Innovation Claudia Pletscher discussed the question of how innovation turns into reality.

Second round of the digitalswitzerland challenge: And Go!

Inspired by what is possible when interdisciplinary teams work together on projects, which pave the way for a digital future, new companies and organizations pitched their bets in front of the public, which could directly show support for the idea – if convinced that the idea could be successfully be implemented. What to expect for the next round? Be it a bet in the humanitarian field with the aim of finding missing people with the help of big data, or the aim to push an e-government, the new bets set high expectations for the next round. We are eager to see, what will  follow!


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The impact for Switzerland

Finally, the question remains why all this effort about creating the challenge-format? Why not only let companies, organizations or individuals make their own projects?

First, digitalisation allows finding solutions to problems which are impossible to solve for a sole organisation. We need to connect the brightest minds and knowledge of different kinds in a vast network in an efficient way.

Second, swiftness is essential to innovation. We all know that if we have no deadline or incentive to really push an idea forward and implement it, we tend to procrastinate. But actually, when it comes to digital innovation we don’t have the time to slack. So, in order to push for more innovation and new digital ideas, we created an incentive. And if there is something to win, besides the pride of having created something great, it is easier to work hard.

Based on these two reasons digitalswitzerland has created the challenge. A project which is still evolving.

The next step to develop the process of collaborative innovation is to make the challenge  bottom-up and inclusive. Therefore, digitalswitzerland has created a new open innovation platform. You can become part of the movement and help bring Switzerland forward, too! Join our open challenge and bring in your best idea.

Chlick here to  join the open challenge

You can find here the relevant media coverage and please sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date with the progress of the challenge and all things digital.