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Diana Engetschwiler to step down as Deputy Managing Director

Diana Engetschwiler is stepping down from her role as Deputy Managing Director and B2C Lead at digitalswitzerland by the end of December to pursue a new opportunity.

After five successful years at digitalswitzerland, Deputy Managing Director Diana Engetschwiler has decided to pursue a new and exciting career opportunity. Over the past years, she successfully developed Swiss Digital Days into a Swiss-wide and international initiative that now involves over 130 partners from science, politics, and economy. She played a vital role in creating further flagships for digitalswitzerland, such as launching the largest female-led hackathon in Switzerland #herHACK and the largest public TV programme on digitalisation during the difficult COVID-19 times. As a member of the management team she has built up two high-performing teams and successfully implemented the B2C strategy.

Diana Engetschwiler

She is therefore stepping down from her role as Deputy Managing Director and B2C lead by the end of December. She will remain a part-time senior advisor offering her rich knowledge in all areas of the organisation. We will greatly miss Diana and wish her the very best for her next professional chapter. We would like to take this opportunity to warmly thank her for her tireless efforts. A succession search has been initiated, which is being conducted by the Nomination Committee.

digitalswitzerland is a Swiss-wide, cross-industry initiative that aims to strengthen and anchor Switzerland as a global leader in digital innovation. Under the umbrella of digitalswitzerland, Association members and politically neutral Foundation partners work together transversally to achieve this goal. The appointment of new Managing Director Stefan Metzger in January 2022 highlights a transition to a stronger focus on impact, with 6 priority activities to make Switzerland one of the leading digital nations in the world.

Are you interested in a membership or partnership? We are happy to have a conversation with you about our offerings, answer any questions you might have and to discuss the next steps. Please contact us at info@digitalswitzerland.com.

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The winter session will deal with a smaller number of political issues with a clear digital connection (about 15) than the previous autumn session (more than 30).

The focus of the winter session will undoubtedly be on the election of the two Federal Councillors. In addition, the “hot topic” of energy and the implementation of the OECD tax bill will dominate both chambers.

A central concern for the digitalisation of Switzerland is the Federal Act on the Use of Electronic Means for the Performance of Official Duties (EMBAG). This is currently in the process of being amended. If the law is adopted, which we assume it will be, the following principles will be realised in the public sector, more specifically in the area of e-government: open government data, open standards and open source. Furthermore, the EMBAG enables the start-up financing of public-private digitalisation projects of public interest. digitalswitzerland has campaigned for the EMBAG and is we hope that this milestone towards the principle of “digital first” will be reached.


Zurich, 28 October 2022 – One and a half months, 7 weeks, 49 days: the Swiss Digital Days 2022 and its main formats came to an end on 27 October with a diverse closing evening. The focus of this year’s edition was to empower and support the population on their way into the digital future. Around 350 free events attracted over 100,000 people to Swiss Digital Days, both on-site and online.

On the closing evening, organiser digitalswitzerland and invited guests looked back on the highlights of the seven-week, Switzerland-wide tour and its main formats GreenTech Startup Battle,#herHACK and NextGen Labs. This was followed by a panel with top national and international guests on “The Power of Collective Action”. Finally, the result of the AI art project swissp[AI]nt was unveiled: three animated NFTs that showcase the artworks created by the population.

Find the press release in German, French and Italian.

Find images from the Closing Event and our seven-week programme here.

Call to the ecosystem to develop a digital artefact

Master students from ZHAW created a great concept with suitable tools to create a smart and digital food guide for home usage called “kitsch”, serving as a food assistant for the consumers. WWF and digitalswitzerland support this project idea and would like to invite any player in the ecosystem to further develop this solution and start designing an MVP for the food waste reduction application. digitalswitzerland will continue with a supporting role to connect you with the relevant stakeholders, communicating the milestones to a wider audience and giving feedback along the innovation process. 

Are you willing to take ownership of this project? digitalswitzerland and WWF would be very pleased to see this project developing further, please let Jade Sternberg know and she’s happy to coordinate with you. This is a project close to our hearts and we wish to follow the development from a far angle. The ideal scenario for the future would be for all retailers to offer this application to their consumers through their loyalty cards. It is only through a behavioural society mindset shift that Switzerland will be able to reduce food waste and meet its sustainable goals.

Interested to learn more about how it all started? Read through the article:

The start of a collaborative journey

In summer 2021, at digitalswitzerland we already discussed the challenge of fighting food waste with WWF, Swiss Food Nutrition Valley and Accenture. We were later approached by ZHAW professor Yann Blumer looking for corporate partners to work with the students on multi-stakeholder projects, tackling pressing systemic challenges. Our upcoming workshop centred around food waste was the perfect opportunity to involve the students. We started working with them to conduct a system analysis based on existing networks and projects with the purpose of developing a prototype of a digital artefact. 

A holistic approach is needed: From research to expert interviews

Switzerland has set clear goals of reducing its food waste by the mid-2030s (bafu.admin). Each person in Switzerland generates 330kg of avoidable food waste per year. Considering this rather high number, it became clear that a holistic approach is crucial to enable a behavioural change of the consumer to avoid throwing away edible food. 

Based on their research, the students created a complete overview of the consumer journey to identify the pain points where food was wasted the most (See image below).

To get different insights, the students interviewed key experts from WWF, ZHAW, Coop and Swiss Food Nutrition Valley to understand perspectives and expectations regarding the reduction of food waste on the consumer side. Based on this evaluation, they defined common ground for the multi-stakeholder workshop, which was summarised in a one-pager briefing and shared with all participants prior to the workshop.

Multi-stakeholder workshop

On 18 November, multiple stakeholders such as BAFU, fenanco, WWF, Accenture, Eatable and more, met at Impact Hub in Bern to brainstorm together on the potential digital solutions to tackle the food waste challenge together. It is only through a transversal approach that we can identify the best-suited solution for this systematic challenge. 

The workshop was structured according to the double diamond process (See image below), meaning that the stakeholders could ideate and expand their ideas first to finally prioritise and select the most promising ideas. The conceiving solutions would be further elaborated on by the students.

The following four key ideas came out of the workshop:

“Kitsch” is born: Creation of the prototype

The students aimed to create a convenient, integrated solution combining multiple ideas in an easy-to-use artefact. They validated their concept through expert interviews with WWF, BAFU, Coop, Migros, Accenture and Kitro

What came out of their hard work is a smart and digital food guide at home called “kitsch”, serving as a food assistant for the consumers. The vision is defined on this landing page and serves to identify if consumers share a similar vision. This group of innovative students put in place this platform to look for stakeholders who are willing to co-create the solution. For the project to be successful, it is key to create a community of early adopters which support the idea. 

In this video, the students show the advantages of the application through the full consumer journey. To outline how to best continue the development of the concept, the students also provide a clear handover document for the ecosystem. 

The comprehensive documentation of the students’ digital artefact will be used as a baseline to build an MVP fitting the market’s demand. To start the development of “kitsch”, the students recommend starting with the implementation of the expiration date feature, alerting the consumers of the food which will soon not be edible.

We are pursuing this partnership with ZHAW and are currently working with a new group of students on sustainability topics in Switzerland.

The world’s largest tech showcase, GITEX Global, took place again from 10 to 14 October. This year, the world’s largest tech fair attracted over 4,500 companies and 100,000 attendees, ranging from visitors and entrepreneurs to scientists, state officials and more. A Swiss delegation of 20 C-level executives participated at GITEX Global to represent the innovative capacity and technological expertise of our country as well as to strengthen international bonds.

The Swiss Delegation of 20 C-level executives to GITEX Global in Dubai was warmly welcomed by Stefan Metzger, Managing Director digitalswitzerland and Andreas Kaelin, Senior Advisor digitalswitzerland. Together they laid out the economic relationships between Switzerland and the Arabian Gulf, which is the 10th largest Swiss export market. As IMD highlighted in the recently published World Digital Competitiveness Index, the UAE continues to knock on the door of the top 10 most digitally competitive nations, excelling at their regulatory and technological frameworks, which both rank 3rd in the 2022 report. The country therefore offers a great opportunity for Switzerland to learn from and improve our technology ranking.

Frank Eggmann, Consul General of Switzerland in Dubai, welcomed the delegation by highlighting how GITEX can catapult Swiss ventures looking to scale up their customer base, develop corporate partnerships, and win investment. GITEX Global is the world’s largest tech show in its biggest year ever, attracting over 4,500 companies and 100,000 participants from across the globe.

Safia Agueni, Chapter Founder of Women in Tech Switzerland, introduced a cohort of senior tech executives from multinational companies representing a range of industries, highlighting the importance of diversity in technology leadership and digital transformation projects. The local chapter of Women in Tech UAE joined the Swisstech SWISS Pavilion and toured the broad range of Swiss spin-off projects, startups, and scaleups.

The Swisstech SWISS Pavilion at GITEX Global 2022 was opened by Massimo Baggi, Ambassador of Switzerland to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Groundbreaking applications in the fields of Metaverse, AI, Web 3.0, Blockchain, 6G, Cloud Computing, FinTech and Big Data are the focus of the action.

Stefan Metzger, Managing Director digitalswitzerland: “GITEX is an excellent opportunity for Swiss companies and especially for startups in the deep tech sector to generate attention, tap into new markets and establish contacts with potential investors. In this way, we support the main goal of the Swisstech initiative: to position Switzerland as an outstanding innovation and technology center and an attractive location for investors and foreign companies.”

Massimo Baggi opens the Swisstech SWISS Pavilion

eGovernment and digital health in the Gulf

One spacious hall in GITEX is a showcase of the latest tech being developed and deployed by national and regional governments. Many of these are based on the fundament of an electronic identity card (eID), where governments have put significant resources into streamlining the process of obtaining an eID and building eGovernment services that enable residents to quickly complete administrative processes online.

Ali Juma AlAjme, Director of Digital Health at the Ministry of Health and Prevention, presented some of the advancements in Electronic Health Records, including giving patients the right to share their health data, creating a unified protocol for digital health companies to use, unified supply chain interfaces, and introducing new guidance for telemedicine later this year. All of this with the aim of enabling faster and more interoperable innovation in digital health that will benefit the patient journey.

Ali Juma AlAjme with digitalswitzerland’s delegation

Innovation across Dubai and the UAE

To complement the extensive spectrum of tech on show at GITEX Global, the Swiss delegation also visited two key sites that demonstrate Dubai’s forward-looking approach to innovation and sustainability.

The Dubai International Finance Center (DIFC) is a free zone, home to an independent regulator, judicial system based on the English common law framework, and benefiting from the high labour mobility into the region. DIFC houses an Innovation Hub, where Ralf Glabischnig, Founder of Crypto Oasis, explained the bridge between Switzerland’s Crypto Valley and the Crypto Oasis of over 1,450 organisations making up the fast-growing blockchain ecosystem in the UAE. The Crypto Oasis 2022 report summarises the governments, investors, corporates and startups that operate in the DIFC, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), and others.

digitalswitzerland’s delegation in DIFC

Swiss clean tech company Hitachi Zosen Inova is working in an international consortium including Dubal Holding, ITOCHU Corporation, BESIX Group and Tech Group. Under the leadership of Roni Araiji, Managing Director Middle East, they are building the world’s largest energy-from-waste facility, capable of treating 1,825,000 tons of municipal solid waste per year – an impressive 45% of Dubai’s current waste. The 200 MW of electricity generated will be fed into the local grid as baseload energy, in line with Dubai’s Integrated Energy Strategy 2030.

Swisstech @ GITEX Global 2022 hosted the following scaleups, startups, and research institutions:

From 10 to 14 October 2022, more than 4,500 companies and over 100,000 participants from 170 countries will take part in GITEX, the biggest technology convention of the year happening in Dubai. The SWISS Pavilion, organised by digitalswitzerland and T-LINK as part of Swisstech, will attend with 18 organisations and research institutions. This is where developers and pioneers meet to exchange ideas and present new products. Pioneering applications in the fields of Metaverse, AI, Web 3.0, Blockchain, 6G, Cloud Computing, FinTech and Big Data are the focus of the action.

Read the full press release in German and French.

The Federal Council opened the consultation on the proposal for a new e-ID law. digitalswitzerland notes that the proposal for a new e-ID law resonates broadly with our members by setting the framework for a trust infrastructure whose core element is a government-issued e-ID. digitalswitzerland welcomes the strategic direction of the preliminary draft.

However, we are convinced that electronic identity can only become widely accepted in Switzerland if it is embedded in an inclusive ecosystem of electronic credentials. We consider it essential to include this aspect in the purpose article of the law. We also consider the regular audit of state-operated infrastructure, a vehicle for expert input on technological law implementation, fee structure according to international standards, and regulation of private confirmation mechanisms to be useful.

A brief summary of the key proposals:

  1. Equal status for e-ID and e-ID ecosystem.
    Ensure that the e-ID, as the main credential of the ecosystem, thrives in a broad ecosystem that includes the private sector. The law should express this intention more clearly.
  2. Expert input on the technological implementation of the law
    Create an instrument that allows for the involvement of experts from academia and industry in the implementation of the law (e.g. UX, security).
  3. Fee structure according to international standards
    Follow internationally accepted principles for connectivity of SSI networks and make them free of charge for users (e.g. Sovrin Foundation rulebook).
  4. Regulate private confirmation mechanisms
    Ensure that sector-specific trusted third parties or organisations can continue to perform their function in the digital ecosystem (e.g. swissuniversities).
  5. Cybersecurity from the very beginning
    Check the structure of the Fedpol system for issuing E-IDs technically and procedurally for security issues. This should be anchored in the law.

The full statement can be found here in German and French.

Oliver Wyman study “Switzerland’s Digital DNA”

Confidence in the Swiss population’s own digital competence is growing only slowly. More than a fifth of all people still feel unable to keep up with the pace of technological progress. The benefits of digitalisation are nevertheless considered high in all areas of life. The willingness to disclose personal data for digital services is growing – despite an increased awareness of cyber risks. At the same time, satisfaction with digital services varies. This is the result of the sixth edition of the study “Switzerland’s Digital DNA”, which is published jointly by the international strategy consultancy Oliver Wyman and digitalswitzerland as part of Swiss Digital Days 2022.

Selected highlights:

Find an infographic with further key findings here in German.

Read the full press release in German, French and Italian.

The IMD Institute for Management Development in Lausanne published its world rankings on “Digital Competitiveness” today. The results for Switzerland were explained in more detail at the Digital Competitiveness Summit 2022 being held by digitalswitzerland, IMD and EPFL on the IMD campus in Lausanne. Switzerland climbs to 5th place out of 63 countries surveyed (2021: 6th place). It already occupied this position in 2019, before the pandemic affected the economies as a whole.

Switzerland makes progress
Switzerland’s rise in the rankings is due to its good performance in the factor “knowledge”, which the World Competitiveness Center defines as “the necessary know-how to discover, understand and develop new technologies”. This factor is one of a total of three main categories according to which the researchers rank the results of the studies. The other two factors are future readiness and technology.

Nevertheless, the ranking makes it clear that Switzerland’s digital skills are in need of improvement: The availability of digital skills is less positively assessed by managers today than it was a year ago; this criterion has dropped to 18th place (from 11th). The scores for university graduates in the natural sciences (26th place), women with university degrees (30th place), the number of female researchers (31st place) and R&D productivity measured by the number of publications (35th place) also remain relatively low – despite improvements in most of these areas.

Overall, the findings shed light on the factors that make it easier for governments and the private sector to improve their capabilities to protect digital infrastructure from cyberattacks, the experts say. They also show how this promotes the adoption and diffusion of digital technologies.

Read the full press release in German and French.

See Switzerland’s results here.