Annual Report 2022
Outlook for 2023
A collaborative community is key
With the strategy 2025 defined at the beginning of 2022, we laid the ground for a major transformation – aiming at impact in society in clearly defined areas of action. At the same time, the team is focusing on creating visibility for the digitalswitzerland ecosystem and improving interactions with our community of 200+ Association members and non-political Foundation partners. The new strategy also created new and additional member benefits that reinforce the relevance of digitalswitzerland as a horizontal movement. Our plans include regional community events, a new hub concept for WEF 2024, an exclusive virtual platform for members for coordination and inspiration, and events dedicated to female leaders to engage and champion more women in management positions. In 2023, we are renewing our focus on our Western Switzerland (Romandie) chapter with the addition of a dedicated Lead based in the region. We are also excited to intensify our efforts in internationalisation. Together with the Swiss Digital Initiative (SDI), digitalswitzerland has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SGTech in Singapore. This partnership is proof of our shared commitment to driving digital transformation forward across borders and using synergies between nations.
Review of 2022
Education, Professionals and Diversity
The importance of education and the need for continuous learning increases in the digital age. In 2022 the team nurtured collaborations with other educational organisations to support Switzerland’s education transformation for the digital future. The close cooperation with ICT Berufsbildung Schweiz is being increased through joint activities in the fields of lifelong learning. Another such successful collaboration is the one with Pro Juventute for the Future Skills Campaign. The awareness building campaign was finalised with the release of 12 videos featuring role models and young adults from different STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields. The overall campaign achieved an impressive 200,000 interactions.
Learning knows no age
Our goal is to address and raise awareness for education at all stages in life. This was illustrated by the continuation and completion of the Lifelong Learning Documentary Series – a campaign featuring digitalswitzerland members talking about their experiences and activities in respect to lifelong learning.
With the continuation of the successful Boost Programme, the team showcased how simple and unbureaucratic lifelong learning can be. By the end of 2022, already more than 300 people were supported with a financial contribution to an upskilling course to navigate and thrive in the digital economy. The programme was generously supported by UBS.
Recognising the value of experienced professionals in the ICT sector, digitalswitzerland joined the Initiative focus50Plus to actively work on solutions for the 50+ workforce in light of the skills shortage. These professionals are a valuable source for the sector and can help fill the current skills gap.
To support STEM Initiatives in Switzerland, we launched the Planet MINT network (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) in September 2022. The network gatherings have already shown impact, as they resulted in the initiation of a whitepaper on gender sensitive STEM that was published in January 2023.
People, Culture and Mindset
Swiss Digital Days 2022 spread their wings
To ensure that the Swiss population keeps up with the developments of the digital present and future, engaging and including everyone is vital. The Swiss Digital Days fulfilled this purpose. For this edition, the event was extended into a nation-wide campaign. Swiss Digital Days 2022 offered the Swiss population the opportunity for exchange, discussion, and access to more than 350 events on the topic of digitalisation. During seven weeks, digitalswitzerland in collaboration with its partners successfully organised a series of local events in seven regions of Switzerland. The Swiss population joined our team in the physical bubbles, attended online events, and experienced the digital future. Within the swissp[AI]nt project, visitors of Swiss Digital Days created thousands of digital artworks about Switzerland and digitalisation with the help of advanced artificial intelligence. Selected artworks will be turned into crypto stamps as part of the Swiss Crypto Stamp 3.0 editions, released in 2023 by the Swiss Post.
Viboo wins the GreenTech Startup Battle
Talented Startups across Switzerland participated and competed in the GreenTech Startup Battle. A competition showcasing startups from across Switzerland with innovative and sustainable technologies and solutions. These entrepreneurs show a deep commitment to change and are working to create solutions that enable us to live, work and innovate more sustainably. The winner of the pitch duel at the Swiss Digital Days closing event was Viboo, an Empa spin-off that creates cloud software solutions to reduce the energy consumption of buildings.
#herHACK – the female-led hackathon
We have made it a priority to foster female talents in the ICT field. With #herHACK – the largest female led-hackathon in Switzerland – 250 women with different backgrounds across all Swiss regions came together. Their task: Solving pressing challenges and developing solutions in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN Agenda 2030. With #herHACK, we create an environment to inspire women and non-binary people to work in the technology industry and allow them to create a network of like-minded professionals.
The future belongs to the youth
Involving the youth is crucial for the digital Switzerland waiting for us. NextGen Future Skills Labs, one of the main format events during Swiss Digital Days 2022, has done exactly that. 186 children aged 10 to 15 from across Switzerland participated in the NextGen Future Skills Labs. In specially designed workshops, the children were able to learn about digital technologies and innovative methods and thus discover and develop their future skills. Skills that are not only crucial in business, but also in a personal digital future.
The Digital Health initiative was boosted in 2022 after a WEF panel discussion on the digitalisation of healthcare and multiple exchanges with experts in the field (private and public). With this initiative, we pursue the ambitious goal of creating the support needed for digitalising the entire healthcare system in Switzerland and making it patient-centric. Digital health has the potential to revolutionise healthcare for patients by improving access, efficiency and outcomes while reducing costs and improving the patient experience.
As a driving orchestrator, digitalswitzerland brings together key players representing all aspects of the healthcare ecosystem: the patients, hospitals, insurance companies, the pharma industry, medtech, the government and more. We need the inclusiveness for success. United with a common goal, they collaborated and supported the team to kick off and shape the Digital Health initiative, reaching two key milestones in 2022: A population survey to better understand the needs and fears of the digitalisation of the healthcare system and a Swiss patient ecosystem map to illustrate all the existing digital solutions which enable an enhanced patient journey. Based on the results of the survey and with the involvement of multiple members who are experts in the field, the study “A Swiss digital healthcare system: What the population thinks” was published. Furthermore, the Swiss Patient Ecosystem Map represents the different existing solutions and initiatives in Switzerland to provide the ecosystem with more clarity and help to identify synergies and gaps.
Infrastructure & Cybersecurity
Remaining perseverant in pursuit of an E-ID solution
2022 has surely been a year of new beginnings for Infrastructure & Cybersecurity. After the “no” vote to the proposed E-ID law in 2021, the team worked to support the government with its new approach, considering the feedback from Swiss citizens and developing a more pragmatic approach with the goal to create more acceptance; we were therefore leveraging our broad network of expertise and members to propose solutions and initiatives. 10 members actively contributed to the keystone whitepaper to propose a new E-ID solution based on an ecosystem of verifiable credentials and self sovereign identity principles.
Leveraging national and international connections
On the cybersecurity front, in 2022 our involvement has led to the launch of the CyberSeal managed by the “Allianz Digitale Schweiz”. digitalswitzerland was also present at the Swiss Cyber Security Days as well as supported the growth of the SME cyber check by Cybero. Last but certainly not least, digitalswitzerland orchestrated discussions with the goal to enable the required framework and conditions for a Swiss Data Space Ecosystem to develop. For this purpose, digitalswitzerland has also been upkeeping international coordination efforts with the industry-led, transnational data ecosystem initiative Gaia-X.
At digitalswitzerland, we build on digital solutions paving the way for a sustainable future and as a driver for accelerating sustainable innovation. This is why we create new digital and sustainable lighthouses and support initiatives that lead the way.
Simplicity brings clarity
The kick-off for the carbon data project WISER happened in a large consortium of both academic and implementation partners. The idea of WISER is to simplify the implementation, reliability and comparison of greenhouse gas assessments with a sophisticated digital ecosystem. The idea is supported as one of the few flagship projects from Innosuisse. Development of the backend of WISER began in 2022 and the team started preparing to position the tool as a valuable contributor for businesses climate strategies.
Strengthening the Distributed Ledger Technology community
The team kicked off 2022 with a large-scale event co-organised with the Capital Market Technology Association to strengthen the relationship between Western and Eastern Switzerland in the DLT space. This event brought together 70 C-levels and experts in Zurich. To make Switzerland a leading DLT-hub, accessibility is key. Thus, we created a dedicated 4T-DLT website where the community can access all blueprints in one location and is able to actively share its own contributions. The site serves perfectly as a collaborative platform (add your own events, blueprints, definitions and join the forum to exchange). A LinkedIn group to enable easy access to content for experts and stakeholders interested in DLT complements the community-focused offer.
The Startups and International programme was renamed to Scaleup Enablement in 2022 to reflect the initiatives and endeavours of the programme more accurately. 2022 was a vibrant year for Switzerland’s startup ecosystem, demonstrating resilience in all areas. Notably strong growth could be observed in sustainability startups, and capital invested into ICT companies up by over 70%.
Our flagship event in Bern, Startup Days, was once again a celebration of Swiss innovation and engaged many members and partners, not least through the General Assembly that runs concurrently with the event.
Finding the perfect match
Scaleup Bootcamps ran throughout the year together with VentureLab and the Gerbert Rüf Stiftung, providing thematic matchmaking between corporates and startups. Industries included Foodtech, Smart Manufacturing, Fintech & Insurtech, Enterprise Tech & Cybersecurity, Life Science, Digital Health, Cleantech & Circular Economy, and Smart City & Mobility.
Swiss innovation, worldwide
Under the SwissTech umbrella, the team took 17 spin-offs, startups and scaleups to GITEX Global in Dubai, accompanied by a delegation of members and Women In Tech Switzerland. As a gateway to the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, this was important to showcase the strength of the Swiss ICT sector and an opportunity to gain inspiration from their local crypto valley.
The team was pleased to support Swisspreneur in the Scaleup Slopes, bringing together various players across startups, scaleups, corporates, and investors. We also supported the Swiss Startup Radar and Swiss Venture Capital Report, two important reports for highlighting the strength of our startup ecosystem.
Switzerland is home to many entrepreneurs
In partnership with Bilanz, Handelszeitung and PME, digitialswitzerland was once again celebrating the 100 people changing the face of the Swiss digital landscape – Digital Shapers 2022. Their continued efforts and commitment inspires and brings those around them on a journey to challenge what’s possible.
At the beginning of 2022, the team welcomed Dominique Reber as the new Head of B2G (Business to government). In 2022, the newly formed Public Affairs team hosted three events with parliamentarians, including an event co-hosted with ePower on Cybersecurity vs Independence. The other two events were centred around Swiss Digital Days and the topic of Energy and Digitalisation.
In December 2022, digitalswitzerland submitted a list of 17 lighthouse projects for potential funding under EMBAG’s article 17 (Federal Act on the Use of Electronic Means for the Performance of Official Duties), which foresees federal funding via private-public partnerships for digital transformation projects.
Agenda for Digital Transformation
In a very open and constructive process, we contributed to the development of the Digital Strategy of Switzerland and supported the Federal Chancellery in creating visibility for this important guidance for our country. We are fully supportive of this strategy of Switzerland and it is very much in line with the priorities that are guiding digitalswitzerland.
We renewed our commitment to the regions beyond Central Switzerland and Ticino. This is why in July 2022, we agreed on a strategic collaboration with the Economic Chamber of Biel-Seeland to increase our presence in this region. Further, Anthony Corbaz has been appointed to lead and expand activities in Western Switzerland, starting in 2023.
The commitment of diverse actors within Central Switzerland for a joint regional initiative, with digitalswitzerland acting as the orchestrating organisation, was further strengthened. In particular, the Canton of Lucerne has been won as an active supporter who provides significant seed funding for local, impact-oriented activities. Following its launch in 2021, the “DigitalTag Zentralschweiz 2022”, which took place in the Swiss Museum of Transport, was further established as the flagship event for digitalisation in Central Switzerland. The “DigitalTag Zentralschweiz 2022” further served as a starting point for initial talks between the Swiss Museum of Transport and digitalswitzerland for a joint collaboration regarding the development of a “House of Digital Switzerland.”
In 2022, digitalswitzerland held the “AI Round Table” in cooperation with the Locarno Film Festival and hosted Swiss Digital Days in Bellinzona and Lugano. The event in Lugano was very successful in particular and the team was able to welcome many interested people as well as a public figure with Christa Rigozzi.
To widen the network and to attract new members, the team collaborated with the Lifestyle Tech Competence Centre in Lugano on networking events. The Lifestyle Innovation Day in April 2022 was one such occasion, which brought over 1000 visitors to Lugano to talk about innovation in fashion, food and life in general.
The digitalswitzerland Foundation
digitalswitzerland consists of 200+ Association members and non-political Foundation partners. The Association and Foundation continued to collaborate closely in pursuit of strengthening digitalisation in Switzerland.
2022 marks the first operational year of the digitalswitzerland Foundation. The creation and implementation of the Digital Xchange format to foster bottom-up dialogue with the population and discuss the impact of digitalisation on society stands out in the efforts of 2022. Within this format, the team interviewed a wide spectrum of experts and keyholders, organised four public focus groups with more than a hundred participants of all ages and backgrounds. Further, the 1st edition of the Digital Xchange Forum in September 2022 convening over 50 leaders and representatives of very diverse stakeholders to address digital inclusion in Switzerland was held.
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