Switzerland is in the top 5 of the World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2022
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.
In partnership with Bilanz, Handelszeitung and PME, digitialswitzerland is once again celebrating the 100 people changing the face of the Swiss digital landscape. Read the full interviews with all 100 Digital Shapers in their dedicated Bilanz publication. They are also featured in PME on 31 August and Handelszeitung on 1 September.
Driving the force of digital change
The 100 Digital Shapers 2022 are relentless in their pursuit of a digital future that serves all of us. Their continued efforts and commitment inspires and bring those around them on a journey to challenge what’s possible. We are delighted to celebrate and support this annual campaign. We took the opportunity to find out what makes these Shapers tick and what we can learn from their unique way of looking at the world.
And without further ado…let’s hear from some incredibly deserving winners!
People who use digital transformation to reshape our current nutrition towards healthier and more sustainable solutions.
Tobias Gunzenhauser is Co-founder and CEO at of Swiss FoodTech Startup yamo. This company produces plant-based, fresh and organic food for children of all ages. Established in 2016, yamo is one of the current top three FoodTech Scaleups in Switzerland.
Q: What is the biggest learning in your career to date?
A: “The path of a startup entrepreneur is one of constant learning. The moment you stop learning is the moment you stop moving. Naming the one and only ‘biggest’ learning is very difficult. So here’s one of my biggest: it’s all about the culture and the people (and it’s the people defining the culture). As a startup you’re the underdog, building something from nothing. You and your team need to have the mental strength to overcome all the obstacles in your way, always keeping the focus on your vision and having fun along the way.”
People who contribute to a solid digital infrastructure in order to allow digital change. Includes politicians & administration.
Dr. Florian Evéquoz is Dean of the Faculty of Business and Management at the University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland (HES-SO). He co-founded datastory.ch – a data science and visualization startup – and Youser – a UX agency. He is involved in various digital projects shaping the social and political landscape of Switzerland.
Q. You have been involved in re-writing the constitution of Valais, which includes digital transformation and our relation with robots. What is your biggest learning from this work?
A: “Writing a Constitution offers a chance to state our long-term common ambitions, taking into account for instance robots and ubiquitous digital technologies. On the one hand, it lets us invent new tools to protect society and institutions from potentially detrimental effects. Individual rights to digital integrity and to an interaction with human beings (not just artificial agents) are responses to these risks. On the other hand, anchoring in the Constitution that government data should be freely available opens new horizons for innovation.”
Leaders of digital manufacturing companies or technology solution providers and subject-matter experts who are an inspiration for the future of Swiss digital manufacturing.
Anna Valente is Head of ARM automation, robotics, and machines laboratory at SUPSI-DTI, Member of Swiss Science Council SSC and an expert at Innosuisse. Her vast fields for expertise count the manufacturing of complex shape components in composite materials for Aerospace, to Design of intelligent and reconfigurable manufacturing systems and robots.
Q. What technologies are you most excited about at the moment?
A: “At ARM laboratory, we’re currently immersed in an extremely challenging activity targeting a new generation of robotic platforms. We call them Deliberative Robots. Deliberative robots adapt their behaviour from cobot to industrial arms as a result of the interaction dynamic with the human operators, especially considering their cognitive and physical loads, as well as the surrounding production context. This powerful capability is instrumental to boost robots’ adoption within typically manual manufacturing contexts, by enhancing productivity while preserving human safety and job quality.”
People who build ecosystems, connect actors and bridge regional gaps for collaborative projects in the digital sphere.
Charlotte Axelsson is Head of the subject area E-Learning @ZHdK. She initiated and co-developed the federal project LeLa, Lern Labor Hochschuldidaktik (Learning Laboratory for Higher Education Didactics), and also launched the international art university exchange “Exchanged”. She is a member of the Koordinationsgremiums Bildungsförderung of the Digitalisierungsinitiative DIZH (Education Funding Coordination Committee), has developed the podcast platform Modcast and is committed to digitality in the educational ecosystem that can be experienced sensually and tenderly.
Q: You are head of the subject area E-Learning at the ZHdK. What is the biggest opportunity or challenge for Switzerland when it comes to this topic?
A: “Digitality is in a transformation itself – to be digital is no longer a separate world, it becomes a part of our DNA: especially in the future generations which are still in primary school. They don’t distinguish between analogue and digital – they learn and think in a different way. We in the subject area E-Learning at ZHdK try to prepare our teaching and learning culture for this transformation. Because we need strong creative, unconventional solutions and strategies for a future-oriented Swiss educational system.“
Masterminds who are revolutionising Artificial Intelligence.
Nadja Braun Binder is Professor of Public Law, University of Basel. Nadja has worked on numerous reports that are shaping global discussion on how to advance the infrastructure for AI. This forward-thinking approach is contributing to a debate about how to use digitisation and AI for the public good.
Q: You are a main author of the TA-SWISS report “Wenn Algorithmen für uns entscheiden: Chancen und Risiken der künstlichen Intelligenz”. What legal framework is needed for AI to thrive?
A: “I think that we do not need a comprehensive “AI law”. But we should examine which existing regulations are applicable to new technologies and methods, for example by taking them into account when interpreting existing norms. In addition, sector-specific regulations will be needed. For example, in the context of public administration to ensure the legitimacy of automated decisions or to create transparency about the use of automated decision-making systems.”
People who create or make use of new realities (Augmented, Virtual, Mixed) to enable great things.
Laetitia Bochud is Director at Virtual Switzerland. Laetitia is structuring the XR industry with professionalism and continued enthusiasm. She is a catalyst for XR development within Switzerland (XR = eXtended Realities, comprising of Augmented, Mixed, Virtual Realities, virtual/immersive/interactive environments “Metaverse”) and abroad, while fostering a qualitative ecosystem.
Q: You work at the crossroads of government and public entities, academic institutions, and the private and associative sectors. What are the biggest challenges that you encounter in your work?
A: “Funding is the main challenge: we seek to gain more financial support for the creation, distribution, and promotion of immersive and/or interactive, narrative formats. The ongoing structuring of the XR industry and its lobbying are key, and we do this at the European and Swiss levels. In Switzerland, public institutions, and their funding instruments, are organized in silos; yet digitization is cross-disciplinary, horizontal. As a result, funding mechanisms can be ill-suited for XR developments. I would also stress the sustainability aspects: the recycling and upcycling of head-mounted displays and other gear, sending them to low-capacity countries for example. I would like to engage in such initiatives.”
People who, with protective solutions, regulations, awareness-raising and innovations in cyber space, enable us to move safely and not be victims of cyberattacks.
Adrian Perrig is Professor at ETH Zurich, Co-Founder Anapaya Systems, SCION next-generation Internet Evangelist. For more than a decade, Adrian has been driving the next generation (secure) internet initiative SCION. His work has the potential of considerable security improvements in the critical infrastructure for digitalisation.
Q: You work with both private industries and governmental bodies in the United States, Western and Eastern Europe. What’s the biggest learning from these negotiations to date?
A: “Everyone struggles with achieving security. At many places, an economic approach is used: so if the economic impact of attacks is less than the cost of a security system, then the security system is not deployed. It was reassuring to experience that in Switzerland, especially financial institutions strive to achieve strong security, even if the cost is higher than the expected damage. This strategy will likely provide higher trust with consumers and market success in the long run.”
People who are about to build or are of critical importance to build a startup company, which is now valued at over US$1 billion.
Wiktor Bourée is CEO & Founder at Technis. This French-Swiss technology company provides a sensor-to-dashboard comprehensive solution for real-time infrastructure performance management. It is the most successful Software as a Service (SaaS) for SMEs in Switzerland.
Q. Your platform is incredibly successful and well adopted by SMEs. How does Technis help them?
Ans: We collect all types of data useful to physical stores (occupancy rate, time in store, receipts, product category, etc.). Our dashboard communicates in real time this processed data and provides useful information to retailers such as the conversion rate, the product engagement, or the customer journey. Our customers can now act directly and in real time on their productivity and customer experience in order to increase the average basket.
Find out more about the jury behind selecting our deserving winners here and take a look at past winners and interviews from 2021 and 2020.
*Image source, header: Matthias Schardt, Kombinatrotweiss.ch / Digital Shapers
How might a Swiss e-ID ecosystem look like that delivers on its promise?
To begin to answer this question, experts from +10 digitalswitzerland member organisations have developed an initial discussion input. This is a first contribution to the E-ID debate initiated by the directional decision by the federal government.
Join the conversation
Share your thoughts via our Thread in the GitHub Forum, which was set up by the Federal E-ID Project Team.
Please find our archive of press releases.
If you represent a magazine, newspaper or another kind of media entity, or have other media related inquiries, please get in touch.
04.10.2022 – Study on digitalisation in Switzerland: Great willingness – little movement. Read the press release in German, French and Italian.
03.10.2022 – Swiss Digital Days 2022 are coming to Eastern Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Read the press release in German.
28.09.2022 – IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking: Switzerland once again among the top 5 worldwide. Read the press release in German and French.
27.09.2022 – Swiss Digital Days 2022 are coming to Ticino. Read the press release in Italian.
20.09.2022 – Digital sustainability and secure browsing: Swiss Digital Days are coming to the Romandie. Read the press release in French.
13.09.2022 – Augmented reality glasses and e-scooters: Swiss Digital Days are coming to Zurich. Read the press release in German.
06.09.2022 – Digital topics for young and old: there’s something for everyone at Swiss Digital Days in Northwestern Switzerland. Read the press release in German.
05.09.2022 – Switzerland’s largest NFT project unveiled at the start of Swiss Digital Days 2022. Read the press release in German, French and Italian.
30.08.2022- 4. Digital Gipfel Schweiz: International business leaders, academics and digital thought leaders meet to exchange views on the digital future. Read the press release in German and French.
29.08.2022 – Startup battle, hackathon and big bubbles: Swiss Digital Days are coming to Bern. Read the press release in German.
21.07.2022 – From A as in Aarau to Z as in Zurich: Swiss Digital Days 2022 are going on a Switzerland-wide tour. Read the press release in German, French and Italian.
28.06.2022 – No improvement in cybersecurity among SMEs despite digitalisation boost from Corona crisis. Read the press release in German, French and Italian.
18.03.2022 – An important step towards increasing Switzerland’s cyber resilience: statement on Amendment of the Ordinance on Telecommunications Services (OTS) to protect telecommunications infrastructures and services. Read the press release in German and French.
26.01.2022 – Statement on the amendment of the Federal Act on Foreign Nationals and Integration. Read the press release in German and French.
18.01.2022 – The Swiss Digital Initiative presents the world’s first label for digital responsibility. Read the press release in English, German, French and Italian.
23.12.2021 – Stefan Metzger appointed new Managing Director of digitalswitzerland. Read the press release in German, English, Italian and French.
18.11.2021 – Home office is establishing itself as a place of work for SMEs. Read the press release in German, French and Italian.
11.11.2021 – Digital Economy Award: Recognition for digital excellence. The digital pioneers of the year have been selected. Read the Press Release in German and French.
7.11.2021 – Programming with purpose: #herHACK Switzerland’s largest female hackathon sets an example for gender diversity. The Press Release is available in German, French and Italian.
3.11.2021 – The Swiss Digital Initiative unveils the Digital Trust Label Seal. The Press Release is available in English.
28.10.2021 – Digital Day 2021: 12 hours of livestream and over 150 events, online and across Switzerland. The Press Release is available in German, French and Italian.
14.10.2021 – A Swiss Pavilion at GITEX Technology Week, one of the largest technology fairs in the Middle East. The Press Release is available in German and French.
13.10.2021 – The E-ID is inevitable – let’s move forward. The Press Release is available in German and French. Read the statement in German.
7.10.2021 – Wake-up call from pandemic: The Swiss want to improve digital skills. Press Release is available in German, French and Italian. Data is available in German.
30.09.2021 – Finalists of the Digital Economy Award: Fintech industry booming, healthcare more digital as never before. The Press Release is available in German and French.
29.09.2021 – Kick Off for Digital Day 2021 – 6 weeks of inspiration start now! Press Release available in German, French and Italian.
15.09.2021 – Unacceptable solution for the Labour Law – flexible working for the ICT sector continues to be out of reach. digitalswitzerland calls for key points to be added to the insufficient proposal. The Press Release is available in German and French.
7.07.2021 – Possible approach for the creation of a trustworthy Distributed Ledger Technology ecosystem in Switzerland. The Press Release is available in German, French and English.
31.08.2021 – Swiss Digital Day 2021: Digital skills for a digital future. The Press Release is available in German, French and Italian.
24.08.2021 – 3rd Digital Gipfel Switzerland: International digital experts and Swiss business representatives exchange ideas on digitalisation. The Press Release is available in German and French.
18.08.2021 – Security above speed: Yes to the e-voting proposal with a sense of moderation. The Press Release is available in German and French.
13.07.2021 – Swiss Digital Day 2021: This is how the population is shaping Switzerland’s digital future. The Press Release is available in German, French and Italian.
24.06.2021 – Untapped potential for skilled workers among older employees. The Press Release is available in German and French. Survey available in German.
17.06.2021 – Digital Economy Award: Honouring Switzerland’s digital Switzerland’s top digital achievements takes place. The Press Release is available in German and French.
2.06.2021 – digitalswitzerland confirms new president. The Press Release is available in German, French and Italian.
27.05.2021 – digitalswitzerland confirms new president. The Press Release is available in German, French and Italian.
11.05.2021 – Switzerland-wide initiative strengthens digital skills of employees. The Press Release is available in German, French and Italian.
6.05.2021 – SDI Report: Labels and Certifications for the Digital World – Mapping the International Landscape. The Press Release is available in German, French & English.
21.04.2021 – Switzerland provides new impulses for innovation: Privacy Icons wins award for the most impressive digitalisation project. The Press Release is available in German and French.
16.04.2021 – Sascha Zahnd becomes new president of digitalswitzerland. The Press Release is available in German, French and Italian.
12.04.2021 – Cutting-edge Swiss technologies showcased at the digital HANNOVER MESSE 2021. The Press Release is available in German and French.
7.03.2021 – The e-ID law is rejected. The Press Release is available in German, French and Italian.
17.02.2021 – Digital Economy Award enters 3rd round: Nomination phase started. The Press Release is available in German, French and Italian.
14.01.2021 – The E-ID law stands for a modern Switzerland. The Press Release is available in German.
Missed any of our past newsletters? Don’t worry, we’ve gathered them into one easy place for you to enjoy catching up on. All that’s left to do is make a coffee and explore our round-up of projects, activities and the latest news and thinking on all things digital!
The most inspiring digital innovators and trailblazers were celebrated at The Digital Economy Award at the Hallenstadion in Zurich on 11 November.
In an inspiring opening speech, Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter declared, “Digitalisation must serve people – and not the other way around.” This is also the declared goal of the Federal Council’s ‘Digital Switzerland Strategy’. The first principle of this strategy is: “Putting people at the forefront.’
The winners of the Digital Economy Award 2021 were selected by a 40-member expert jury. Adding to the celebratory atmosphere, 1,000 guests from the digital industry, research, business and politics gathered to watch winners take to the stage as the most inspiring digital innovators of 2021. The audience also honoured two young people who were crowned this year’s NextGen Heroes. These inspirational digital leaders are changing the world with innovative digital solutions.
Next Global Hot Thing: Labster
Labster offers virtual labs to support the increasingly complex science curriculum through game-based learning, engaging stories, and 3D visualizations. Their aim is to engage students’ interest in learning at a deeper level. Jury President Pascal Kaufmann, founder of Starmind, paid tribute to the winners: “Labster has impressive growth figures and millions of users worldwide. Science and knowledge transfer are accessible to the whole world via state-of-the-art virtual reality, mobile, and desktop technology. With over CHF 100 million in fundraising to date, this has also inspired investors from all over the world.”
Digital Innovation of the Year: Firmenich
Firmenich is a 125-year-old privately-owned Swiss company and one of the world’s largest developers and manufacturers of perfumes and flavours. Jury President Lukas Bär: “Together with EPFL Lausanne, Firmenich developed a digital lab where the world’s first AI flavour was developed in Switzerland. The combination of people and technology (augmented perfumer) in an emotional area – the sense of smell – is daring, courageous and innovative. This co-creation makes digital work a highly emotional one. Firmenich has reinvented itself! And this in a traditional luxury sector: anyone who wants to reinvent the profession of perfumer must have a phenomenal amount of courage.
Digital Excellence SME: Belimed
Belimed supports the smart hospital, which relies on optimised and automated processes. Jury President Samy Liechti: “In a challenging, highly regulated and international environment, Belimed has enabled a transformation from a hardware provider to a service provider. The company presents a convincing vision with a clear strategy, including a roadmap and satisfies an effective customer need. This is reflected in a clear data strategy, in which data is seen as the basis for further innovation. Belimed is working on the hospital of the future with a lot of courage and innovative spirit – and we are proud that a Swiss company is shining out into the world as a beacon with its work. They call themselves “Engineers of Confidence.”
Digital Excellence NPO & Government: Finanzdirektion Kanton Zug
Digitalization in the canton of Zug does not just mean tools and technology, but a different mindset and the courage to embrace cultural change. Jury President Anke Bridge Haux: “The Canton of Zug has achieved far-reaching digital development with “Digital Zug” – for the entire cantonal administration and inhabitants. A broad portfolio of diverse, concrete projects has been implemented, based on the Zug ID. The jury was impressed by the large scale of implementation and the courage of the canton to play a pioneering role. The inclusion of cultural elements, such as the “Customer Chair”, which represents the perspective of the inhabitants was highly regarded by the jury. The canton drives the development in the municipalities and offices of the canton with a holistic view.
Digital Excellence Large Enterprises: Mobiliar
Mobiliar invested in IT and digitalisation early: since 2018 alone, CHF 300 million has been invested in related projects, and 150 additional specialists have been recruited. The insurance company relies entirely on the public cloud and builds its solutions. Jury President Bramwell Kaltenrieder: “Mobiliar is strategically investing in ecosystems that will ensure customer access along the customer journey in the future. Mobilar is set up according to the most modern principles and skilfully combines digital and traditional sales channels cleverly with each other.”
Highest digital quality: Värdex Suisse
With the sale of cryptonow vouchers in retail outlets in Switzerland, Värdex Suisse SA enables easy access to cryptocurrencies even for non-experts. Jury president Marcus Dauck: “CryptoNow creates a simple bridge between digital and analogue with a voucher for Bitcoins. Highest quality and security in a regulated environment, combined with Swissness (Designed, Hosted, Engineered in Switzerland), good branding, high market market penetration through existing distribution channels (kiosks, retailers, etc.) provide a very strong overall package. The strategic focus on a business case offers the possibility to fully integrate the customer journey completely into one’s own hands.”
NextGen Heroes: 2021 digital trailblazers
The NextGen Hero category was created to showcase the extraordinary potential of young people who are helping to actively shape the digital future of Switzerland. The audience chose two young personalities under 25 years of age via live voting. In a public vote on 10 November during digitalswitzerland’s Digital Day, a broader public already participated by means of telephone voting.
Alessandra Capurro is working on the development of Ecolens, a database-linked rating system that allows restaurateurs to calculate the carbon footprint of dishes on their menus. In its other commitments, it is committed to sustainability in the space industry.
Alexander Corin works with Mindfuel to implement digital innovations in international companies. The start-up is focused on innovative approaches in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and business intelligence.
Digital Economy Award Certificate holders
During the gala awards, additional Highest Digital Quality certificates were awarded to the following companies and organisations:
The prixhrnumeriquesuisse (Swiss Digital HR Award) is the benchmark for the Swiss HR ecosystem and recognizes HR professionals from public or private organizations that are making digital transformation a real lever for strategic transformation, improving working conditions and a factor for renewing HR practices.
Sébastien Kulling our Head of Suisse Romande & Deputy Managing Director, is president of the jury, awarding outstanding SMEs and corporations for innovative HR projects using that showcase emerging trends or disruptive practices (AI, blockchain, predictive analytics, Big Data, etc.).
Do you know a Swiss company pushing the boundaries of digital innovation? Is there a digitally mature company that deserves global recognition for its outstanding achievements? Help us find this year’s mostdeserving winners and nominateuntil 23 June.
The Digital Economy Award honours and celebrates the most digitally mature companies in Switzerland and the most innovative digital projects. The awards have been highly influential in the future development of awarded organisations.
Simon Dössegger is CEO of Modum, the proud winners of the 2018 Digital Innovation of the Year Award. Simon explains what the significance of the award win meant for Modum and its employees.
In total, more than 40 jurors will examine the ideas, projects and companies at the Digital Economy Award. In each category, specialists are involved in the analysis and evaluation of the entries. A jury president chairs the group of experts for each category. Lukas Bär, Jury President of Digital Innovation is looking forward to nominations in his category.
Understanding the award categories
Our jury of prominent experts from the digital economy will judge ICT projects, disruptive ideas, IT competence, and digital maturity in the five following categories.
The Next Global Hot Thing
This category is all about the near-global future. What are the most groundbreaking, disruptive projects and startups still in their formative stages? The most promising digital approaches are sought out in a year-round scouting process.
The Highest Digital Quality
Companies compete for the swissICT certificate in one or more of the six subject areas. The subject areas of the certificates are: data, innovation management, customer experience, corporate and leadership culture, process automation, ICT. The subject group representatives determine who will be awarded the corresponding certificate. The best candidates are then nominated for the award.
The Digital Innovation of the year
Honours the most innovative digital project in Switzerland. Project managers from both ICT providers and users send their best projects and products of the year into the race for the title.
The Digital Excellence Award
The jury feels the digital pulse of companies in the categories “SME,” “Large Enterprise,” and “Gov & NPO.” It honours companies and organisations that have made particular digital maturity progress and therefore significantly increased their competitiveness.
This award category honours personalities under 25 years of age. They represent the potential of the young generation to actively shape the digital future of Switzerland. We asked David Yenicelik, Co-Founder of SkillLab and one of the two NextGen Hero award winners at The Digital Economy Award 2020, how his company is continuing to innovate in the current landscape?
The submission period will start slightly later for NextGen Hero and commence 5 May 2021 and run until 30 July. Find out more here.
The Scouting Partner
In the category The Next Global Hot Thing, an application isn’t possible. Instead, seven scouting partners put forward their best candidates into the race. Companies and start-ups that participate in a programme, or offer provided by the scouting partners have a chance to win at the awards. The scouting partners are from the following organisations:
The Award Gala Night will take place at the Hallenstadion in Zurich on 11 November 2021, as the closing event of the Swiss Digital Day.
Sign up for the DEA Application Briefing
In this webinar on 5 May 2021, you will get an entry guide if you are interested in submitting a project for the Digital Economy Award. You will hear essential information per category, explained compactly by Christian Hunziker, managing director of swissICT and head of the jury process at the Digital Economy Award.