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Annual Report 2023

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.

Annual Report 2022

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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. 

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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.

Planet MINT

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.

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#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.

Digital Health

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.

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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.

eSustainability

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.

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4T-DLT

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.

Scaleup Enablement

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.

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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.

Scaleup Slopes

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.

Politico-Economic Environment

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.  

Policy Milestone

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.

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Regions

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.

Central Switzerland

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.”

Ticino

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. 

Digital Xchange

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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EVENTS

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Zurich, 14 November 2022 – Digitalisation has picked up speed in many industries. But the health sector is lagging far behind. For the digital transformation of the healthcare system to succeed, the needs and fears of the Swiss population must be taken into account.

The results of the study “The digital healthcare system from the perspective of the population” published by digitalswitzerland show that the Swiss population is willing to use a digital healthcare system as long as it offers clear added value – such as better user-friendliness, improved diagnoses and treatments, and lower healthcare costs.

However, for this to happen, the population needs the necessary competencies as well as transparent communication on the part of the healthcare industry in order to create trust.

Read the press release in German, French and Italian.

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.


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.

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.