Switzerland to become digital number 1 in Europe

Switzerland should play a worldwide leading role in digital transformation. 50 digital masterminds, entrepreneurs, researchers, pioneers, and politicians have collaborated with the location initiative digitalswitzerland and its 57 members to draft a Digital Manifesto. The manifesto was handed over to Swiss Federal Councilor Johann Schneider-Ammann at the Worldwebforum in Zurich.

Swiss Federal Councilor Schneider-Ammann accepts the Digital Manifesto.
Swiss Federal Councilor Schneider-Ammann accepts the Digital Manifesto. Source: digitalswitzerland.

The Digital Manifesto is a vision for a digital Switzerland. The goal is clear: As part of digital transformation, Switzerland will create jobs with high added value, thus securing the country's prosperity. The Digital Manifesto defines the requirements and measures for society, politics, infrastructure, education, innovation, and the economy that are needed for this to succeed. At the initiative of digitalswitzerland, the 50 "digital shapers" and Federal Councilor Johann Schneider-Ammann analyzed Switzerland's starting position in a prior workshop and compiled specific ideas in a Digital Manifesto.

"The symbol for the Digital Manifesto is the Swiss Digital House, which stands on a foundation of freedom and personal initiative," the Manifesto declares. These two values are anchored in the public consciousness and are largely responsible for economic success. These prerequisites are thus ideal for ensuring that Switzerland will be number 1 in Europe in digital transformation. "We have the intellectual, structural, and material prerequisites to successfully master digital transformation as the fourth industrial revolution," says Swiss Council of States member Ruedi Noser, one of hte initiators of the Digital Manifesto.

When the manifesto was handed over to Federal Councilor Johann Schneider-Ammann, Marcel Dobler, designated President of ICTswitzerland, digital shaper, and National Councilor, said: "The manifesto should be a major impulse in driving forward digitalization in Switzerland." Among other things, it is postulated that Switzerland will become the worldwide leading research location for digital transformation. As a result, 2 billion Swiss francs are to be invested into fundamental research on new technologies and application areas. Moreover, regulations that impede digitization are to be avoided, and new ideas and business models should only be taxed once they are profitable.

Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann was pleased with the "constructive and uncomplicated" adoption of the Digital Manifesto. "It is an excellent foundation and impetus for many debates that we need to have on the right framework conditions, educational initiatives, and startup financing." Johann Schneider-Ammann promised: "I will do everything to ensure that the Digital Manifesto doesn't become a paper tiger, but that it unleashes additional momentum."

Marc Walder, initiator of digitalswitzerland and CEO of Ringier AG, said: "Switzerland has all the prerequisites to become the digital center of Europe. This Digital Manifesto directed at the Federal Council is another step towards achieving this goal. The Federal Council's openness to the impulses and concerns of the Swiss economy is extremely reassuring.

Partnership between digitalswitzerland and Switzerland Global Enterprise

digitalswitzerland is a cross-industry association, created from the shared vision of its founding members, to strengthen the country's position as a digital hub and to project those benefits across the whole of Switzerland's industries. Switzerland Global Enterprise is a partner of digitalswitzerland and provides support thanks to its expertise in the areas of location and investment promotion.

The Digital Manifesto

The Digital Manifesto is available in German and French.

Source: Press release by digitalswitzerland.