Building on the expertise of 300 companies and 500 experts, the Vaud and Geneva Cantons of Switzerland are launching the Trust Valley, a public private cooperation for safe digital transformation, cybersecurity and innovation.
Geneva and Vaud authorities, academia and the private sector have come together to create the Trust Valley, a unique center of expertise, aimed at positioning the Lake Geneva region as an agile, innovative and efficient force for digital transformation. The cooperation revolves around three main missions: (1) map key players to enhance the regional expertise, (2) facilitate collaboration among stakeholders and attract new strategic partners, (3) promote innovations and accelerate innovative projects and services.
Initiated by the Cantons of Vaud and Geneva, the founding members are Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL), The School of Engineering and Management Vaud ( HEIG-VD), University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO Geneva), The Graduate Institute, Geneva (IHEID), University of Geneva (UNIGE), University of Lausanne (UNIL), Geneva Center for Cybersecurity Policy (GCSP), ELCA, Kudelski Group, SGS and SICPA.
In addition to 300 companies, the Trust Valley brings together more than 500 cybersecurity and technology experts, making it the largest talent pool in Switzerland.
“We are very excited about the Trust Valley being created in Switzerland. We are looking forward to being part of this innovation hub, where all cyber talents can collaborate and converge,” said Stéphane Duguin, CEO of the CyberPeace Institute.
The genesis of the Trust Valley initiative builds on the previous important events in French speaking Switzerland, such as the launch of the CyberPeace Institute in Geneva (2019); the creation of the Swiss Digital Initiative (2019); the dynamics of the Geneva Digital Talks (since 2017), the launch of the innovation campus dedicated to the economy of trust by SICPA (2019) ; the deployment of a digital strategy to make the Canton of Vaud a “territory of data” (2019) as well as the implementation of the National Cyber Risk Protection Strategy (SNPC) at the Federal level (2018–2022).
While telework has prevented more severe economic crises, the number of cyberattacks reported in Switzerland had increased threefold at the height of the Covid19 pandemic in 2020, according to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).
Data security, confidentiality, integrity, reliability and ethics are now the keys to a secure digital world, and the foundations of the 4th industrial revolution that must be based on the trust of citizens and businesses. With its tradition of neutrality, Switzerland and the Lake Geneva region are ideally positioned to lay the groundwork for “digital trust” at an international scale.
Trust Valley promotes innovations and brings together know-how and expertise from various fields: data protection, blockchain, artificial intelligence, digital investigation and criminology. In addition, the issues of standardization, certification, authentication, data preservation and governance. These are all assets that the region has at its disposal to offer international digital governance on the one hand, and to generate economic added value and attract talent on the other, is written in the Trust Valley's Press Release.
The first Trust Valley activities started in 2019 as part of the Tech4Trust pilot project. In parallel, the Trust4Health project was launched to address the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020. Supported by the Cantons of Geneva and Vaud through a mandate given to the EPFL Innovation Park Foundation, the Trust Valley will be officially launched in October 2020 . The platform will be financed by the two founding cantons as well as a variety of partners and calls for projects.