The TRUST VALLEY: a center of excellence on Lake Geneva in digital trust and cybersecurity

The "TRUST VALLEY" was launched on Thursday, October 8, 2020. The initiative is an alliance for excellence, supported by multiple public, private and academic actors.

An alliance for excellence, supported by multiple public, private and academic actors, the "TRUST VALLEY" was launched on Thursday, October 8, 2020 during a meeting "for" the partners "by" the partners and broadcasted online. Cantons, Confederation, academic institutions and captains of industry, both local and international, come together to co-construct this pool of expertise and encourage the emergence of innovative projects. Cooperation is built around three main areas: the influence of this unique ecosystem, innovation, and the networking of regional players in the field of digital trust and cybersecurity.

On June 19, the Cantons of Vaud and Geneva, in a historical agreement, announced their support for the "TRUST VALLEY" initiative. This alliance, created in support of economic development for the region, allows the partners to pool their resources in the field of digital trust, to position and give a global resonance to the Lake Geneva region. Today, manufacturers have followed suit. Indeed, since the launch announcement 3 months ago, this initiative has become a public-private partnership actively supported by captains of industry such as ELCA, GCSP, Kudelski, SGS and SICPA, SMEs, large groups, startups, scale-ups, as well as academic institutions in the Lake Geneva region (IHEID, HEIG-VD, HES-SO Geneva, EPFL, UNIGE, UNIL). Strategic partnerships are under discussion.

Strategic alliances for concrete actions

Alliances are being established with new partners such as the Cyber Peace Institute, PWC and Wisekey. But also since June:

  • 38 companies and organizations have expressed their interest in joining the "TRUST VALLEY".
  • 14 organizations have been added to the Lake Geneva map dedicated to digital trust and are presented on the Trust Valley website.
  • More than 12 projects have been submitted to the initiative via a dedicated marketplace. The ecosystem is growing thanks to the support and involvement of startups such as Aequivalent, ProtonMail, Yes We Hack; of scale-ups such as Sysmosoft; of SMEs such as eXperts Solutions, Exoscale, MSF Partners, AdNovum, Netguardians, Uditis; as well as the Transports Lausannois.

On the German-speaking side of Switzerland, the initiative attracts the support of Sygnum Bank, as well as contributors from large companies like PwC, Fortinet and the NGO Cyber Peace Institute.

Clear international support was given

"We need to work together. It is always important to find the best local solutions to local problems. I am aware that what you (the TRUST VALLEY) do is of fundamental importance to the world. I don't think there are many nations on earth that are as trustworthy as Switzerland; there is no part of Switzerland that is more important than this region of Lake Geneva. Thank you for what you are doing. I hope that we, Microsoft, can continue to be a part of it, to support you and, for my part, continue to learn from everything you do. " said Brad Smith, President of Microsoft.

3 flagship projects have already started

"TECH4TRUST": The Swiss acceleration program for innovative start-ups committed to fostering digital trust in our society and economy is already in its second call for projects. The latter has just completed its call for startups and the results of this 2nd edition includes 47 applications. A 32-member advisory committee will evaluate the applicants' involvement in the program and select about 20. “TECH4TRUST” has developed a strategic partnership with PWC, as well as exchanges with other European regions, such as Luxembourg and Belgium. "The Canton of Vaud is proud to support "TECH4TRUST", a unique Swiss acceleration program for start-ups that develop innovative and indispensable solutions for the digital transformation of our society and economy, which has accelerated further with the coronavirus pandemic," said Raphaël Conz, Head of the Enterprise Unit of the Service de la promotion de l'économie et de l'innovation (SPEI).

Food by Trust Valley: The initiative aims to develop trust and digital tracking solutions in the agritech and agrifood sector that meet sustainable development objectives (SDG's). Its objective is to ensure a healthy life and promote the well-being of all people at all ages. The partners are: SICPA, Nestlé and the Center for Digital Confidence of the EPFL (C4DT).

Health by Trust Valley: this mapping initiative (see press kit of 08.10.2020) is working on post-COVID-19 projects. The partners are the Cyber Peace Institute which brings international complementarity with its "Cyber4Health" initiative, Biopôle and the Cantons of Geneva and Vaud. The objectives are to assist in the implementation of precise and phased deconfinement strategies, to maintain, accelerate and stimulate the economy and to increase shortterm resilience against the health crisis of COVID-19.

Collaborative and cooperative projects

Following the announcement of the launch last June, many organizations have expressed interest in this ecosystem. As a concrete example, Lennig Pedron, head of the "TRUST VALLEY" initiative, cites a company in the canton of Vaud that is active in physical and data security solutions: "A local company attracted the attention of an international giant who contacted it with a very specific request to set up a laboratory. Unfortunately, the local company could not meet this request on its own, so they turned to us, the "TRUST VALLEY", and we put them in touch with HEIG-VD. Today, our two partners are working together on this joint project. This is also the interest and the impact that this initiative can have".