Challenge Bettors Round-up Report

Attention race fans!

Seventeen bet teams are fast approaching the home stretch of the 2018-19 Innovation Challenge. Eight bets from Season One and nine new bets charged off the starting line April 9, 2018. Every bet is training for Swiss corporates in cross-sector interdisciplinary collaboration AND positioning Switzerland as a global hub for digitalization.

But on April 15th, there can be only one in the winner’s circle —  despite the invaluable lessons learned inventing/implementing scalable digital solutions to solve national and global problems.

Bet narratives show why

Therefore, what follows is a recap of every running bet in ONE SENTENCE, using only +-50 words and the same AND-BUT-THEREFORE (A-B-T template) i.e. agreement, contradiction, consequence, making clear why we should care and what’s at stake.

Their ONE SENTENCE functions as a framework for bet teams’ story structure, while hopefully inspiring you to dream up new challenges worthy of Swiss digital innovation. BTW, half the new bets competing in Season Two’s race originated through our Open Challenge crowd-sourcing platform. Check it out.

Note to readers

  • The information in this post was verified by bet teams 18.01.19 and supersedes texts on “Our Bets” challenge website.
  • A bet Captain’s employer/company is always a bet Partner and thus not listed twice.

Eight Bets continuing from Season One challenge

(listed alphabetically)

C-Shares – Digital Property (Runner-up winner*)
Captain: Johannes Höhener, Head of Fintech Swisscom
Partners MME Legal 
Narrative: It’s hard for private SMEs to acquire capital AND financing outside of stock markets requires large efforts to legally secure digital property to create confidence. BUT a platform enabling start-ups and SMEs to issue shares as digital tokens: “C-Shares,” provides access to equity for non-listed companies. THEREFORE an infrastructure based on blockchain technology can offer shares which can be easily transferred and is suitable for a secondary market and increases the attractiveness to invest in Swiss companies.

Case Studies on Digital Transformation
Captain: Martin Geisenhainer, Learning Architect, Swisscom
Partners Fachhochschule Nordwest

Narrative: Digitalization is driving industry transformation AND increasing the competitive environment AND forcing companies to adopt new processes to survive. BUT some SMEs fail to transform due to lack of experience or financial means to acquire knowledge. THEREFORE by publishing an online register with hundreds of case studies from SMEs who have mastered digital processes, Swiss SMEs can cost-effectively acquire the knowledge to stay competitive.

Digital Democracy Revisited
Captain: Stefan Klauser, Lead Strategist Digital Society, ETH Zurich
Partners: foraus– Swiss Forum on Foreign Policy

Narrative: The world is still organized in nation states AND when facing global problems, countries often try to solve them individually AND decision-makers lack access to experts’ knowledge around the world. BUT a crowdsourcing platform designed for foreign policy collaboration across countries could solve that problem. THEREFORE developing a crowd-innovation app can increase the quality and quantity of solutions to foreign policy issues positioning Switzerland as the initiator of the first global democracy platform.

Digital Founding Process using Blockchain
Co-Captains: Christian Keller, General Manager IBM Switzerland
AND Johannes Höhener, Head of Fintech Swisscom
Partners: Grunder Rechtsanwälte, Kaiser Odermatt & Partner, Kanton Zug, Proxeus, VermögensZentrum, Zwicky Windlin & Partner

Narrative: Founding a business in Switzerland is costly AND slow AND a prime example where blockchain technology could significantly increase registration process speed and efficiency. BUT Swiss law requires official document exchange between numerous parties including lawyers, bankers, notary, and commercial registrars that make it highly unlikely any one of them would attempt digitalizing the process. THEREFORE a blockchain product to allow paperless business incorporation would guarantee higher legal certainty and assure Switzerland’s economic competitiveness.

ICT-Workshops in Schools
Captain: Rolf Schaub, MD of ICT-Scouts / Campus
Partners: Codillion, SBFI, FHNW, UZH

Narrative: Our world and this generation’s students face unprecedented challenges from digital transformations at every level AND require digital skills to meet these new demands or risk falling behind international competition. BUT such skills like programming have never been taught in normal primary or secondary school curriculums. THEREFORE providing teachers with MOOC style workshops to learn basic coding skills will help ready teachers and the next generations of students for the digital future.

Pictograms and Bot for Terms and Conditions (Audience Favorite Season One)
Captain: Prof. Dr. Florent Thouvenin, Chair for Information and Communications Law, UZH
Partners: Wenger & Vieli, Zurich Insurance, Credit Suisse, NZZ, PwC, Julius Bär, Swisscom, SBB

Narrative: In spite of GDPR, few of us know how our personal data is used AND wish the terms and conditions of companies processing our data was easier to understand. BUT the lack of effective standardization makes data protection clarifications long and complex. THEREFORE establishing a Swiss standard for simplifying company’s data requirements using pictograms creates an international competitive advantage for Swiss companies.

Riva Digital – Making Switzerland Fit (Winner Season One*)
Captain: Claudia Pletscher, EVP Development & Innovation, Swiss Post
Partners: UZH, ETH, EPFL, USZ, CSEM, Pryv, Altran, BaselArea, biospectal, RedRock, CANOPEI, Galenica, Swisscom, healthbank, DayOne, VIPartners, Medgate, Medi24, Swiss Medical Network, Cedrus Therapeutics, Schulthess Klinik, BotsCamp, Wenger & Vieli, Migros, TopPharm, Gesundheitsförderung Schweiz, and others

Narrative: The leading cause of death in Switzerland is hypertension AND most people who have it are not aware of it AND for decades this killer has resisted public health warnings AND continues to kill one of every four Swiss. BUT a purposeful digital ecosystem could enable and incentivize people to achieve healthier lifestyles. THEREFORE by building a digital ecosystem with partners and apps, +100K people could lower their blood pressure – potentially saving 25’000 lives.

Smart Station
Captain: Philipp Leimgruber, Overall Project Manager Digitalization Zurich HB, SBB CFF FFS
Partners: Google, Valora, Migros, Schindler Lifts, Candrian Catering, inaffect AG

Narrative: Zurich Main Station is a world-class stage for Swiss innovation in mobility, logistics, social interaction, retail and hospitality. BUT its operations, sales and digital assets are underutilized, limiting customer benefits and operational efficiencies. THEREFORE the SBB and its partners commit to establishing Zurich Main Station as the world’s most personal digitalized hub for customers, tenants, suppliers and other innovative partners.

* Last Minute Insights

A day before deadline, I asked last season’s champion, Riva Digital, and runner-up, C-Shares,
two questions:

  1. Has the 2nd year been harder or easier for your bet team?

Riva Digital:     Substantially more demanding regarding individual engagement following first year being more about taking part and strategies, while the second year is all about hands on.

C-Shares:          It’s easier to bring the baby home because we don’t have to tell the story from the beginning. But it definitely got harder because we have to make the platform bulletproof for production and tie up our group of pilot company C-Share issuers.

  1. What‘s changed that gives you confidence you can win this year?

Riva Digital: Restructuring the core team leading to more commitment and drive.

C-Shares: WE’RE HUNGRY (for digital assets and daura pilot customers)!

Thanks to Katharina Guggi, Riva Digital Core Team, and Roland Cortivo, C-Shares Team, for commenting on short notice.

Nine New Bets competing in Season Two challenge

(listed alphabetically)

Brain-controlled TV

Captain: Martin Kathriner, Head of Corporate Affairs, Samsung Electronics Switzerland
Partners*: Jose del R. Millan, EPFL
* this bet is actively seeking more partners

Narrative: Brain-controlled interfaces (BCI) are an important global mega trend AND offer hope to people with complete physical disabilities. BUT people are increasingly uncomfortable in their relationships with technology like BCI. THEREFORE we want to stimulate dialog about interacting with machines and help the disabled regain partial independence by demonstrating a television purely controlled using the brain.

Digital Building Standard
Co-Captains: Alexander Muhm, Head of Real Estate for SBB AND Manfred Huber, Head of Institute for Virtual Design and Construction at FHNW
Partners: Zumtobel Group, Swiss Life, Steiner, Wincasa, SIA (Swiss Society of Engineers & Architects)

Narrative: Developers and construction companies all use different plans of the same building according to their own needs AND no individual real estate stakeholder can make a business case to create a digital modeling standard that everyone uses throughout the lifecycle of a building. BUT a universal Swiss digital modeling standard would solve the problem. THEREFORE the Construction Roundtable intends to increase construction efficiencies by creating a digital modeling standard allowing continuous plan iterations and updates.

Digitalization of Building and Zoning Codes
Captain: Matthias Standfest, CEO & Founder Archilyse AG
Partners: Archilogic, EKZ, Hochschule Luzern, Raumgleiter, Dietikon, Halter, Hosoya Schaefer Architects, Hauser Orte

Narrative: Building and zoning codes in Switzerland are currently not in useful digitized formats AND impede feasibility studies AND create costly time-consuming interpretations by developers, architects and authorities. BUT by mapping the codes into a machine-readable open source language, municipalities will be able to view scenarios of development projects and speed up the entire development process. THEREFORE digitalized codes make for better long-term sustainable development planning, increased efficiency and cost savings.

Digitalization as Enabler to Re-Connecting families in times of war (Audience Favorite Season Two)
Captain: Charlotte Lindsey-Curtet, Director Digital Transformation and Data, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
Partners: EPFL

Narrative: Reuniting millions of families who have fled war zones and regional conflicts is difficult due to victims’ transient status AND would likely benefit from a data analytics solution. BUT a solution must be usable by non-technical experts and comply with data privacy and other safety requirements. THEREFORE a year-long effort will be made to identify and resolve three missing person cases to learn more about the potential of data analytics to find missing persons.

  • In-depth Story: coming soon.

From Proof of Concept to Industrialization

Captain: Benoit Ratier, Business Lead Innovation Lab, BNP Paribas
Partners: Vaudoise, Swisscom, ICRC, Iron Mountain, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Narrative: Proof of Concept (PoC) is an established relatively efficient way to test if new technology or innovation will add value to an enterprise AND assist in its value chain transformation. BUT medium and large organizations’ legacy systems often inhibit PoC industrialization. THEREFORE a pragmatic guidebook suggesting best practice for PoC implementation can ensure organizationsdo not miss out on new innovations, assist in assessing if an application makes sense, and if so, how new technology can be implemented.

Green Label for Data Centers
Captain: Monica Gille,Director Suisse Romande at Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Partners: EPFL/EcoCloud, Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE),ASUT,VigiSwissand others

Narrative: IoT, data analytics and cloud offerings consume 5% of world’s electricity, emit 3% of total CO2 AND usage is growing exponentially. BUT this is not sustainable. THEREFORE creation and implementation of a “green label” for Swiss data centers (DC) can reduce their energy consumption by 30%, making Switzerland’s DCs a model for other countries while attracting more (data) work loads.

Montagne Pro – A Digital Platform For Outdoor Professionals
Captain: Christophe Darbellay, State Councilor in charge of economics and training, canton Valais
Partners: To be announced soon

Narrative: WHEN hiring an outdoor professional to guide them in their mountain activities, customers want to be sure that he or she as the right skills AND meet all legal and regulatory obligations. BUT it is becoming more and more difficult for those customers to ensure the true status of the professionals they hire. THEREFORE by creating the digital platform: “MontagnePro,” based in part on blockchain and smart contract technologies, we can offer all customers real-time access to accreditation status of all +1500 recognized outdoor professionals in Valais.

Smart City Digital Ethics Council
Captain: Mario Facchinetti, Initiator & Representative, SwissPropTech
Partners: Bouygues S.A.

Narrative: City dwelling stakeholders live and interact in confined spaces AND must define and debate ethics underpinning “smart cities” application of new technologies. BUT city-wide data exchange networks can cause uncertainty and fear due to their future unknowns. THEREFORE a think-tank is needed to promote dialogue between society and business on ethical aspects of a smart city and proffer solutions to mutual concrete problems. (formerly MyCV)

Captain:Eva Luethi, Swisscom, Manager New Business Dev/ Digital Business Building
Partners:Dominic SchlegelSwisscom, Pascal HonoldWenger & Vieli, Ronnie BrunnerNetcetera

Narrative: Educational and employment certificates are mostly in paper form AND proof of authenticity is an inefficient process AND employers/employees desire easily verifiable digital certificates. BUT currently there is no widely accepted secure digital alternative for issuing diplomas or course certification. THEREFORE commits to building a blockchain product where certificates of employment, diplomas and further training can be shared transparently and securely between stakeholders, making the labor market more efficient

Join us

On April 15, 2019, these seventeen bets will Demo for the jury and a first-place winner crowned. The same night, the best ideas from Open Challengewill Pitch for their chance to win recognition and heavyweight backing. Might it be yours?

If you have a favorite bet, drop them an encouraging note. AND if you have skills/know-how useful to a team, get in touch with the bet’s Captain or Daniel Ginter, Senior Director Corporate Enablement digitalswitzerland.


Author’s note:

Look for more challenge stories where I take you on a deep dive below the words of a bet. Often the truth about creating digital innovation is not pretty. But those hard-won – sometimes ugly lessons, are frequently the most valuable and bring the greatest rewards. Which is why my digitalswitzerland story posts are written for intrepid innovators attempting to overcome the obstacles that Switzerland may continue to play AND win.



The post Challenge Bettors Round-up Report appeared first on digitalswitzerland.


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