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EPFL: Switzerland still very well ranked in terms of digital competitiveness

Today the IMD (Institute for Management Development in Lausanne) published its World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2020. Switzerland's results will be presented in detail this evening at the Digital Competitiveness Summit 2020, which will be held online at 5.30pm. Although Switzerland has dropped one place to 6th place compared to the previous year, it remains in an excellent position in an international comparison.

Marc Walder, founder of digitalswitzerland: “Together with IMD and EPFL, digitalswitzerland's approach is to unite the main digital players in Switzerland to prepare our country for the upcoming challenges of digitalisation. Today´s published IMD ranking on digital competitiveness is a great indicator to show the progress we have made in Switzerland and at the same time remind us how much work still lies ahead.”

The IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking is compiled annually based on indicators that focus on education, technology and the level of future-readiness. Switzerland ranks 6th among 63 high- and medium-income countries, right after Hong Kong, with the United States, Singapore and Denmark at the first three positions (see the IMD press release).

“In Switzerland, we see an economy that is really holding its own, outperforming many bigger ones. Its results in terms of Talent are excellent which only feeds the digital technology skills in the country,” says IMD Professor Arturo Bris.

"We are of course very pleased with these excellent results and our first rank in severa sub-criteria," says Martin Vetterli, the president of EPFL, one of the Swiss higher education institutions contributing to the country's excellent score. "However the most interesting thing with such rankings is to focus on the areas where we still need to improve."

Switzerland's strong position can be explained by its top results in several dimensions:

In the knowledge category, Switzerland’s strength lies in its ability to easily attract top talents and in its international experience. At the same time Switzerland is not so good inthe ratio of female researchers and in R&D productivity by publication.


In the technology category, Switzerland can benefit from legislation to promote scientific research and from its financial stability. According to the IMD ranking, the conditions for setting up companies and promoting startups in Switzerland are less good.


And last but not least, in the third main category "future-readiness", Switzerland's strength lies in knowledge transfer. In contrast, the study sees a backlog demand in eParticipation.


University College London professor Mariana Mazzucato, special guest of the Summit and author of award-winning books, stresses the point: “We should not obsess about technology but about problems that require different types of investments and innovative solutions across the economy. After all that is where the Internet came from. With such outcome-based thinking, the public sector is a key investor on both the supply side and the demand side.”

The Swiss results in the IMD Digital Competitiveness Ranking will be presented  today at the Digital Competitiveness Summit 2020 (online and live from 5.30pm), co-organised by digitalswitzerland, EPFL and IMD. The summit will also be an opportunity for the audience to interact with the guest speakers, economist Mariana Mazzucato and venture capitalist Klaus Hommels, on the topic covered by the summit.

Additional documents
Switzerland “Deep dive” - 2 pages (.pdf)
Infographic : Swiss focus – 1 page (.pdf)
Infographic : résultats globaux – 1 page (.pdf)

This article was first published by EPFL.

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