ICT Switzerland Background

Politics

The ePower initiative

"ePower for Switzerland" is a joint initiative of the Swiss parliament and the private sector, which was founded in the autumn of 2005 by senior industrial and political representatives. The objective of the ePower initiative is to ensure that the potential of information and communication technology in Switzerland is better exploited. For this reason, it lobbies politicians to improve Switzerland's standing within the ICT industry.

ePower acts as the middleman between business, politicians, the authorities, and the scientific community. Its activities focus on the following three key areas:

Stakeholder management: Sessions on topical ICT issues are held four times a year. For these round-table talks, ePower gathers representatives from the worlds of politics, business, the relevant authorities and the scientific community.

Lobbying projects: Current political ICT issues and the concerns of the ICT industry are discussed on a regular basis by what is known as the "core team"; ePower's operational managers. These issues and concerns are addressed and, where necessary, taken to the national or cantonal parliaments in the form of motions or appeals.

Issue monitoring: The ePower registered office keeps a close eye on political events relating to ICT (Politoscope.ch) and regularly informs all its members about relevant deals (via the session report and Sessionsradar). In addition, it closely monitors selected top issues and develops topics for the core team as well as the ICTswitzerland management board to discuss.

​Who's behind ePower?

ePower is an initiative of the Swiss parliament and the private sector, which is therefore made up of a political and an economic committee. These two independent committees communicate on a regular basis and, where appropriate, work together to strengthen Switzerland's position in the ICT industry.

The ePower for Switzerland parliamentary group
The core team heads ePower from the operational perspective. This team comprises four members of the Swiss National Council, and stands out with its cross-party representation in politics and its deep subject knowledge.
Members of the core team

A further 35 parliamentarians with an interest in ICT form the wider political circle that is the parliamentary group.
Members of the ePower parlamentary  group

ePower member companies
On the economic side, ePower is supported by ICT companies that are members of ICTswitzerland and/or ePower.
Member companies

Cooperation
ePower collaborates with the Swiss Federal IT Steering Unit (FITSU) and is assisted in its activities by economiesuisse and the Swiss Academy of Engineering Science (SATW).

Topics

ePower addresses current political ICT topics and seeks to ensure that the goals of the Digital Agenda 2.0 are met in the long-term, namely:

Energy

Future energy policies must make better use of the potential of ICT. ICT is a central catalyst for the development of new business models in the electricity supply. ICT applications and smart grids also make a major contribution to increasing energy efficiency and sustainability.

Health

ICT can also increase efficiency and quality in healthcare. However, this must be promoted in a targeted way through financial incentives, for example by lowering the basic insurance premiums of patients who use an electronic patient record.

Education

ICT is increasingly becoming a determining factor in quality of life, economic prosperity and professional advancement. For this reason, the importance of IT must be taken into account when drawing up the curricula for primary and secondary state education in Switzerland. IT should also be added as a core subject in high schools.

Basic infrastructure

Switzerland has an excellent basic ICT infrastructure and is internationally competitive. However there is an urgent need to simplify the authorisation procedures for antennas, in view of the dramatic increase in the importance of mobile data transmission.

Mobility

Thanks to ICT, the planned expansion of electronic ticketing for public transport – the "ÖV-Karte"– has the potential to enable mobility pricing across all forms of public transport. This would enable transportation vehicles to be used more efficiently and in a more networked way, and lessen the need for expansion through the targeted use of modern technologies.

Research and innovation

Cooperation between industry and universities must be strengthened, so that research and innovation can quickly be transformed into entrepreneurial added value. The provision of funding and know-how through "smart capital" is an important catalyst for speeding this process up.

Regulation and data protection

Data security is key for the success of electronic business models. Often enough, users themselves are the weakest link in the digital security chain. The careful use of digital data (media skills) should therefore be taught at school.

Public services

The digital exchange of information between companies, citizens and the state still functions poorly. To meet the demand better, companies must be involved much more closely in the implementation of the Swiss national e-government strategy. The federal government and the cantons must also finally develop a clear procurement strategy for ICT projects (make or buy).

Digital identity

However, more important still than all these other demands is the core demand for a government-issued state identity for all citizens as the foundation and driver of progress in e-government, e-health and e-commerce.

Registered office

«ePower für die Schweiz»

c/o furrerhugi. ag
Schauplatzgasse 39
3011 Berne

Phone: +41 31 313 18 48
Fax: +41 31 313 18 49
Email: Contact us

Managing Director: Andreas Hugi
Assistant: Alessandra Köchli