Trust Valley: excellence and innovation for digital trust and cybersecurity

Source: Trust Valley.

An alliance of actors working in cybersecurity and digital trust in the Lake Geneva region celebrated its official launch last week.

The initiative, known as Trust Valley, brings together public authorities, universities, and businesses in the region, with the aim of connecting the existing innovative ecosystem, building and maintaining trust, and finding solutions.

The alliance is being led by tech and cybersecurity expert, Lennig Pedron. At the launch, which took place at Lausanne’s EPFL, its new members revealed its future ambitions.

Why this is important. The Covid-19 crisis not only revealed but also accelerated digitalisation, whilst increasing the importance of trust and security issues. There is a need to embrace the challenge and ensure the growth of digital economy. A focus that is particularly important in the area as it is one of the 20th strongest ecosystems in the world in terms of digital trust and cybersecurity. To activate its potential and get concrete results, strategic cooperation is essential, as explained by Pierre Maudet:

“We've changed our rhythm, we've changed our scale. Time for trench fights is over, it's time for strategic alliances. The strong impetus, launched four months ago, is taking shape through a partnership between the public and private sectors, and alliances that go beyond the usual boundaries. The time has come for strategic alliances with the capacity to develop collective intelligence and to help everyone contribute to what will ultimately make the image of a region that has confidence in itself but can also export solutions to everyday problems.”

Cooperation for concrete actions. The agreement is a historical one between the cantons of Geneva and Vaud. As the private sectors followed through, it has become a public-private partnership supported by captains of industry such as Kudelski or SICPA, start-ups and academic institutions. Among the latter, the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, University of Geneva and HES-SO.

University of Geneva Director, Yves Flückiger, insists on the necessity of the collaboration to contribute to the excellence of the institutions:

“This collaboration is important because today, in the field of infrastructures, we are no longer able to acquire all the equipment we need for research individually. Excellence means the quality of training, and it is also measured by the attractiveness of the training we offer. 40% the students in the Lake Geneva region come from abroad. They are attracted by the quality of our training. Excellence is also measured by our ability to meet the needs of the community. Finally, excellence means translation, fundamental research that translates into innovation projects and start-ups that are born in the Lake Geneva region.”

The Trust Valley has already launched three concrete projects. TECH4TRUST is an acceleration program for start-ups that develop innovative solutions for the digital transformation of the society and economy. Food by Trust Valley develops trust and digital tracking solutions in the agritech and agrifood sectors, and Health by Trust Valley is a mapping initiative working on post-Covid projects to assist in the implementation of deconfinement strategies, the stimulation of the economy and the increase of resilience.

Tomorrow. Since the announcement of the launch in June, 38 companies and organisations have expressed their interest in joining the Trust Valley. 14 organisations have been added to the Trust Valley map, and more than 12 projects have been submitted to the initiative.

The mission is ambitious: to become a world reference and participate to establish international standards in terms of digital trust. With the hope that the innovative partnership will extend to the other Cantons of the region.