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Intro

International Competitiveness

ICT as a location factor, export product, and cross-departmental function for a top position among global digital locations in a highly competitive environment
Production, use, and ICT exports are pivotal to enhancing Switzerland's economic strength. ICT is seen as cross-departmental technology, which is increasingly and gradually reaching into all spheres of life. Highly developed information and communication technology are an important location factor. They increase the efficiency of the overall economy, being an important export product for advancing Switzerland as a «digital economy» by international comparisons.

Concerning the current status
Switzerland has scored good to very good in international studies on competitiveness and innovative strength. ICT studies also show that Switzerland is well positioned in this sector, which is driven by the following factors:

  • Top talents from all over the world, high-class universities and universities of applied sciences, a vibrant spin-off culture: Thanks to the world-class computer science departments of ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne, which have almost 2,000 registered IT students, Switzerland can draw upon a vast pool of talent (ETH is ranked 19th, and EPFL is ranked 92nd according to the Shanghai Ranking, 2016). 43% of all employees in the Swiss ICT sector hold a university degree. Spin-offs and start-ups are founded at universities not only by graduates and former students. Venture capital investments in Swiss high-tech companies are growing annually, reaching a new peak value of CHF 271 million (excl. Medtech investment Mind Maze) in 2016 (2017 Venture Capital Report).
  • Strong global networking, world-class players: Switzerland is one of the most interconnected countries worldwide – having a global share of 1.2% of global export volume, and attracting 4.3% of foreign direct investments. Consequently, international top players locate their business in Switzerland, aiming to profit from the country’s high innovative strength and quality of life which is attracting talent from all over the world. Google and Walt Disney Company are only two examples of many to give proof if this. There are a few areas where Switzerland has potential to improve. Compared to international standards, it takes comparatively a lot of effort and time to incorporate a company in Switzerland. Despite the increasing investments in ICT companies, it is still comparatively difficult to raise growth capital in Switzerland. Companies are often forced to raise large capital rounds abroad. Swiss ICT companies face another problem in order to stay internationally competitive. They are burdened by the hurdles of the migration policies to hire the necessary qualified ICT specialists that cannot be found in Switzerland. Quotas for third-country visas for IT professionals from, for example, the US, Israel or India are regularly exhausted early in the year in the largest cities. It is equally challenging for Startups to meet salary requirements given in large cities for skilled IT specialists from Schengen countries.

State of digitization in topic International CompetitivenessFortschritt der Digitalisierung im Themenfeld International Competitiveness

15.03.201621.11.2017
digital.swiss, Tobler  Sandra

Topic Owner

Sandra Tobler

Co-founder
Futurae Technologies AG

Measurement parameters


Innovative strength of the Swiss economy

ICT maturity level (ICT readiness)

Global competitiveness

Innovative strength of the Swiss economy

An established innovation culture is vital to advance Switzerland as a "digital economy" by international comparisons. Innovative strength is an indicator which is based on the following studies and surveys:

  1. Global Innovation Index (GII): this study indicates to what degree an innovative environment is fostered as well as the size of the innovative output of a national economy. The index is based on 80 indicators, which go beyond traditional approaches and aim to measure innovation in a holistic manner. The study is published annually by WIPO, Cornell University and INSEAD.
  2. European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS): this enables the EU to coherently assess and evaluate the economic and innovative strength of its member states. It measures three types of indicators in the areas “enablers”, “company activities”, and “output”. Switzerland is evaluated in the context of a non-EU comparison.

Calculation: The result of Switzerland from the GII and EIS is compared against the maximum achievable ranking. The aim is to achieve the best-possible conditions for innovation in Switzerland. Germany is used as a benchmark for the threshold for a need for optimization, while the threshold for an acute need for action is based on values for France (GII)/the EU average (EIS). Both values are equally weighted in this evaluation.

Data source:

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01.01.201321.11.2017
ICT maturity level (ICT readiness)

ICT is increasingly reaching into all those spheres of life in which state-of-the-art technology can be profitably used. The following studies measure the ICT maturity/readiness of the Swiss economy:

  1. Networked Readiness Index (NRI): this index evaluates how much a country can benefit from information and communication technologies in terms of competitiveness and quality of life. The index is published annually in cooperation with INSEAD within the context of the Global Information Technology Report.
  2. ICT Development Index (IDI): this index is based on internationally agreed indicators that measure a country’s access to, use of, and expertise in dealing with information and communication technologies. The index is published annually by the ITU (International Telecommunication Union), a special department of the United Nations.

Calculation:
The NRI result of Switzerland (5.8) is considered in relation to the maximum achievable value (7). The aim is for Switzerland to be able to fully benefit from information and communication technologies in order to enhance its competitiveness and quality of life.

The IDI result of Switzerland (8.68) is considered in relation to the maximum achievable value (10). It is the aim to achieve the optimum access to, use of, and expertise in dealing with information and communication technologies in Switzerland.

France is used as a benchmark for an acute need for action, while the need for optimization begins with Germany’s index value. Both values are equally weighted in this evaluation.

Data source: 

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01.01.201521.11.2017
Global competitiveness

The use of digital technologies is a basic prerequisite for a country to remain competitive by international comparisons. The following studies measure the efficiency of the Swiss economy:

  1. Global Competitiveness Index: this index is based on indicators for the measurement and evaluation of both macro and microeconomic aspects of a country’s competitiveness. The index is published annually in the context of the Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) of the World Economic Forum (WEF). It aims to indicate to which degree a country is fostering the prosperity of its population.
  2. World Competitiveness Scoreboard: this compares the competitiveness of over 60 countries by using more than 300 criteria (two thirds of which are based on statistics and one third on survey data). The Scoreboard is published annually in the context of the World Competitiveness Yearbook by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD).

Calculation:
The Global Competitiveness Index result of Switzerland (5.81) is considered in relation to the maximum achievable value (7). The aim is to foster the prosperity of the Swiss population in the best possible manner.
The World Competitiveness Scoreboard result of Switzerland (98) is considered in relation to the value of the best-ranked country (100). Both values are equally weighted in this evaluation.

Data source:

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01.01.201421.11.2017

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