Martelians were among the 270,000 visitors who attended the Swiss Digital Day on 3 September. Martel Innovate has offices in Zurich, Lugano and Lausanne and with events happening all over the country, from the opening of CERN and Swiss data centers to the general public, to tours of TrustSquare, the world’s largest blockchain hub, to talks and exhibitions, here’s our pick of why Martel is proud to be a Swiss digital company.

The human being at the center of digitalization

This talk in downtown Zurich, organized by Digital Switzerland, on a human-centered digital transformation explored matters close to our heart. How does digitalization affect people in everyday life, what are the practical benefits (apps for everything). What are the negatives, including dependencies on digitalization, exclusion of older generations, counter-trends?

Martel’s work within the EC funded Next Generation Internet (NGI) and Next Generation Internet of Things (NGIOT) initiatives aims at providing some answers to such challenging questions by leading several research and innovation activities to build a more secure, trust-able, accessible and inclusive Internet.

Artificial Intelligence as a core ingredient

Next stop on our Digital Day tour of Zurich was at Google’s offices, for a presentation on Machine Learning (ML) giving an overview of core concepts and the types of problems ML, as one of the most relevant Artificial Intelligence (AI) branches nowadays, can and cannot solve.

Artificial Intelligence is core to the strategic development of Martel’s business. We are part of the European AI Alliance and we are actively engaged in the WeNet project, which aims to deploy AI to develop diversity-aware, machine-mediated paradigm for social interactions. Moreover, we are exploring further collaborations with several AI players in Switzerland and internationally in a number of different contexts.

Where next? Smart cities!

Zurich Main Station featured a plethora of exhibitions on digital health, personal data, how technology is changing the way we book flights and board trains and the importance of lifelong learning. Most interesting for Martel was the emphasis on Smart Cities.

Cities are the place where digitalization is having a huge impact on the way people live, work and interact. An increasing number of cities, villages and communities are adopting digital technologies to improve services offered to the citizens, especially in Switzerland. Our open source IoT platform Orchestra Cities is being adopted by several Swiss players to make cities and citizens smarter.

Data and Ethics

This panel talk featuring a Federal Legislator, a Federal Policy maker and advocates for digital ethics caught our attention. How far may the use of data go, where are (ethical) boundaries? Should social benefits be valued more highly than privacy? How contradictory are the interests of businesses and consumers? Where should we set limits as private individuals?

Martel, as an engaged player within the NGI initiative is working specifically on these issues with the MyData organization and other players in the international research and innovation scene and will be animating the NGI Forum 2019 that is centered around open data, data ethics and governance aspects.


Switzerland is working towards an electronic identity (eID), valid nationally and internationally, for internet users to be able to identify themselves correctly and securely. The eID is a key infrastructure element on which further digital services can be built, e.g. fully digital eGovernment, eVoting, eBanking, eHealth, eEducation and eCommerce. It should make an important contribution to Switzerland’s digital transformation in the process.

Martel asked representatives of the initiative when we are likely to see a digital Identification (eID) system for citizens in Switzerland. The current estimate is June, 2021.

Swiss authorities are not alone in embracing digital management, Martel is among the partners in an European study entitled ‘Exploring Digital Government Transformation’ managed by the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) funded under the ELISE Action of the European Commission’s DIGIT ISA2 Programme, which aims at understanding how the digital transformation of government can transform policy making, service delivery, and governance systems.

Switzerland is Strong on Digital

In a related event, Martel’s CEO, Dr Monique Calisti took part in the National Conference on Digital Switzerland 2019, in Basel to work on projects mapped in an action plan and coordinated to shape the digital future of Switzerland.

Switzerland is positioning itself to play a leading role in digital transformation both at the national and international level. The first Swiss Global Digital Summit was held this week which aimed at seeking agreement on ethical guidelines to steer technological development. The process continues next year at WEF in Davos for The Swiss Digital Initiative, a long-term and sustainable process for safeguarding ethical standards in the digital world. In particular, it seeks to strengthen trust in digital technologies as well as in the actors involved in ongoing digital transformation.

Martel is proud to be a part of Swiss, European and global initiatives on digital transformation. Our expertise stems from the fact that are at work every day with, and for, digital innovators and we are ‘plugged in’ to the research and innovation community. At Martel, every day is a Digital Day!