Berne, March 3, 2021 – The Swiss Blockchain Federation formally launches the NTN Innovation Booster – Blockchain Nation Switzerland, a four-year program co-funded by Innosuisse, the Swiss Innovation Agency. The initiative systematically and sustainably drives blockchain innovation in Switzerland, presenting a unique opportunity to incorporate startups and create new jobs. One of the goals of this Innovation Booster is to connect larger firms and incumbent blockchain companies with startups and researchers to develop promising prototypes and business models. The Swiss Blockchain Federation, which serves as the leading house of this Project, is calling on individuals, startups, companies, universities, and other institutions to regularly visit the website and actively contribute to the generation of novel ideas relating to blockchain technology.
In its approach to work closely with several consortiums partners in realizing such a groundbreaking program, the Swiss Blockchain Federation emphasizes an inclusive innovation process and pursues an open-source culture. Heinz Tännler, President of the Swiss Blockchain Federation and Government Councillor of the Canton of Zug, is quoted as follows: “As a pioneering nation in Blockchain technology, we have a responsibility to embrace a broad range of diversity criteria. The Swiss Blockchain Federation already looks forward to reviewing the project proposals of many talented women and men from every region of Switzerland.”
Consortium Funded by Innosuisse
The Swiss Blockchain Federation is partnering with five consortium partners from the blockchain industry and academia in implementing the NTN Innovation Booster – Blockchain Nation Switzerland:
- The Lucerne School of Computer Science and Information Technology at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Lucerne (HSLU) is the first of its kind at a Swiss university of applied sciences. On its new Zug-Rotkreuz Campus, some 900 Bachelor’s and Master’s students as well as 1,200 participants in continuing and executive education programs benefit from its varied services and programs.
- The Institute of Information Systems and Networking at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) – Department of innovative Technologies - carries out teaching and applied research activities in the information and communication technology domain. It is an ICT research institute with a strong expertise in applied computer science as well as data and network science.
- CV VC AG is an early-stage venture capital investor with a focus on startups that build on Blockchain technology. In addition to the venture capital investments, the company operates an own incubator and ecosystem business under the CV Labs brand, consisting of co-working spaces, advisory and events.
- CV Labs offers startups and entrepreneurs two primary services, the CV Labs Incubator and CV Labs Coworking space.
- Trust Square AG provides a space for innovative ideas to flourish. With disruptive technologies as the common denominator, Trust Square connects entrepreneurs, early-stage ventures, businesses, investors and academics and allows them to pursue their visions in an open, versatile and diverse environment. In 2019, Trust Square organized the biggest Blockchain Hackathon (#SBHACK19) in Switzerland.
SBF Innovation Cycle
The NTN Innovation Booster – Blockchain Nation Switzerland has developed a methodology, the so-called SBF Innovation Cycle. This process is structured across four stages:
1) Ideation: As a first stage, the NTN Innovation Booster – Blockchain Nation Switzerland will soon manage a virtual platform where challenges and calls for proposals are shared. Innovators can then submit and describe their project ideas, allowing for a transparent and collaborative ideation process.
2) Hackathon: The next component involves a hackathon, where initial ideas are further developed into prototypes or more fledged-out business models. In all likelihood, this hackathon will be conducted in a hybrid format, allowing for both virtual and physical contributions. More details will be announced in due course.
3) Corporate Acceleration & Events: Central to the NTN Innovation Booster – Blockchain Nation Switzerland lies the notion of connecting corporates with innovators. This stage of the SBF Innovation Cycle focuses on helping Swiss companies identify and find solutions to areas where blockchain technology might be applied.
4) Incubation: To ensure the transition from vague project idea into an incorporated startup, the venture capital investor CV VC will accept several select projects per year into their well-established incubation program.
Call for Participation
Each of the four stages of the SBF Innovation Cycle offers financial incentives and methodological support to participants. The Swiss Blockchain Federation is calling on startups, students, innovators, and anyone else with an interest in blockchain technology to visit the website of this NTN Innovation Booster. Several ideation challenges and the application for the annual hackathon will open there in the coming weeks.
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Blockchain Nation Switzerland
Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) represents a revolutionary and disruptive approach to the modern economy and offers seemingly endless possibilities in terms of application. Switzerland was early to recognize this potential and has established itself as one of the most attractive locations for the blockchain industry. In 2021, the Swiss government has already enacted legislation to provide one of the most innovation friendly DLT laws worldwide.
The NTN Innovation Booster – Blockchain Nation Switzerland builds on this euphoric mood to enable meaningful technological progress. As the so-called Crypto Valley has gradually grown from its original epicenter in Zug to other places in Switzerland and even beyond, this program is combining existing initiatives with organizations and individuals who are interested in becoming involved with blockchain technology. Consistent with its nationwide efforts in recent years, the Swiss Blockchain Federation is now entering a new dimension by actively promoting innovations
Swiss Blockchain Federation
The Swiss Blockchain Federation is the official umbrella organization for the blockchain industry in Switzerland. It is set up as a public–private partnership, combining agents from the blockchain sector, the fields of politics and economics, the scientific community, and the public sphere. Besides dedicating its efforts towards advancing the regulatory framework conditions for blockchain technology in Switzerland, the Swiss Blockchain Federation is now entering the promotion of innovations with its NTN Innovation Booster – Blockchain Nation Switzerland.
Innosuisse is the Swiss Innovation Agency. Its mission is to promote science-based innovation in the interests of industry and society in Switzerland. It has approved twelve NTN Innovation Boosters starting in 2021 and focusing on a broad range of different topics.