Davos: The Swiss role in the fourth industrial revolution

30 January 2020

Last week all eyes were on Davos, with Donald Trump, Greta Thunberg, green technology and sustainability all at the forefront of the news. But during the World Economic Forum last week, the Swiss hosts also made it their mission to highlight what Switzerland offers the world by way of emerging technology through the Swiss Global Enterprise (S-GE).

Following the Swiss tech delegation and Ambassador, Alexandre Fasel, attending ‘the Davos of Motorsport’, RACE TECH’s World Motorsport Symposium,  in December, RACE TECH was invited to attend the Digital Manufacturing in Switzerland forum to hear about the growing Swiss tech valley.

Impressive speakers included Collins Aerospace, Executive Director, Laura Holmes, ABB Switzerland Managing Director,  Robert Itschner, CEO of Cyverse AG, Shira Kaplan, Oracle Industries’ Global Vice President, Eric Prevost and Simon Wyss Fedele, CEO Switzerland Global Enterprise.

During the morning panel session, the bosses of formula-e sponsor ABB, Collins Aerospace, Cyverse cyber security and Oracle gave their insightful views on how the fourth industrial revolution is playing out for them in Switzerland. Many of the obstacles facing these companies were in the automation of their workforce and all concluded that educating the current middle-aged generation on how to adapt is a much tougher challenge than educating the next sustainably conscious or so-called ‘woke’ generation, who are less concerned about ‘what they do’ for a living but more interested in ‘why they do’ it for a living.

On a more technical note, Shira Kaplan the founder of Cyverse, gave a compelling number of accounts on why before an engineering or technology firm even thinks about embarking on a new project they must look at how exposed they are from the all too familiar cyber attacks.  This is due to many of our projects being stored in the ‘cloud’ these days and no longer held on a hard drive under the desk of the Managing Director.

What is clear is that in Switzerland and across the world data is playing a big part of the fourth industrial revolution, and just as motorsport technology lead to road cars adopting the seat belt, the ‘virtual safety’ of data in new technology including autonomous cars will also need to be protected, to avoid a serious incidents in a Roborace or road car.

We will of course be reporting further on these companies and emerging technology in RACE TECH in the coming issues and if you wish to explore partnerships with emerging tech firms then join our Tech Talks on the  RACE TECH World Motorsport Symposium LinkedIn Group and start your conversation today!

Adrian Goodsell is the Managing Director of Kimberley Media Group



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