The negotiations began a year ago, the partnership agreement was signed in July, and it all comes together in 12 days’ time, when Switzerland steps out into the limelight as a dynamic and outstandingly creative CeBIT Partner Country intent on highlighting its role as a leading international driver of digitalization.
Switzerland is one of the world’s most innovative nations, with more patents per head of population than anywhere else in Europe and a stellar role among the global frontrunners of the digitalization trend. And on 14 March, it will step into the limelight and strut its stuff as a high-tech nation at the world’s leading showcase for the digital economy. "We and our partners at ICTswitzerland have been preparing for CeBIT for a long time, and now opening day is just around the corner. Switzerland will demonstrate its outstanding know-how and highly innovative solutions at CeBIT, providing a major boost for the digital industry and its user industries worldwide," commented Marius Felzmann, Deutsche Messe’s Senior Vice-President in charge of CeBIT.
"I believe that Germany and the rest of Europe stand to learn a great deal from Switzerland’s culture of innovation and fearless entrepreneurial spirit. Switzerland’s Partner Country showcase at CeBIT will also foster valuable dialogue between government policymakers and business leaders," said Felzmann.
The Swiss Partner Country showcase at this year’s CeBIT will feature more than 70 Swiss startups, established companies, universities and institutes of technology and occupy more than 1,700 square meters (18,300 sq. ft.) of exhibition space. The showcase will be "headquartered" at the central Swiss Pavilion in Hall 6, with numerous other prominent displays by Swiss firms staged under specific topic clusters at CeBIT.
Switzerland is sending its top government representative, President Johann Schneider-Ammann , to CeBIT. On the Monday afternoon, he and Germany’s Minister of Education and Research, Johanna Wanka , will jointly open the CeBIT Switzerland Summit.
On the Monday evening, Schneider-Ammann will address over 2,000 invited guests from all around the world at the new CeBIT Welcome Night in Hall 9. Other keynotes at the Welcome Night will be given by Germany’s Deputy Chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel , EU Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger , the Premier of the State of Lower Saxony, Stephan Weil , and the president of Germany’s Bitkom association, Thorsten Dirks . The evening’s closing address will be given by Nick Hayek , CEO of Switzerland’s Swatch Group.
On the CeBIT Tuesday, Schneider-Ammann will join the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, for a two-hour walkabout of CeBIT.
CeBIT 2016 puts the spotlight on the digital transformation of all industries, the Internet of Things , and security in a digitized economy. With its lead theme of " d!conomy: join - create - succeed ," it puts the focus squarely on people and their role as deciders and creators, positioning them right at the center of the processes that are driving the digital transformation. Felzmann: "Digitalization is no passing fad. In its many shapes and forms, including big data, cloud, mobile, social business and the Internet of Things, it is already transforming value chains across all sectors of the economy and, as such, presents major opportunities for businesses in every industry and market."
This year’s CeBIT will present over 400 real-world applications from the Internet of Things segment alone. They will be clustered into 20 intriguing, must-see displays under the "discover d!conomy" banner. Highlights here include the Airbus Cyber Defence Center showcase, where digital security experts will present realistic scenarios involving typical hacker exploits. The experts will also reveal how they detect, analyze and defend against cyberattacks.
At another of the showcases, Intel is partnering with MyOmega to present the latter’s TracVino system – a highly creative and imaginative IoT solution for winegrowers. Among much else, TracVino uses networked sensors to provide detailed monitoring and analysis of vineyard soil and climate conditions.
Then there’s the IBM showcase: IBM believes that conventional programmable computers will soon give way to cognitive systems – computers that can detect relationships and patterns in large amounts of unstructured data. IBM Watson is the best-known example of this new type of computing. It is a powerful tool that enables new partnerships between humans and computers.
Apart from several thousand product innovations, CeBIT 2016 will take a close look at new digital business models. The show as a whole will feature over 350 international startups, including more than 250 at the SCALE11 show in Hall 11. SCALE11 is Europe’s foremost platform for startups. Not that startups will be the only ones there: they will be joined by large, established corporations who are part of the startup ecosystem – companies like Germany’s rail transport company Deutsche Bahn AG and various banks affiliated with the Association of German Banks. Numerous other young digital enterprises will be running presentations at the central Partner Country Switzerland Pavilion in Hall 6.
This year, for the first time, CeBIT will feature a central hub dedicated to an emerging transport technology with a bright future – drones. Drone technology is spawning myriad new business models in a whole range of areas, including logistics, agriculture, government administration and private security contracting, to name but a few. CeBIT 2016 will pick up on this trend in grand style with " DRONEMASTERS Summit@CeBIT ," a joint production in hall 16 between Deutsche Messe and DRONEMASTERS, Berlin. Comprising an exhibition, a multi-day conference program and a flying arena, the Summit will revolve around drone-based business applications. The Summit will be complemented by several Swiss-made examples of applied drone technology at the central Partner Country Pavilion in Hall 6.
The CeBIT Global Conferences in Hall 8 are the absolute highlight of CeBIT’s conference program. More than 200 international speakers from business and politics will discuss the latest trends in the digital world as part of an action-packed program spanning four whole days. The Conferences kick off on the morning of CeBIT Monday with a high-level conference on progress toward the EU’s Digital Single Market that will feature EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger and various prominent political and business representatives. Other keynote speakers at the CeBIT Global Conferences include Konica Minolta President and CEO Shoei Yamana , Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg , and Allianz SE Managing Board Chairman Oliver Bäte .
From Switzerland, the Conferences will feature software development legend Niklaus Wirth, famous for inventing the programming language Pascal and being the only German-speaking computer scientist to have ever been honored with the Turing Award. Other speakers from Switzerland include Marc Bütikofer , CTO and Director Innovation at the Zurich-based firm Airlock, Johann Gevers , Founder and CEO of Monetas, Zug, and Christoph Wartmann , Founder and CEO of Nexiot AG, Zurich. One of the big highlights, of course, will be a presentation by Phil Zimmermann – the creator of Pretty Good Privacy (PGB) as the most widely used e-mail encryption software in the world. His company Silent Circle, established in 2012, is headquartered in Geneva.
Day five of the CeBIT Global Conferences is given over to Rock the Blog , a global forum by, for and about blogging professionals.