SWITCH is transforming


The 2021 financial year was characterised by renewals. Tom Kleiber took over as SWITCH’s new Managing Director, initiating the foundation’s transformation. The goal: to create an environment in which we are able to best respond to rapidly changing customer needs. 

Tom Kleiber took over the management of SWITCH on 1 January 2021. SWITCH has set out with new momentum to jointly shape the digital future of Switzerland together with the education, research and innovation community.

Rethinking and shaping the future

We live in a world that is changing faster than ever. Future developments are becoming increasingly difficult to predict. We need to evolve with our customers to meet their changing needs. From 2022, we will be sharing our transformation experiences at SWITCH through regular posts on the transformation blog.

As part of this transformation, SWITCH will be putting an even greater focus on customer needs and market requirements. In order to do so, we have given the management board a broader basis and added the new business areas of community management and community solutions. HR development and finance will also be represented in the leadership team. Our clientele will enjoy more professional and personal alignment and relationship thanks to this new direction.


Our communities benefited from significant developments in the 2021 financial year. The blueprint for a Community Security Operation Centre (C-SOC) was developed in co-creation with the university community. It will be set out in further detail and implemented together with five initial customers in 2022. With this development, we believe that universities will receive another central service component for cyber security, which we can best support from the current centre of excellence for cyber security. The centre of excellence is recognised both nationally and internationally.

The successful SCION-at-ETH-Domain (SCI-ED) project allowed us to prove that the new SCION architecture developed at ETH Zurich works in real use cases and can offer added value. Based on the project, SWITCH developed a range of SCION services which are available to all universities in addition to the SWITCHlan connection. As more and more internet service providers are providing SCION services, it is increasingly possible to implement cross-ISP solutions that fully utilise the security potential of this new internetworking architecture. 

Digital identities

The migration of Swiss universities from SWITCHaai to the universal login SWITCH edu-ID continued in 2021. This is clearly reflected in the growth of SWITCH edu-ID accounts. In the current year, the number has almost doubled from 360,000 to over 630,000.

After the Swiss electorate clearly rejected a privately run e-ID in the spring, the federal government drafted a target vision and designed a participatory process for a new solution. We are pleased that SWITCH is able to participate in shaping this project, which is very relevant for Switzerland, and bring its many years of expertise in the field of digital identities to the attention of the specialist scene. 

Open research data

Open research data is key for education, research and innovation. SWITCH also contributed to the systematic linking of current ORD infrastructures and ORD services in 2021. We expanded the connectome research infrastructure together with nine partnerships in the university community. The aim of this infrastructure is to make open data that is readily available easier to find for future use in interdisciplinary research. We have continued with the first use cases. We also joined the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Association.

Outlook for 2022

SWITCH will continue to push ahead with its transformation and implementation of the strategy. Among other things, this includes continuous networking with our communities, further product management professionalisation and an adapted market presence. In particular, we will strengthen our commitment to research and establish new partnerships. The focus here is not just on shared computing infrastructures. The research community will also benefit more from services that make their day-to-day work easier.

Our skilled and committed employees are at the heart of all of this. Only with them can we play a relevant role in helping to shape our digital world to the advantage of our beneficiaries. Thank you all for an extraordinary year.


MicrosoftTeams-image                        Tom Unterschrift                          

Peter Kofmel                                               Tom Kleiber
Chairman of the Foundation Council            Managing Director