Advisor, trainer and keynote speaker in digital trust, cybersecurity and emerging technologies, Lennig Pedron co-founded the international NGO ICON. Lennig is also Head of the Digital Trust and Cybersecurity Programme for the EPFL Innovation Park Foundation in Lausanne and Director of the Trust Valley, the centre of expertise on digital trust and cybersecurity based in Western Switzerland.
Lennig Pedron (Trust Valley): « Switzerland and the Lake Geneva region are ideally positioned to set the milestones for « digital trust » at the international level.
SwissFinance.Tech: Can you explain us briefly what the Trust Valley is all about, and who are the stakeholders?
Lennig Pedron: The Trust Valley is a public-private partnership aimed at promoting the excellence of the Lake Geneva region in the field of digital trust and cybersecurity. Public authorities, academic institutions and economic players are joining forces to promote this unique centre of expertise and encourage the emergence of innovative projects. The Trust Valley federate the various stakeholders (academics, institutes, large companies, SMEs and start-ups, NGOs, etc.). It has been initiated and supported by the Cantons of Vaud and Geneva, EPFL, HEIG-VD, HES-SO Geneva, IHEID, UNIGE, UNIL, ELCA, GCSP, Kudelski, SGS, SICPA and Wisekey.
SFT: How does the Trust Valley differ from other associations such as Cryptovalley or Swiss Fintech Innovation for example, or others?
LP: The Trust Valley differ from other associations about the focus on digital trust and cybersecurity. In another hand, it is also a public-private partnership. Then, as the foundation, the topic is larger, including blockchain and fintech and only related to trust and cybersecurity at the bottom of the pyramid. These initiatives are therefore complementary and need each other to grow well. That is why we partner, for example, with the Crypto Valley, with whom we made our first common event in November 2020.
SFT: What is the Trust Valley philosophy in terms of collaboration with other associations in Switzerland or abroad?
LP: The cooperation will focus on three main missions: to promote the region’s skills cluster, to network the players in the field and to encourage the development of innovative projects. We are stronger together. This is the reason why we network with other initiatives such as the CyberPeace Institute, the Center for Digital Trust at EPFL or the Crypto Valley as mentioned above. Our structural organization allows us to work together according to these six established missions:
Referencing by mapping the key players in the Leman Lake region to enhance regional expertise);
Promotion by expanding our skills base to attract new strategic players);
Networking by federating the various stakeholders;
Projects by developing different support programmes with partners;
Talents by ensuring the presence of talent from Switzerland and abroad;
Hubs by developing the complementarity of accommodation centres.
SFT: What are the emerging trends 2021-2022 in the Trust ecosystem? Why can Switzerland become a privileged location for cybersecurity companies.
LP: Thanks to its tradition of neutrality and its know-how recognized by many international institutions, Switzerland and the Lake Geneva region are ideally positioned to set the milestones for «digital trust» at the international level. Promoting innovation and bringing together know-how and expertise in fields as varied as data protection, blockchain, artificial intelligence, digital investigation and criminology. But also, all the means enabling standardization and certification, authentication of persons and objects, data preservation or governance. These are all assets that the region has at its disposal to offer international digital governance on the one hand, and to generate economic added value and attract talent on the other. We are fortunate that the Swiss political system is very stable and makes this country an ideal place for the Trust Valley initiative.