The digital-liechtenstein location initiative brings together representatives from business, government and science and creates access to relevant networks that facilitate digital transformation. More than 40 companies and organizations from Liechtenstein have now joined forces to promote digital revolution.

The aim of the initiative is to increase Liechtenstein’s attractiveness as a business location, to recognize the opportunities and risks of digitization, and to involve the population in the digital age. This is now being supported for the second time by the Digital Summit event, which will take place on 25 September 2019 in Vaduz. Already last year, relevant digital topics were discussed and top-class speakers from top companies were invited. This year’s event is all about “Opportunities and Risks of Artificial Intelligence”.

Top-class speakers such as brain researcher and Starmind founder Pascal Kaufmann, Member of the Executive Board of Microsoft Switzerland Marc Holitscher, Netcetera CEO Andrej Vckovski and Liechtenstein’s Deputy Head of Government and Minister of Economic Affairs Daniel Risch will demonstrate how artificial intelligence will fundamentally change the economy and highlight the opportunities and risks for Switzerland and Liechtenstein as a business location. The Digital Summit will be moderated by Sunnie Groeneveld. The breakout sessions with the companies and organizations Microsoft, Netcetera, Co Agency, the University of Liechtenstein and the University of Applied Sciences Buchs (NTB) will be an integral part of the conference.

Patrick Stahl, co-initiator of the location initiative digital-liechtenstein.li, talks in this interview about the challenges in Liechtenstein and what goals and projects are planned.

Ramona: Hello Patrick, thank you so much for taking the time for an interview with us. Digitization is becoming increasingly relevant for companies as well as private individuals. What do you think is important to keep up with digitisation as a company?

Patrick: Liechtenstein as a business location is fundamentally very well positioned for the future. In order to maintain and possibly even expand the existing advantages of the location, companies must set the course for new technologies and new applications at an early stage. The location initiative digital-liechtenstein.li has set itself the goal of strengthening awareness of digital change and facilitating the exchange of experience among its members. 

Ramona: digital-liechtenstein.li is hosting the Digital Summit for the second time. How did the idea for such an event develop?

Patrick: The Digital Summit is one of the flagships of the initiative and is aimed at leaders and interested parties from business, science, and politics across all industries. The digital conference offers all visitors the latest knowledge, trends and innovations in digital transformation and digital future developments.

Ramona: Last year the event was a complete success and numerous speakers, as well as visitors, visited the Vaduz Hall. What conclusions could you draw from last year?

Patrick: We were delighted to welcome around 400 visitors to the premiere. The keynote speeches by ETH Rector Lino Guzzella and futurologist Karin Frick impressively demonstrated how digital change will accelerate and how small states like Switzerland and Liechtenstein will have to deal with the changes at an early stage in order to not lose touch with digitization.

Ramona: As a driving force in the digitization of Liechtenstein, you are a member of the digital Liechtenstein location initiative. This initiative is working on digital innovation and networking for Liechtenstein. What other goals are being pursued by the digital Liechtenstein location initiative?

Patrick: The core board of the initiative handed over the digital roadmap at Vaduz Castle to the Liechtenstein government in May 2019. The strategy paper was drawn up in a process lasting several months together with all 40 members of the initiative and shows the fields of action, particularly from the perspective of the economy, so that Liechtenstein will be one of the most modern states in terms of digitization by 2025. The digital roadmap is now to be implemented step by step in dialogue with politicians and the population, and further developed on an ongoing basis.

Ramona: Are there concrete plans for implementation?

Patrick: We are currently in discussions with potential partners in order to initiate the first projects. Our goal is to be able to launch the first lighthouse projects for Liechtenstein as a business location before the end of this year.

Ramona: How citizens of Liechtenstein become part in the digital sector? Are there any projects at digital-liechtenstein in which you can participate?

Patrick: The entire population is invited to the Digital Day at the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein in Vaduz on 3 September 2019. The Digital Day aims to show how society, the economy, work and private life are changing as a result of new technological possibilities. Vaduz is the official location of the Swiss Digital Day, which takes place simultaneously in several cities and that are connected to each other. This year’s high-caliber event is dedicated entirely to the topic of “Smart Country Liechtenstein” and focuses on the economy, education, transport, tourism, and culture. The activities make digitization tangible: Visitors can expect exciting presentations, roundtable discussions, drone shows, interactive city tours and a World Café to join in. All activities and platforms are accessible free of charge.

Ramona: What other measures are planned for Liechtenstein?

Patrick: Since the launch of the initiative in autumn 2017, we have implemented a large number of measures and activities and are constantly developing new projects. These include, for example, regular workshop events to exchange experiences, a newsletter with technical articles in the field of digital transformation, and numerous other steps. These include the Innovation Day, which took place for the first time in June 2019 at Hilti AG and links selected startups with the members of digital-liechtenstein.li. The aim of this exchange is for our member companies to get to know concrete solutions and innovations from startups at first hand.

Ramona: In your opinion, what challenges will Liechtenstein experience and why?

Patrick: Digitization is a continuous process that cannot be stopped and potentially will change our lives even more than it has happened so far. We therefore face the great challenge of critically examining the opportunities and risks of digitization and drawing the right conclusions so that Liechtenstein does not miss the chance.

Ramona: Thank you very much for your time!

Patrick: Thank you very much for your interest!

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