Research and Teaching Capabilities in Switzerland

Prof. Bernhard M. Hämmerli
Prof. Bernhard M. Hämmerli is a Swiss computer scientist in the fields of communications, networks and information security, and critical infrastructure protection. He is internationally active as a professor at both the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Norwegian University of Science and Technology NTNU. He has led the topical platform Cyber Security at SATW since 2012 and the Cyber Security priority programme since 2015.

SATW has published an overview of Swiss research activities in the field of cyber security. Discover the background in an interview with Bernhard Hämmerli.

Mr Hämmerli, why was this research overview created? 
Research in Switzerland is essentially directed by the researchers’ own initiative: they propose topics for research and then offer research contributions on said topics at conferences and in scientific papers. There has never been a comprehensive overview of research activities in Switzerland. We also lack a focus on potential priority areas which are important for Switzerland or will be so in the future.
The research overview represents a first step in this direction.
It was initiated and supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS). SATW has reworked it for interested members of the public and is now publishing it.

What do you see as the greatest benefits of the research overview? 
It demonstrates the variety and large amount of activity in Switzerland relating to cyber security. Tangible benefits for Switzerland are currently still limited , but a coordinated approach and community building could produce a significantly greater effect. Further more detailed and formal work is expected to follow.

Which stakeholders in the field of cyber security will benefit from this research overview?
Essentially all stakeholders, as this is the first catalogue of its kind. It will enable us to improve our networking, stimulate new ideas and develop a Swiss security spirit.

What personal insights have you gained from this research overview? 
In Switzerland we have a large number of fantastic experts in the field of cyber security. For example, start-up companies such as ublox or qnective show how capable we in Switzerland are of achieving high levels of success. We want to highlight and stimulate this potential to boost the industry. Switzerland has the required conditions of an outstanding high-level education.

What would you like to see in future editions of the research overview?
Greater detail, and full cooperation from those who have not currently shown a particular interest. The information in the first edition is based on self-declarations. Serious assessment by second and third parties of the skills and the projects being promoted would improve the research overview. It should also display more pure Swissness.

You are responsible for SATW’s Cyber Security priority programme: what is its aim? 
There are four general goals: 1. Cyber security attracts national attention and financial investment is fostered / supported. 2. The collaboration among research and development is facilitated. 3. New expert networks are formed. 4. SATW’s efforts in the field of cyber security are perceived and appreciated in Switzerland.
Cyber security has hidden dangers which are often underestimated and are not addressed for financial reasons. The resulting damage is huge – the WEF estimates a global total of CHF 5 billion per year – and cannot be reversed once it has occurred. We are advocating timely action.

Cyber Security – Research Capabilities in Switzerland