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Industry Orientation 2021

This year’s Industry Orientation took place in a face-to-face event on 4 November 2021 in the multi-purpose hall of the barracks at Bern. The event aroused great interest – around 220 participants from industry, politics and government as well as the Armed Forces gathered in Bern. During the morning, the focus was on industry orientation. The afternoon was rounded off by the Swiss Society for Technology and the Armed Forces (STA).

10.11.2021 | Lucas Ballerstedt, specialist area Communications, competence sector Resources and Support

This year’s Industry Orientation focused on the topics of the security of the future and innovations.  The event included presentations from the National Armaments Director Martin Sonderegger, Chief of the Armed Forces Thomas Süssli and the Head of Science and Technology armasuisse, Thomas Rothacher. It enabled an exciting insight into current projects and future challenges. The Industry Orientation was moderated by Jacqueline Stampfli, Deputy Head of Communications at armasuisse.

Security of the future

In his opening address, National Armaments Director Martin Sonderegger discussed current priorities and presented the DDPS Armament and Real Estate Programme of the 2021 Army Message. He also addressed the Air2030 programme. The National Armaments Director presented an overview of the current status of the fighter jet procurement and the comprehensive evaluation process. In addition, offset business was dealt with and an overview of the 2022 Army Message provided.

Innovation crucial for security

The Chief of the Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Thomas Süssli, then spoke about the current threats and the respective approaches of the Swiss Armed Forces. The current risks are often based on technological innovations which have been observed for some time in a non-military environment. In particular, cyber risks have gained significantly in importance. He also explained the widening gap between the procurement cycles and the disproportionately fast-growing innovation cycles and illustrated how the Swiss Armed Forces wants to counteract this with its innovation system.

Technological innovations thanks to expertise

By way of transition, Dr. Thomas Rothacher, Head of Science and Technology at armasuisse, also mentioned the increasingly rapid growth of innovations. Here, he presented the role of Switzerland as one of the leading innovative nations. Current innovation projects concluded the presentation. The focus was on the Cyber Defence Campus (CYD) and the Swiss Drone and Robotics Centre SDRC DDPS. The cooperation with the Swiss Society for Technology and the Armed Forces (STA) and the resulting “STA Challenge” was also explained in more depth to those present. The presentation was concluded with a quote from Viola Amherd, Head of the DDPS:  “Move forward, make a difference – and shape the future ”