About us → Foundation

Together to leading edge results in a globally competitive environment

SWITCH stands for greater capability, convenience and security in the digital world. Based on our core competencies in networks, security and identity management, SWITCH offers collaboratively developed ICT solutions that empower users in and beyond the academic world to achieve leading edge results in a globally competitive environment.

SWITCH can look back on an eventful history that is inextricably linked to the rapid growth of information and communications technology (ICT) since the 1990s.

SWITCH at a glance
  • SWITCH develops and refines ICT solutions primarily for the academic community, but it also serves clients in other fields.
  • SWITCH sets itself apart through an approach in which services are created in partnership with the community.
  • SWITCH’s core competencies are in networks, security and identity management. Its services are coordinated with and complementary to each other.
  • SWITCH plays an active part in international research networks as well as various technological initiatives and projects.
  • SWITCH brought the Internet to Switzerland and is still responsible for the registry of domain names ending in .ch and .li, which are considered to be among the most secure in the world. It is represented worldwide in the leading Internet organisations.
  • SWITCH supports Swiss businesses in the fight against cybercrime.
  • SWITCH is a foundation under private law with around 100 staff.
Formed in 1987

The federal parliament approved a funding programme in 1985 to encourage computerisation and networking among Swiss education and research institutions. Some CHF 15 million of the money was set aside for creating teleinformatics services for teaching and research. Aided by this funding programme, the Confederation joined forces with the eight cantons that had universities at the time to form the foundation SWITCH – Teleinformatics services for teaching and research in 1987.

The purpose of the foundation

The foundation's purpose was set out as follows in the Foundation Deed: "The foundation has as its objective to create, promote and offer the necessary basis for the effective use of modern methods of telecomputing in teaching and research in Switzerland, to be involved in and to support such methods. It is a non-profit foundation that does not pursue commercial aims."

These days, SWITCH sees itself as a neutral technology and service platform for the Swiss universities that coordinates and performs special tasks in the following ICT fields: security, identity, networks, Internet, software procurement, cloud services, e-learning and video management. Its services are designed and developed in close collaboration with the universities.


SWITCH is guided by the values of solidarity and subsidiarity. Solidarity means that SWITCH offers identical terms throughout Switzerland. Subsidiarity means that SWITCH only takes on tasks within the academic community that individual universities are unable or unwilling to perform themselves and where providing shared services makes sense.


2015: Lifelong academic identity Swiss edu-ID goes live; SWITCHengines and SWITCHdrive infrastructure services launched; staggered handover of registrar operations to partners (registrars) begins

2014  CERN joins AAI federation; Swiss academic network bandwidth increases to 100 Gbps; SWITCH among founding members of Swiss Internet Security Alliance SISA

2013  SWITCH receives Best of Swiss Web Honorary Award for its services to Internet development and the ICT industry; 1.9 million domain names; Swiss parliament chooses SWITCH know-how

2009  Subsidiary switchplus incorporated

2008  AAI project completed, AAA/SWITCH launched

2002  SWITCHlambda: significant expansion thanks to Swiss Federal Railways' fibre-optics

2000  Services rolled out to universities of applied sciences and teacher education

1991  SWITCH-CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) formed

1990  SWITCH becomes Switzerland's first Internet service provider

1988  University network SWITCHlan created with maximum bandwidth of 128 Kbps, bringing the Internet to Switzerland

1987  SWITCH foundation formed






SWITCH stories