This story is from the category Innovation 

A marketplace for digital solutions

The Community Service Hub is part of SWITCH’s vision for the collective design and distribution of digital services in the world of higher education. At the SWITCH ICT Focus conference, participants got an insight into the current status of the innovation project.

Text: Sebastian Sigloch, published on 04.12.2017

Today, Swiss universities can access an almost unmanageable number of digital services to assist in their daily work. These services are organised independently of each other and the solutions are distributed across the entire Swiss higher education landscape. This is where the concept of the Community Service Hub comes in. Together with the community, SWITCH is developing a platform for the exchange and distribution of IT services in the academic sector, with the aim of benefiting the entire Swiss teaching and research community.

Pilot project as fundamental building block

"We’re stronger together": This was SWITCH’s motto when it launched the Community Service Hub concept at the end of 2016. It is continuing to refine the idea through the currently active proof of concept. Thanks to the committed support of participating universities, SWITCH has been able to create possible business models for the Community Service Hub and test their feasibility. This procedure ensures that universities’ key needs can be fulfilled in a sustainable manner.

The following organisations are taking part in the pilot project as solution providers: 

  • ETH Lausanne – Scientific IT and Application Support (EPFL SCITAS)
  • University of Basel – Digital Humanities Lab (DaSCH)
  • ETH Zurich – Scientific IT Services (SIS)
  • University of Applied Sciences Rapperswil – geodata4edu.ch
  • Università della Svizzera italiana – (USI)
  • University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland – (SUPSI)
  • Swiss Institute for Bioinformatics – (Vital IT)
  • SoftwareONE
  • SWITCH

Taking part in the project as solution consumers are:

  • École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne – (EPFL)
  • Zurich University of Applied Sciences – (ZHAW)
  • Università della Svizzera italiana – (USI)
  • University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland – (SUPSI)


SWITCH as quality assurer

SWITCH serves as a hub for the collection and exchange of IT services between higher education institutions and the various solution providers, and performs quality assurance for the community. It provides transparency regarding the digital services available and makes them accessible to the largest possible community of users. Enabling end users to use digital solutions securely and conveniently leads to significant economies of scale and increases in efficiency, which ultimately benefit the whole community. True to its motto, SWITCH works with its partners for greater capability, convenience and security in the digital world. 

About the author
Sebastian   Sigloch

Sebastian Sigloch

Sebastian Sigloch joined SWITCH in February 2015 as Innovation & Business Development Manager. He concluded a Doctor of Philosophy research on Internet Economics in Cambridge and graduated in Business Development at École Superieure de Commerce in Clermont-Ferrand and Business Information Technology at Reutlingen University.

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