Open, participatory and resilient. This is how we imagine the public sector. And this is what we strive for – through practice-oriented teaching, continuing education programmes and applied research.

Focus areas (subject-area groups)

Our formula for success:
• Globalisation with regional roots
• Strong bridges between different fields
• A multidisciplinary team with connections to the public and private sector and relevant communities

Our focus:
• Digital Democracy
• Data and Infrastructure
• Innovation

Data and Infrastructure

The Data and Infrastructure group focuses on the following fundamental questions:

  • How do we use data in a federated context?
  • How can we build and maintain a shared data infrastructure?
  • How do we minimise risks when handling data and enhance security and privacy?
  • How do we ensure that data gathered by businesses and organisations are used for the common good?

Our input:

At the political and legislative level, we are working to make open access to public sector data in Switzerland a reality. Appropriate measures must be used to tackle the big data-related challenges facing society. At the organisational level, we help our clients and partners understand the needs of their stakeholders and engineer solutions accordingly. At the semantic and technical level, we are helping organisations to provide data and information effectively, efficiently and in a format that is fit for purpose, to model ontologies and to break down barriers to interoperability.

Our focus:

Our scope includes public administrations, public-private partnerships, memory institutions, smart cities and health professions. We are particularly interested in the following topics:

  • Creating an appropriate legal and political framework
  • (Data) governance and data management in federated contexts
  • Requirements for shared data infrastructures
  • Developing data models and ontologies
  • Tracking of data provenance and data quality assurance
  • Identity and access management, including privacy concerns and security-related aspects
  • Information-based decision-making processes
  • Benefit evaluations

Digital Democracy

The Digital Democracy group focuses on the following fundamental questions:

  • What are the possibilities and challenges that arise from digitisation, and how can these be used to shape modern democracy?
  • How does digitisation affect the quality of democratic processes?
  • How can digital, data-based applications help citizens form opinions?
  • How can digital democracy help strengthen central processes and norms, such as governance, transparency and accountability?

Our input:

This group draws on foundational research to analyse the effects of digitisation on society and politics.

We also work with partners in applied research (e.g. public sector groups or NGOs) to develop and advance civic tech apps.

Our focus:

  • Researching (impact and quality assurance) online voting advice applications, such as smartvote
  • Developing new ways to include citizens in politics (participatory democracy)
  • Projects in the field of data-driven democracy
  • Monitoring and evaluation projects
  • Decision-making processes
  • Benefit evaluations


The Innovation group focuses on the following fundamental questions:

  • How does innovation occur in the public sector, and how can we protect associated processes of change?
  • How do public organisations initiate and lead digital transformation? What are the best instruments for this work?
  • How do authorities ensure that public information and digital services are accessible to all?
  • How do public organisations measure the impact and success of their digitisation projects?
  • What is the optimal user-centred design for concrete transformation projects?
  • How can participatory, experimental elements be introduced usefully in public service provision processes?

Our input:

This group studies innovation and the associated processes of change in the public sector. As we support these transformations, our key concerns are strategic leadership and design, with specific emphasis on e-inclusion, user-centricity and privacy.

We take an active stand to ensure that public organisations manage their digitisation and participation projects to benefit all individuals concerned.

Our focus:

We cover all forms of public administration and state-owned enterprises. We are particularly interested in the following topics:

  • Strategic planning, consulting and support
  • Creating an appropriate legal and political framework
  • Developing concepts in the areas of identity and access management, including privacy and e-inclusion
  • Information-based decision-making processes
  • Evaluating the benefits of digitisation projects
  • Requirements for user-centred design
  • Providing support for experiments and participatory measures