Digital Innovation Hubs

DIH Profile

Swiss Smart Factory (SSF)

Hub Information

Hub Name
Swiss Smart Factory (SSF)
Local Name
Swiss Smart Factory (SSF)
Evolutionary Stage
Fully operational
Geographical Scope


The Swiss Smart Factory (SSF) has been created in May 2017 as the first Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) for the technology transfer related to "Industry 4.0" in Switzerland. SSF acts as a regional
multiplier and facilitator for digital innovations. It supports technology development and transfer from the first idea to the market introduction. Special focus is set on supporting SMEs and start-ups
with the uptake and introduction of ICT innovation - both the technology and business perspective:

  • Digital innovation for service providers
  • Digital innovation for equipment providers
  • Digital manufacturing solutions for end-users

Die Swiss Smart Factory (SSF) wurde im Mai 2017 als erster Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) für den Technologietransfer von "Industrie 4.0" in der Schweiz gegründet. Die SSF fungiert als regionaler
Multiplikator für digitale Innovationen. Sie unterstützt die Technologieentwicklung und den Transfer von der ersten Idee bis zur Markteinführung. Ein besonderer Schwerpunkt liegt auf der Unterstützung von KMU und Start-ups bei der Einführung und Einführung von IKT-Innovationen - sowohl aus technologischer als auch aus unternehmerischer Sicht:

  • Digitale Innovation für Dienstleister
  • Digitale Innovation für Technologieanbieter
  • Digitale Fertigungslösungen für produzierende Unternehmen

Contact Data

Coordinator (Research & Technology organization)
Switzerland Innovation Park Biel/Bienne AG (SIP BB)
Year Established
Aarbergstrasse 46, 2503, Biel (Switzerland)
Social Media
Contact information
Dominic Gorecky


Organizational form
Public Private Partnership
Number of employees


  • Micro/nano electronics
  • Sensory systems
  • Screens and display technologies
  • Cyber physical systems
  • Robotics
  • Internet of things
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Mobility & Location based technologies
  • Interaction technologies
  • Cyber security
  • Advanced, or high performance computing
  • Big data, data analytics, data handling
  • Virtual, augmented and extended reality
  • Simulation, modelling and digital twins
  • Gamification
  • Software as a service and service architectures
  • Cloud computing
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Laser based manufacturing
  • Logistics

SSF has been set-up by the Bern Economic Development Agency (BEDA) under the federal and cantonal New Regional Policy (NRP) instrument as a regional activity with national impact.

SSF operates under the cantonal policy “Industry 4.0 Strategy – Canton Bern” (Contract for 2017 - 2021 between Swiss Innovation Park Biel/Bienne and Ministry of Economics of the Canton of Berne, dated 1 February 2017, paragraph 2: Operation of Swiss Smart Factory)

SSF is active member of the national Swiss digitalisation initiative "Industrie 2025" (

On a national level, SSF is participating in the “Innosuisse” (Swiss Innovation Agency) innovation program for SMEs.

On international level, SSF is participating on the H2020 program. Special focus is set on the ICT Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs (I4MS) and Factories of the Future (FoF) initiatives.

Market and Services


  • Agriculture and food
  • Transport and logistics
  • Education
  • Manufacture of food products, beverages and tobacco
  • Manufacture of textiles and textile products
  • Manufacture of coke, refined petroleum products and nuclear fuel
  • Manufacture of chemicals, chemical products and man-made fibres
  • Manufacture of basic metals and fabricated metal products
  • Manufacture of machinery and equipment
  • Manufacture of electrical and optical equipment
  • Manufacture of transport equipment

TRL Focus

  • TRL5 - Component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment
  • TRL6 - System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment
  • TRL7 - System prototype demonstration in an operational environment
  • TRL8 - Actual system completed and qualified through test and demonstration
  • TRL9 - Actual system proven through successful mission operations

Services provided

  • Awareness creation
  • Ecosystem building, scouting, brokerage, networking
  • Visioning and Strategy Development for Businesses
  • Collaborative Research
  • Concept validation and prototyping
  • Testing and validation
  • Pre-competitive series production
  • Digital Maturity Assessment
  • Incubator/accelerator support
  • Voice of the customer, product consortia
  • Market intelligence
  • Access to Funding and Investor Readiness Services
  • Mentoring
  • Education and skills development

Service Examples

Cluster project “SME Digital Roadmap”

Together with the Chamber of Commerce Biel-Seeland (WIBS) a practical programme has been developed for regional companies in order to provide them with active support during the digital transformation. The “SME Digital Roadmap” focuses on a well-founded approach oriented towards SMEs, accompanying them through the stages from their decision where to locate, through the generation of ideas and the definition of a practical digital business model to planning of the implementation.

The procedure consists of four stages with different modules. The training courses can be booked individually or as a complete package. The “SME Digital Roadmap” is the first programme to go beyond simply raising awareness: SMEs develop their own practical digital business model based on which they can lay the foundation for longterm future success.

Client profile

SMEs (mainly manufacturing SMEs or SME solution providers) that require support to define, validate and set in practise a roadmap for new digital business model  

Client needs

Guidance related to:

  • state-of-art of digital technologies
  • maturity assessment for digital technologies and digitalized processes
  • digital business models (service, platforms, etc)
  • Change management
  • Socio-technical integration approaches

Provided solution to meet the needs

  • Digital health check / maturity assessment
  • Digital nightmare method
  • Idea development for digital innovation
  • Business model innovation for digital innovation
  • Market test for digital innovation
  • Support for the realisation of digital innovation

SSF Cluster project “Cobotic IoT""

Custer-Project coordinated, built and demonstrated by SSF.
Development of an advanced workplace for assembly of microparts using and showcasing new ICT technologies. A copy of the system was showcased at the Hannover Messe 2017 and sold to customers as an advanced manufacturing solution.

Cobotics, AR-Assistance, Speech Assistance, Modular ERP, Indoor-GPS, Context Awareness


  • ACube: Indoor GPS, user authentication
  • Abas: Integrated ERP, language assistant
  • BFH: Advanced programming approaches for cobotics
  • Fanuc: Automation, robotics
  • Schunk: Collaborative gripper
  • Minitec Smart Solutions: AR/VR assisted assembly

Client profile

Startups, SMEs and large companies (all technology solution providers) that needs to test, validate and promote their new digital products and services in a open test environment.  

Client needs

  • Technology mapping
  • Overall test and demonstration concept
  • System integration
  • System tests and validation
  • Definition and updating of a joint development roadmap
  • Demonstration and promotion of the joint test and demo setup

Provided solution to meet the needs

SSF acts as an open test and demonstration lab. It coordinates the individual clients needs and brings them together in a joint test and demonstration setup for advanced technologies. Learnings are shared in the cluster of technology providers. Together the demonstrator is showcased in the test and demo lab, but also promoted at public events, such as the Hannover Messe.

Innovation project “Smart Tools”

Development of a digital object memory for highly-stressed, metallic tools. For the first time, the digital tool memory permits tool-specific data to be stored directly on the tool, making it available to various decentralised systems over its entire life cycle.

Thus, new IoT-based services with tremendous additional benefits for users, user companies, retailers and manufacturers can be envisaged:

  • Identification (automatic recognition of ID, date of manufacture, etc.)
  • Detection (automatic detection or check-in / check-out)
  • Personalisation / anti-theft protection
  • Status monitoring (automatic recording of operating time, etc.)
  • Status feedback (automatic feedbackon availability for use)
  • Complex interaction between the application and the tool (e.g. automatic optimisation of the operating conditions)

Project partners:

  • SIP BB
  • BHF
  • Bosch
  • Fraisa
  • Balluff


Client profile

SMEs (solution providers and end-users) that requires innovation support to design, develop, test and validate technologies to enable new digital business models (e.g. rracking & tracing).  

Client needs

  • Requirement analyses
  • System design
  • System development
  • System integration
  • System tests and validation

Provided solution to meet the needs

SSF acts as develop and test lab for innovative technologies that have the potential to enable new digital business models. It coordinates a consortium of technologies provider and end-users. Together the consortium develops, tests and validates advanced manufacturing solutions.


  • National specific innovation funding
  • Regional funding
  • Private funding
  • Partner resources
  • Memberships


Number of customers annually
Type of customers
  • Start-up companies
  • SMEs (<250 employees)
  • MidCaps (between €2-10 billion turnover)
  • Large companies, multi-nationals
  • Research organisations
  • Partners

    H2020 Projects

    • DIH-World
      DIH-World - Accelerating deployment and matureness of DIHs for the benefit of Digitisation of European SMEs

      DIH-World - Accelerating deployment and matureness of DIHs for the benefit of Digitisation of European SMEs

      DIH-World aims to accelerate the uptake of advanced digital technologies by European manufacturing SMEs in all sectors and support them in building sustainable competitive advantages and reaching global markets strengthening the capacities of regional DIHs, particularly in underrepresented regions across Europe. As intermediaries of successful local SME digital transformation, DIH World, aims at providing DIHs, access to harmonised tools, well proven technologies, effective methodologies, sound knowledge, smart investment sources, rich training assets and overall a vibrant innovation environment. The final aim is to accelerate the matureness of DIHs and the development of their collaboration capabilities, and avoid a DIH divide due to lack of access to technologies, skills, networks, investment and infrastructures with special emphasis in underrepresented regions; so they can capitalise and leverage on the European DIHs Networks their resources and facilities for the benefit of their local SMEs. This will be achieved thanks to the: DIH-World platform, that will provide a full coverage of the services needed by the DIHs and the SMEs willing to identify the right DIH for them, the DIH-Academy that will provide the tools to train DIHs and bring them to the next level, Open calls for experiments, that will provide sufficient technological support to SMEs and midcaps. As well as with a broad geographical coverage, with more than 26 countries to be covered in Europe including specific activities to involve regional and national actors in the DIH network.

    Last updated: 13/12/18 00:46