The most digitally mature companies in Switzerland and their most innovative projects will be awarded on 11 November 2021 at the «Digital Economy Award Night» in Hallenstadion Zurich. The categories are: «Digital Innovation Of The Year», «The Next Global Hot Thing», «Digital Excellence Award», «NextGen Hero» and «Highest Digital Quality»

Frequently asked questions

Which award should I apply for?

If your company is particularly digitally fit, then it is worth applying in the Digital Excellence Award category. Here we distinguish between the subcategories of large companies (over 250 employees), SMEs (under 250 employees) and non-profit & government. If your team or company has launched an outstanding and innovative product or service, then it is worth applying for the Digital Innovation of the Year category. If your company is not yet completely digital and does not have a particularly digital product, the Highest Digital Quality category allows you to already have parts of a product or first results of the company's change honored. There are 6 areas in this category:

  • Customer Experience
  • Innovation management
  • Corporate and leadership culture
  • Process automation
  • Data management
  • ICT

All applicants in these categories are assessed by swissICT's expert panels to see if they qualify for a certificate. If you meet the criteria of the expert jury, then you will receive, for example, a Highest Digital Quality certificate for outstanding digital customer experience. The best certified applicants across the board enter the race for the Highest Digital Quality Award.

Do you need a coaching session? We offer free 15-minute-sessions. 


How does the application process work?

The first step is to register on the website. You can log into the application tool and go through the questions. If you see that you have entered the wrong category, or that the application is too time-consuming for you, you can still change your mind. Then, once you've decided to submit an application for one or more awards, make a binding registration in the application tool. This is all free of charge. Only when you have answered all the questions and submitted the application at the end, the processing fee for your participation will be due and invoiced. The basic fee is 600 CHF. For each category you apply for, you pay 300 CHF. The basic flat fee also includes a ticket to attend the Digital Economy Award ceremony, regardless of whether you win an award or not.

Why does it cost to participate in the Digital Economy Award?

To ensure the professional level of the evaluation process, a participation fee is charged in the categories Digital Innovation of the Year, Digital Excellence Award and Highest Digital Quality. The high standards of this multi-stage process give the award its high credibility. Each submission is analysed by the jury. The juries meet several times, first determine a short list, discuss it on the jury days, and then select the finalists and subsequently the winners of the respective categories.

For the Next Global Hot Thing category, the Scouting Partners exclusively nominate the finalists (approx. 5 per Scouting Partner). For the nominees, the subsequent participation in the judging process is free of charge. The pre-selection of the Scouting Partners ensures the level of the finalists on the one hand and reduces the effort on the part of the candidates and the jury of the Digital Economy Awards on the other. In the NextGen Hero category for individuals, both nomination and application are free of charge. The Swiss Digital Economy Award AG operates on a cost-covering, but non-profit basis.

Where can I register my startup for the Next Global Hot Thing category?

For the Next Global Hot Thing category, Scouting Partners exclusively nominate the finalists. Are you already in the network or ecosystem of one of the Scouting Partners? All the better, then get in touch with the organisation to find out your chances for a finalist spot. If not, it may still be worth contacting one of the Scouting Partners. Because if the Scouting Partner can't adequately fill its finalist spots, you may be able to take over a spot with a little luck.

How many questions do I have to answer on the application?

The categories Digital Innovation of the Year, Digital Excellence Award and Highest Digital Quality require you to answer between 20 and 60 open questions. The more precise and better you answer the questions, the greater your chances of being nominated as a finalist. After you have created your login, you can browse through the questions first and then decide on the appropriate category later, if you do not already know this in advance. You can also always adjust the answers.  Only with your final registration for a certain category will the processing fee for your participation be due and invoiced. The basic fee is 600 CHF. For each category you apply for, you pay 300 CHF. The basic fee also includes a ticket to attend the Digital Economy Award ceremony, regardless of whether you win an award or not.

What happens after I submit the application?

Your application will be sent to the jury of the respective category. You will then have to be patient until the end of August, when the jury defines the shortlist for the jury days in September. On the jury day itself, the entries from the shortlist will be discussed in detail. For most of the award categories, you will also have the opportunity to present yourself by means of a short pitch. Shortly thereafter, the finalists will be announced. If your application clears this first hurdle, your chances of winning an award increase further. As a finalist, you will then be reviewed in more detail by the jury. The procedure varies from category to category and is up to the juries. Usually you will be invited to an in-depth meeting by the jury or at least two jury members will visit and interview you and your team. The jurors then meet again and nominate the winners of each category. The winners will then be formally announced at the Award Gala Night on November 11, as the closing event of the Digital Day, at Zurich's Hallenstadion.


In this new webinar, we offer an entry guide for anyone interested in submitting a project for the Digital Economy Award 2021. Which category is suitable for whom? Is it still possible to change the category later? What do I have to bear in mind when applying?





Digital Innovation of the Year

The «Digital Innovation Of The Year» category honours Switzerland's most innovative digital project. Project managers, ICT providers and users can submit their best projects and products, developed in the last year, into the race for the title.



Digital Excellence Award

For the «Swiss Digital Excellence Award» the Jury will take the «digital pulse» of companies and organisations in the categories: large-scale enterprises, SMEs and Government/NPO. The award distinguishes companies and organizations that have made particular progress in digital maturity and thus significantly increased their competitiveness.


Highest Digital Quality

In the category «Highest Digital Quality Label» companies can apply for the swissICT Quality Label. The subject areas are: ICT, corporate and leadership culture, innovation management, process automation, customer experience and data. Applications can be submitted for more than one subject area.

Representatives of the swissICT expert teams will evaluate and determin, who will be rewarded with the swissICT Quality Label. The best candidates will be nominated for the award. 


Next Global Hot Thing

The title «The Next Global Hot Thing» is about the near global future. Which are the groundbreaking, most disruptive projects and emerging start-ups? During a year-long scouting, the most promising digital approaches are searched and proposed for the award.



The NextGen Hero category, which was launched in 2020 in collaboration with digitalswitzerland, will be integrated into the Digital Economy Award Gala in 2021. For this category, the submission period will start slightly later, on May 5, 2021, and run until July 30, 2021.

Why apply?


the big stage

On November 11 2021 the corks will pop in the Hallenstadion Zurich. The awards will be presented and background information on the winners will be provided at the award show. The award ceremony will be flanked by interesting and hot new thematic inputs and a gala dinner.


media & coaching 

Award Night is all about a trophy and lots of fame and glory. And a few more valuable achievements.



feedback of the jury

Regardless of whether you win or not. Each application is closely scrutinized by the judges. On request, you will receive the original feedback..




Big opportunities for innovation

The opportunities for new business models and innovation have never been more excellent. I, therefore, expect some exciting and forward-looking nominations at this year's Digital Economy Award

Pascal Kaufmann
Jurypräsident, Next Global Hot Thing

Important for supporting exports

In the category "Next Global Hot Thing", the Digital Economy Award contributes to the export promotion of Swiss competence.

Peter E. Naegeli
Präsident der Messe- und Projektkommission (MPK)

Strong progress of digital maturity

The pandemic presented significant challenges for the majority of companies. There were new digital approaches at play, which led to solid progress in the companies' digital maturity.

Bramwell Kaltenrieder
Jurypräsident, Digital Excellence Award, Grossunternehmen

The pandemic has accelerated digitalization

The pandemic has accelerated digitization, increased the willingness to invest, and created solutions. As a result, it remains exciting to see whether companies will enter the solutions or not. I hope so.

Samy Liechti
Jurypräsident, Digital Excellence Award, KMU