SCION Association

Launch Press Release

New association for a secure and stable Internet, made at ETH Zurich
The SCION Association aims to establish SCION technology as an alternative to the current Internet standard. SCION is an acronym for “Scalability, Control, and Isolation on Next-Generation Networks,” and it was developed by computer scientists at ETH Zurich. SCION provides a new, secure, high-performance, and stable Internet protocol.


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Lucerne/Zurich, 8 February 2023.

In many respects, today’s Internet does not live up to the requirements of a modern, information-based world. Internet-based communications are too easily hijacked by attackers, and the path that data packets take within the current Internet architecture is neither controllable nor transparent. Previous attempts to fix these fundamental problems were largely predicated on fine-tuning the systems currently in place; however, these attempts have had only limited success.

The global digital economy demands a secure, high-performing, and stable Internet – and SCION delivers it. The SCION protocol guarantees that data flows along the most efficient and most trustworthy routes, and it can operate side-by-side with today’s Internet infrastructure. In contrast to the existing Internet, the sender can select the desired data pathways and thereby exercise complete control over the data flow.

The new SCION protocol was developed by a team of computer science researchers that includes the Network Security Group at ETH Zurich, led by Prof. Adrian Perrig, as well as a community of open-source software developers from industry and academia.

“SCION represents a quantum leap forward in terms of network security, particularly in communication availability. Every aspect of SCION is designed for security,” explains Professor Perrig.

Of key importance to the financial sector

The Swiss National Bank (SNB), the SIX Group (a financial infrastructure provider) and the telecom companies Swisscom, Sunrise, and SWITCH have recently come together to establish the SCION-based Secure Swiss Finance Network (SSFN). Today, the SSFN provides a novel, safe and secure method for financial institutions to access systemically important financial sector infrastructures in Switzerland, such as the SIC interbank electronic payment system and the SECOM securities settlement system. By 2024, SSFN will fully replace the legacy network Finance IPNet and will allow the participating institutions to exchange data among each other securely and reliably.

“Improving cyber security is a key priority for the SNB and the Swiss financial center. Against this backdrop, the SNB has recently helped launch the Secure Swiss Finance Network (SSFN), a resilient, secure, and flexible communications network building on SCION technology. The SSFN enables financial market participants to communicate both with critical financial market infrastructures and among each other in a highly secure manner. These new capabilities significantly strengthen the security of the entire Swiss financial system against cyber threats that emanate from the Internet,” says Andréa Maechler, Member of the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank.

Fostering a collaborative ecosystem

The SCION Association is a non-profit association of institutions working towards a more secure, high performing, and resilient Internet. It nurtures a collaborative ecosystem of participants, with companies of all sizes, open-source contributors, and the research community to steer SCION toward achieving its full potential. The Association is tasked to promote further development and implementation of the technology, to standardize it, to institute certification criteria, to perform certification services, and to provide practical training in SCION and its technology. In addition, the SCION Association promotes industry collaboration and supports an open-source community of implementers. Commercial implementation, however, is left to the companies in the SCION ecosystem.

Uli Sigg, an entrepreneur and former Swiss diplomat, is supporting the SCION Association as a founding member, together with ETH Zurich, the SNB, and the SIX Group. They are committed to supporting the Association through the provision of resources, expertise, and funding.

Developed at ETH Zurich

"SCION is one of the most prominent and innovative projects in the Internet architecture space. ETH Zurich is proud that it was created within our academic ecosystem. We are convinced that it has the potential for global adoption, as it offers a more secure and stable Internet structure. Thanks to geofencing, for example, it can be ensured that data traffic never leaves a trusted route. That is why we are among the founding members of the SCION Association", says Prof. Vanessa Wood, Vice President for Knowledge Transfer and Corporate Relations at ETH Zurich.

In addition to Prof. Vanessa Wood, Dr. Andréa Maechler, and Uli Sigg, the Association board is complemented by Prof. Reto Francioni, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Swiss International Airlines and former Chairman of Deutsche Börse AG, and Dr. Thomas Wellauer, Chairman of the Board of SIX Group. The Association is further supported by an Advisory Board with top-level, global experts and executives, chaired by Professor Perrig.

Headquartered in Lucerne, Switzerland, the SCION Association will be in a prime position to rely on a growing technology and start-up community, a business-friendly environment, and access to resources and funding opportunities. “The Canton of Lucerne warmly welcomes ETH and the SCION Association and will do its utmost to support the development of the SCION ecosystem”, explains Fabian Peter, member of the cantonal government and Director of Economic Affairs.

Uli Sigg adds: “After a decade of research and development at ETH Zurich, the SCION community in Switzerland has built a magnificent technology and infrastructure that is ready to launch. As a passionate Swiss, my contribution serves as an initial impulse to enable SCION to provide the highly available communication infrastructure that our global society needs so urgently.”

Global support and collaboration

According to Patrick Naef, the SCION Association’s CEO, "the purpose of the Association is to promote open source and open standards that allow anyone to succeed, making SCION accessible to everyone. It supports its members and the ecosystem globally by providing a platform for collaboration, know-how sharing, certification, and training that ensure implementations stay interoperable."

The Association is currently looking to welcome additional members from around the globe to join its mission. Swiss national research and education network SWITCH, Eraneos (formerly AWK Group), DIDAS, Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg and the ETH Foundation have already joined. Interested parties can learn more about the Association and apply to join at Apart from the Swiss financial industry, Switzerland’s government, defence sector, and healthcare system are also evaluating the adoption of SCION technology for their own use cases.


Prof. Vanessa Wood

ETH Zurich Vice President for Knowledge Transfer, Chair of the SCION Association Executive Board

Vanessa Wood is a full professor and chair at the Institute for Electronics (IfE) in the Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (D-​ITET) at ETH Zürich. She won the 2014 Science Prize in Electrochemistry endowed by BASF and Volkswagen Group, and the Outstanding Young Investigator Award from the Materials Research Society in 2018. Besides her professorship, Vanessa Wood is the Vice President for Knowledge Transfer and Corporate Relations at ETH Zürich since 2021. In this role, she represents ETH Zürich's involvement in the SCION Association by chairing the Association’s Executive Board.

Dr. Andréa Maechler

Swiss National Bank Governing Board, SCION Association Executive Board observer

Andréa M. Maechler studied economics at the University of Toronto and the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva. She earned a Ph.D. in economics in 2000 at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In her early career, she held various positions at organizations such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the World Trade Organization (WTO). She then occupied senior positions at the IMF. In 2015, she was appointed as a Member of the Swiss National Bank's (SNB) Governing Board and was the first woman to occupy a Board position. At the SNB she is the Head of Department III (Money and Foreign Exchange Markets, Asset Management, Banking Operations, Information Technology). As a member of the Executive Board of the SCION Association, she possesses extensive knowledge of the financial industry.

Patrick Naef

Technology executive, CEO of the SCION Association

Patrick Naef is a seasoned technology executive with vast expertise in IT, digitalisation and innovation. He spent more than 20 years in senior leadership roles in the airline, travel, telecom and IT industries. He holds an Executive MBA from the University of St. Gallen and a Master's degree in Computer Science from ETH Zürich. Having worked in various countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, Patrick brings a global perspective as the CEO of the SCION Association.

Prof. Adrian Perrig

Creator of SCION, Chair of the association Advisory Board

Adrian Perrig is a Professor of Computer Science at ETH Zürich, leading the Network Security group. He was previously a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Adrian is an ACM and IEEE Fellow, and a recipient of the ACM SIGSAC Outstanding Innovation Award. His research focuses on building secure systems. In his early work, he introduced the TESLA authentication protocol, which is now globally used to secure global navigation satellite systems such as Galileo. His current research efforts on secure Internet led to the birth of the SCION secure Internet architecture. He brings his deep knowledge of SCION to the Association by chairing the Advisory Board.

Dr. Uli Sigg

Former diplomat, entrepreneur. SCION Association Executive Board

Uli Sigg, born 1946, Swiss. He completed his studies with a Ph.D. of the University of Zurich Law Faculty. He then worked as journalist and editor for various Swiss newspapers and magazines. From 1977 to 1990 he joined the Schindler Group where he held positions as Area Manager for Asia Pacific and later Member of the Group Executive Committee and Shareholders Board. He established in 1980 the first Joint Venture between China and the outside world and remained its Vice Chairman for ten years. He then served on the boards of a number of global companies till 1995 when the Swiss federal government appointed him for four years ambassador to China, North Korea and Mongolia. Presently he also serves as Vice-President of the Ringier Media Group, as member of the Advisory Board of China Development Bank and is an active investor in several ventures . He is Honorary Director of China Foreign Investment Association, Beijing and Founder and Honorary Member of the Swiss-Chinese Chamber of Commerce. He has formed the most substantial collection of contemporary Chinese art in the world of which he donated in 2012 1450 works to M+ Museum for Visual Arts in Hong Kong.

Prof. Reto Francioni

SCION Association Executive Board

Reto Francioni as the Chairman of UBS Europe SE, as a former member of the Board of Directors of the UBS Group and former CEO of Deutsche Börse, can draw on many years of experience in the financial world. Especially his roles at Deutsche Börse (CEO 2005 – 2015, Member of the Executive Board 1993 – 2000), and as the Chairman of the Supervisory Board and President of the SWX Group (2003 – 2005), Zürich, placed him at the heart of digitalization within the financial sector. In these positions, he drove a fundamental transformation to reshape the firms as world leaders in technology. Reto Francioni has been a professor of Applied Capital Theory at the University of Basel (since 2013) and was an adjunct professor of Zicklin School of Business, New York. He is the author of several highly respected books on capital market issues. He has also been the Chairman of Swiss International Airlines, the Lead Director of Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling and the Vice-Chairman of MTip AG.


About ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is a leading research university based in Switzerland, with a focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It is consistently ranked among the top universities in the world and is known for its cutting-edge research and innovative approach to education. The SCION Internet Architecture was invented at ETH Zurich, by the Network Security Group, led by Professor Adrian Perrig.

About the Swiss National Bank

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) conducts the country’s monetary policy as an independent central bank. The SNB acts in accordance with the interests of the country as a whole. Its primary mandate is to ensure price stability, while taking due account of overall economic developments. As part of its mandate, the SNB is in charge of the Swiss Interbank Clearing (SIC) payment system, which uses central bank money to process payments for financial institutions in a final and irrevocable manner. Given its systemically important role for the financial system, the SIC must be able to operate in a secure, safe and resilient data communication network. To this end, the SNB and SIX launched last year the Secure Swiss Finance Network (SSFN).


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