Enhanced alarm system for lone workers

Credits: @Innosuisse and @Syntec s.r.l.

Guarantee the safety of lone workers thanks to an ultra-reliable communication system. This is the goal of a project led by Zurich-based company Swissphone Wireless AG in collaboration with the German Fraunhofer research institute. This new system, developed with IoT technology, aims to save lives. This international partnership is made possible thanks to the Eurostars programme offered by Innosuisse.

In most countries, regulations require employers to protect lone workers with a system that automatically detects hazards such as falls, prolonged periods of inactivity or stays in high-risk areas. In this type of situation, triggering an alert in case of an accident is not always a given. “Such systems require a reliable communication channel with good coverage, which is not always the case, for example, underground or in closed buildings,” explains Philipp Zimmermann, Marketing Manager at Swissphone Wireless AG. The system designed through the Eurostars project aims to develop a system capable of transmitting the alert on all occasions and, in particular, establishing two-way communication – still non-existent today – between the pager used by the injured worker and the alarm centre.

A highly acclaimed project in Brussels
This project has risen to the forefront of calls for proposals submitted to Eurostars in early 2021. Among 560 applications for funding, it topped the ranking of experts and the evaluation panel of the European programme. The quality of the presentation of the project, the choice of participants, the potential for profitability on the market and the original nature of the system developed were highlighted by the experts.

For Swissphone Wireless AG, participating in a Eurostars project is an opportunity to open up to new markets. “International collaborations can be extremely useful. A partnership with a foreign research institute can, for example, increase your learning capacity and thus help bring a product to market,” says Philipp Zimmermann.


Valuable advice from mentor Innosuisse
Innosuisse mentors guide companies in finding the right incentive tool for their needs. Frank Wolff guided Swissphone Wireless AG on this journey. According to the mentor, using an international programme was logical in this case. “Swissphone and the Frauenhofer Institute had already worked together on related topics, and the idea was to continue this cooperation. During discussions on the direction of the project, it quickly became clear that the Frauenhofer Institute team had to play the leading role in the field of research, which led to the decision to apply for a Eurostars project.”

The help requested from Innosuisse through an innovation mentor was therefore decisive. “Frank Wolff helped us determine the most suitable financing instrument. He facilitated the discussions on how best to formulate our dossier and gave excellent advice on the proposal itself,” comments Philipp Zimmermann.

Last modification 27.06.2022

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Philipp Zimmermann, Marketing Manager at Swissphone Wireless AG and Frank Wolff, Innosuisse mentor.