Mr. Claus Zeppelzauer was invited by the European commission to present our Action plan in Brussels “let's cooperate!” as a best practise on 10/04/2019. He explained his Action Plan and what he had learned from INKREASE-project partner Brittany during a learning Camp in April 2018.

We stand on the brink of a new industrial revolution, driven by new-generation information technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, big data and data analytics, robotics and 3D printing. They open new horizons for the industry to become more adventurous, more efficient, to improve processes and to develop innovative products and services. Recent studies estimate that digitalization of products and services can add more than €110 billion of annual revenue in Europe in the next five years. 

At different INTERREG meetings at project INKREASE we had learnt from other regions and the S3-strategic topics how to build up this very important technological sector in the innovation system. The region of Britany is especially successful in implementing digitalization at SME and companies. For this reason, stakeholders form the Lower Austrian government and the INKREASE project team of ecoplus visited Rennes (16. – 17th of April 2018), because the region of Brittany has serval competences in technology field data, cyber security and different technological platforms. (Best practice: CRAFT, Plug in Labs Ouest). During our Learning Camp we were informed about creating new online platforms such as CRAFT: How they attract their members, how they keep their content actual and the motivation of joining this platform and the benefit for its members, as well as information about the financing model. CRAFT seems to be a new model which will also be of interest to other European regions. One significant advantage is that the regional government has better knowledge of its innovative companies and networking is easier, as well as the setting of new technology measures.

In June 2018 the Lower Austria government had defined digitalization, technology field “Data” as a new field in its “FTI Program” (Research, Technology and Innovation program). In this strategy we tried to use several different policy instruments making companies, especially SME’s more innovative.

A new project called “Haus der Digitalisierung” “virtual house of digitalization” funded by the policy instrument addressed was launched at beginning of January 2018:

The Lower Austrian innovation system will create a new platform and network for improving digitalization of Lower Austrian companies especially for SME’s.

Step 1: Creating a network in the area of data, IT and digitization

Step 2: Designing and programming an interactive online platform

            “Virtual House of Digitalization” (VHOD)

Step 3: Conception of a “Real House of Digitalization” (infrastructure)

Main topics of the project House of Digitalization:

• Increasing the speed of transformation of Lower Austrian companies

• Low-threshold access for companies to scientific institutions

• Strengthen and build interdisciplinary and international research

• Guidance and demonstration projects on all topics

• Raising awareness in the population

The new platform “Virtual House of Digitalization” was designed and programmed with inputs from our INKREASE partners. Since the end of January, the interactive webpage is online:

We are now able to activate the new network and gain new ideas and innovative projects.

Actual platform-facts at the End of May 2019: 484 user and 251 companies registered

We could create two additional project for improving digitalization in Lower Austria:

DIHOST: national founding by FFG / DIHELP: European coaching and mentoring project

Players involved in Project House of Digitalization

• Government of Lower Austria, Department Economy and Technology WST3 (financing and building up a network)

• Government of Lower Austria, Department for Research K3

(financing calls and projects)

• Government – Department for Research - K3 (financing calls together with WST3 at certain technology fields, also DATA)

• EcoPlus - Business Agency of Lower Austria (lead of project – one full time employee and an assistant).

• Universities of Applied Sciences Krems, Wiener Neustadt, St.Pölten, Danube University, Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA) and the Lower Austrian Chamber of Commerce.

Budget for the project House of Digitalization

The total costs for the project House of Digitalization are 1.767.000 €.

Due to the project INKREASE: an additional 761.000 € has been allocated for additional personal costs, programing and maintenance of the virtual online platform.

This costs are financed by:

409.200 € national (hosting and service for the virtual online platform, WST3 Lower Austrian government)

351 800 € ERDF (programing the virtual online platform and additional personal costs for marketing and hosting the platform).