House of Digitalization – Lower Austria’s ecosystem for digital transformation
In 2018, Lower Austria launched the initiative House of Digitalization to develop a regional ecosystem for education & training, science, industry and administration in digital transformation.
The ambition is to help companies in Lower Austria in their digital transformation, providing easy access to information, training, infrastructure and potential partners across institutions and sectors.
A network of “hubs” has been established, i.e. dedicated contact persons at relevant research and education institutions providing digital technology know-how and infrastructure. With the help of these hubs and business support organisations such as clusters we address SMEs using their “language” and facilitate technology transfer in collaborative projects.
In addition, an interactive web based platform (Virtual House of Digitalization, www.virtuelleshaus.at), has been established. It serves as info point (relevant trainings, events, fundings, etc),, showcases local success stories and offers matchmaking. As a new service we offer crowd sourcing campaigns facilitating open innovation.
The initiative is supported by the regional government, financed by ERDF and regional funds, and implemented by the Lower Austrian business agency ecoplus. ecoplus is not only the coordinator of the House of Digitalization, but also managing 4 clusters as well a 4 technopoles in Lower Austria.
The House of Digitalization was inspired by CRAFT, a GP from Bretagne shared in the IE project INKREASE.
The total costs for the project House of Digitalization (2018-2020) are € 2,422,179.00 (€ 1,201,806.00 ERDF + € 1,220,373.00 regional funds) covering staff costs, overheads and external expertise (IT).
Evidence of success
Results of the project range from new formats of qualification (agile training on the job, Blockchain Summit, coding summer camp, trainings for teachers) to new technical solutions developed (e.g. together with the Food Cluster a system for estimating the risk of late frost in viticulture). During the COVID 19 shut-down the regional ecosystem for digital transformation established in the project very efficiently provided solutions for customer relations, e-commerce and e-learning.
The project House of Digitalization (2018-2020) is 100% financed by ERDF and regional funds.
To ensure financial sustainability the project team is developing chargeable services for companies and other external partners, such as the crowd sourcing service launched in June 2019.
Potential for learning or transfer
The Lower Austrian House of Digitalization is an example for a Digital Innovation Hub with committed involvement of all relevant knowledge providers and intermediaries in the region. Clusters play a vital role in the network, mobilizing digital transformation and initiating collaborative digital innovation projects.
The services of the interactive platform have been developed in a co-design process with knowledge providers and users. The service portfolio is being reviewed and enlarged on a regular basis, e.g. recently by a crowd sourcing service facilitating open innovation.
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