The funding program Digital Pro Bootcamps aims to combat the IT skills shortage on the Austrian labour market
The "Digital Pro Bootcamps" program addresses the development of digital skills, the support of digital further training to master the challenges of advancing digitalization and the fight against the shortage of skilled workers.
Highly motivated specialists from Austrian companies are transformed into "digital professionals" during the learning phases (4-week bootcamps). They are enabled to understand complex interrelationships of digitization and practical problems. In addition to profound IT expertise and advanced digitalization skills on specific focal points of digitization, practical skills are the focus of the qualification. Companies use this learning format to support digital expertise in the company in order to ensure rapid and effective higher qualifications on a permanent basis and thus strengthening their digital competitiveness.
The strategic goals:
• To support companies in the systematic development and upgrading of existing research and innovation personnel.
• The intensification of knowledge transfer between universities or universities of applied sciences and companies, in both directions equally.
• Increasing research, development and innovation competence in future-relevant technology fields through the qualification of employees
• Facilitating access to Research Technology Innovation+Digitalisation qualification measures, especially by Austrian SMEs
• Establishing sustainable collaborations with higher education&research
Funding within first call (2018-2019): EUR 1.67 million (2 persons within the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) responsible for implementation of the call)
Funding within second call (2020): EUR 1 million (2 persons within the FFG responsible for implementation of the call)
Evidence of success
• EUR 1.67 million approved funding within first call
• Four funded Bootcamps within the first call, focusing on data science, data security and artificial intelligence
• 55 employees from 34 companies (including 16 SMEs) in the bootcamps with 11 scientific partners (high demand for the program itself)
• combination of presence and online phases was a success
Within the first call (pilot), the bootcamp had a duration of nine weeks. According to the feedback of the participating employees / companies, the duration of nine weeks was far too long. Therefore, the duration has been reduced to four weeks within the second call.
Potential for learning or transfer
SMEs in particular have to catch up with digitization. This applies above all to e-commerce, social media marketing and the use of cloud services. With the program Digital Pro Bootcamps, Austria implements targeted measures and grants to ensure that SMEs remain internationally competitive. This enables companies to rapidly further qualify their staff, carry out digitization initiatives and pursue the development of new technologies and products.
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