Starting Signal for Digital Innovation Hubs
Austria Creates Three New Platforms for Digital Innovation – and the St. Pölten UAS Plays a Leading Role
The Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs invests 3 million EUR to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their digitalisation efforts by launching three Digital Innovation Hubs. Their purpose is to make information available to the companies, offer further training to employees, and develop digital innovations.
The St. Pölten UAS partakes in two of the three hubs: the university is the coordinator and project leader of the “Digital Makers Hub” and is also strongly involved in the “Digital Innovation Hub Ostösterreich” created by Lower Austrian business agency ecoplus.
“This makes our university of applied sciences the most successful institution in Austria when it comes to the foundation of the new hubs, a fact which shows our strength and expertise in the fields of digitalisation, innovation and knowledge transfer”, says UAS Authorised Signatory Hannes Raffaseder.
Digital Makers Hub for the Industry
The goal of the Digital Makers Hub coordinated by the St. Pölten UAS is to establish a platform which ensures intensive interaction between different digital makers, promotes the efficient exchange of experience, and allows for nationwide coordination of the various activities.
Another main objective is to forge ahead with the exchange and collaboration with SMEs, leading companies and established research institutions with innovative formats which are offered not only at the sites of the consortium partners but also by numerous network partners of the platform. By means of Open Innovation, Co-Ideation, Co-Creation and other formats, the hub strives to close the gap between the “new economy” of digital makers and the “old economy” of traditional SMEs.
The Digital Makers Hub is a platform developed by four consortium partners with a network of regional, supra-regional and international partners. Apart from the St. Pölten UAS, the consortium partners in the Digital Makers Hub are the open innovation-building format “Industry Meets Makers”, Zukunftsakademie Mostviertel, and Tabakfabrik Linz.
Ecosystems for Innovations
“In the past few years, many of the most successful digital innovations were developed outside traditional research, development and innovations centres. Ecosystems for digital innovation are undergoing a rapid change which is characterised by the establishment of creative environments and collaborative methods as well as clearly accelerated cyclical development processes”, explains Hannes Raffaseder.
This environment has been the breeding ground of maker spaces, knowledge alliances and similar initiatives. These digital makers promote the digital change by contributing creative ideas and unconventional approaches. As they are largely independent of institutional interests, they are flexible and dynamic and have long been a relevant driving force of (digital) innovations in Austria. The Digital Makers Hub strengthens this vibrant and energetic ecosystem and provides it with considerably more visibility.
An Overview of the Three “Digital Innovation Hubs”:
- Digital Innovation Hub Ostösterreich (proposed by: ecoplus. Niederösterreichs Wirtschaftsagentur GmbH with five more partners from Lower Austria, Vienna and Burgenland; launch: September 1, 2019)
- Digital Innovation Hub Westösterreich (proposed by: Innsbruck University plus 15 more partners from the Tyrol, Vorarlberg and Salzburg; launch: October 1, 2019)
- Digital Makers Hub (proposed by: St. Pölten UAS plus three more partners from Lower Austria, Upper Austria and Vienna; launch: September 1, 2019)