The “DigitalCity.Wien” initiative is an independent and not-for-profit initiative of the city and committed ICT companies in Vienna.
The “DigitalCity.Wien” initiative is an independent, non-profit initiative by the city and dedicated ICT companies located in Vienna. Cooperation on a number of ICT-related issues will be undertaken in line with the “Smart City Wien” framework strategy for the City of Vienna.
The aim is to adopt measures to combat the lack of skilled specialists, to support digital skills and excellence and to inspire more people, particularly women, to take up careers in IT and offer them support. Further important goals are to ensure rapid reaction to eruptive technology trends and to strengthen economic power in the City of Vienna. An essential characteristic of the initiative is its participative approach. Platforms for ideas and collaboration serve as the basis for an active exchange between experts at research institutions and Viennese citizens. These will then give rise to future Smart City Wien projects.
In addition, “DigitalCity.Wien” should be communicated as a brand at national and international levels in order to raise as much awareness as possible of the significance of the IT sector in Vienna.
The initiative arose as part of a location analysis of Vienna’s ICT market, initiated by the IT cluster of the business agency. More than 20 of the most important IT companies in Vienna attested to the fact that this business sector’s recognition and public perception is quite low in relation to its size and importance. In order to inspire the interest of young people in particular in this sector, the focus should be shifted to jobs in ICT. It was against this background that the idea arose to start a wide-ranging initiative.
“I like IT” Day
In order to put the necessity and importance of the IT sector in the spotlight as an essential aspect of Smart City Wien – both in the eyes of the general public and among political decision-makers – the DigitalCity.Wien initiative’s “I like IT” day was held on the afternoon of the 16th of September 2014. A total of 1,500 IT representatives in yellow “I like IT” branded T-shirts gathered together and took to the city’s streets to publicise the sector. This was followed by the collective “I like IT” march to the city hall. The Mayor, Dr. Michael Häupl, received representatives of the initiative in the magnificent arcaded courtyard to receive the Mission Statement of the ICT industry.
Mission Statement of the ICT industry
- Smart City Wien: DigitalCity.Wien supports, shares and strengthens the Smart City Wien framework strategy for the City of Vienna, and will play an active part in its implementation. Information and communication technology (ICT) forms the nervous system of a city and the basis of a Smart City, and is the starting point for new developments.
- Independent initiative: DigitalCity.Wien is an independent, non-profit initiative of dedicated ICT companies located in Vienna.
- Education and training: The positioning and visibility of ICT and digital skills in all education and training departments and institutions is a central issue. ICT must have a positive image among young people, one that reflects the future. This forms the basis for a well-functioning IT employment market in Vienna.
- Networking and promotion: Vienna’s position as a digital ICT metropolis and innovative pioneer in the international ICT context will be strengthened by projects and cooperation partnerships focusing on intersectoral networking and by supporting the ICT sector and its talents.
- ICT campus: DigitalCity.Wien will kick off the evaluation process for establishing a physical ICT centre in Vienna: an ICT campus for networking between start-ups, one-person businesses, large and medium-sized enterprises from the ICT sector, research and innovation centres as well as project and product developers. The ICT campus offers the possibility for a deeper understanding of what ICT means for Vienna and contributes to the Smart City Wien initiative. The campus should be accessible to public and professional visitors from home and abroad.
- For the people: The success of a Smart & Digital City Wien will bring the people of the City of Vienna a modern, beneficial ICT infrastructure in the fields of energy, mobility, health, education and all important areas of public services. ICT must be equally accessible to and available to use by all people regardless of age, gender and ethnic origin.
- For the economy: Viennese ICT companies of all sizes benefit from a Smart & Digital City Wien by gaining an environment with an optimally educated workforce, networks with other companies and an enhanced reputation when compared with other providers internationally.
The ICT sector in Vienna is made up of around 5,700 companies, with around 54,000 employees and a gross added value of EUR 5.6 billion. The ICT sector has not only become the most future-oriented and innovative pillar of Vienna’s economy, but also has the key and cross-section technologies to serve all other sectors and areas of life. This strong ICT sector is the driving force behind Smart City Wien, providing a modern, beneficial ICT infrastructure for its citizens, for example in the areas of energy, mobility, health and transport.
In the future, the City of Vienna intends to work particularly closely with Vienna’s business agency, TINA Vienna, which acts as the Smart City Agency, with the IT economy in the city, and with research institutions in order to create the right framework conditions for innovative and successful businesses to flourish. This should ensure to maintain Vienna’s success as an ICT location and promote to become ever more attractive in the future.
Programme for 2016
A range of projects are offered in 2016, facilitated by a new kind of open, transparent cooperation between the public and private sector. Here is a selection from the list of projects:
- Continuation of the education and training initiative through school visits and themed workshops
- Promotion and awareness-raising of women in IT
- DigitalDays 2016 – a one-off 3-day event to be held on 19-21 October
- Digital Saloon – development of a new event format
- Initiatives in the area of support for refugees in the IT sector
- “Industry Meets Makers” projects, to identify technology trends such as robotics, 3D printing, Industry 4.0 at an early stage and take account of their effects on career paths and training.
This post is also available in: German