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Digital Austria – Status quo, perspectives and opportunities

Digital Austria – Status quo, perspectives and opportunities

Margarete Schramböck, Austria's minister for digital and economic affairs and speaker at the Digitising Europe Summit, discusses her government's plans for digital transformation and how digitalisation can help improve quality of life.

What effort is Austria making in the area of ​​digitisation? What’s the status quo and where do you want to go?
Dr Margarete Schramböck: We will dedicate the entire year in 2019 to the topic of digital transformation, focusing on our flagship project “Digital Austria,” the Austrian federal government’s initiative for a successful digitalisation in Austria. The aim is to further ensure Austria’s role as a leading digital nation to guarantee and expand prosperity, job opportunities as well as quality of life in the long term. The aim is to be able to guarantee a higher quality of life for all citizens.

Born in Tyrol in 1970, Margarete Schramböck holds a doctorate in social and economic sciences from the University of Vienna. She spent several years working in IT communications, including a year as CEO of A1 Telekom Austria, and was appointed Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs in January 2018 (Photo: Office of Margarete Schramböck)

Where do you see the greatest opportunities and challenges?
Statistics compiled in the last decade prove that, contrary to expectations, there has been neither a decline nor growth in the number of jobs available. I am aware that there are certain fears in connection with possible job losses, but there will also be a shift to new jobs. Let me give you an example: Fifteen years ago, who could have imagined a “social media manager” would be an integral part of a company? Digitalisation will allow us to focus on the creative parts of a job and will provide more time for “out of the box” developments.

What is the idea behind “Digital Austria” and what impact will it have for Austrian citizens?
“Digital Austria” is the digital trademark of the Austrian government and is based on three main pillars: digital government, digital economy and digital society. We have already introduced the “fit4internet” initiative, with the aim of increasing digital skills in Austria. Last year, we successfully launched the first training courses for senior citizens. As regards digital government, we will start our own government app oesterreich.gv.at in March, digitising the 10 main administrative processes for our citizens, including registration of newborns. In addition, we must support our businesses in the digital transformation. Our government-owned Digitalisation Agency will play a crucial role in this context.

“Digital Austria” is the Austrian federal government’s initiative for a successful digitalisation in Austria (Photo: sanjeri, iStock)