Digitization of industry is of great importance for Austria, above all since the manufacturing sector in Austria is significantly above the EU average [1], [2].

Technically, automation and robotics are the muscles of Industry 4.0, with AR/VR, cameras and other sensors for the senses and data and connectivity as the central nervous system. The actual head of this industrial revolution is Artificial Intelligence (AI), which can improve processes that are driven by human-machine collaboration.

The use of appropriate AI technologies in Austria can increase gross domestic product growth from 1.4% to 3% annually by 2035. Within the next 20 years, an additional 122 billion euros of gross added value can be generated [3].

Vision and Benefits

Increased application of digitization and AI in the company processes, leading to a higher digitization rate in the economy

Through a coordinated joint approach of relevant actors, based on a large number of existing initiatives, through the activities of AI4P to further embed the topic of digitization and make the topic of Artificial Intelligence tangible.
The higher the digitization rate in the Austrian corporate landscape, the higher the competitiveness and productivity in Austria.

Reducing employees' concerns about digitization and especially about Artificial Intelligence

The concept of Artificial Intelligence may appear threatening, particularly to many small businesses and employees, and especially since the potential of such technologies is often unknown. AI4P will work to address the concerns and communicate the potential benefits to the target groups.
This will create a more positive perspective and strengthen Austria as a business location

Strengthening the digital value chains, especially in Austria

The key is to assist companies in identifying new opportunities associated with digitization in general and Artificial Intelligence in particular, to help them implement appropriate technologies and to support them throughout the organizational change.
This strengthens regional value networks and promotes closer cooperation between leading regional companies.

Enhanced exploitation of existing expertise and infrastructure

Austria-wide coordination via AI4P makes it possible to raise awareness of existing competencies and infrastructures and improve capacity utilization.
This is particularly important if companies do not wish to test technologies using the existing production facilities.

Intensifying cooperation between companies and scientific institutions

The activities contribute to a closer integration of companies and scientific institutions. The specific competence in the scientific facilities and the available infrastructure make it possible to distinctly demonstrate the potential benefits and present them in a protected environment.

Establishing structures for increased participation in European programs

A functioning and well-balanced structure in the national DIH-KIPU encourages Austrian partners to increasingly participate in HORIZON 2020 and future Horizon Europe tenders. Plans have been made to participate in the next calls. The EU-DIH on robotics will contribute to DIH-KIPU via the LCM activities.

Exchange of good practice examples across Austria

One of the most effective ways is to provide support using good practice examples of similar-size companies that have been successfully implemented in Austria.
A catalog of Austrian examples can help to reduce the implementation risks, promote mutual learning across sectors and regions and increase the rate of diffusion of new technologies in a socially acceptable way.

Digital transformation

Digital transformation means adaptation and need for action in modern economic systems. It also creates regionally-specific challenges to the further development of Austria: in recent years, interesting, partly private initiatives and event formats have emerged that activate and accelerate digital development in various ways.

The increased supply has contributed to a certain heterogeneity of the ecosystem. However, no initiative with a systematic network of actors exists. There is potential for further networking, support and coordination of the regional digital milieu and supra-regional coordination. This should contribute to increased stimulation, planned further development and intensive interaction of the scene.

Driven by high-tech suppliers and worldwide operating frontrunners, digitization is already taking place in a wide variety of areas. Consequently, topics related to the digitization of manufacturing industry (“Industry 4.0”) are becoming increasingly prominent. At general information events one can observe a certain saturation of general information and vision.

By contrast, there is still a great need for information and action in terms of specific implementation of the topics in question. The central question with that regard is: What exactly does that mean for me and how can I implement it?


[1] WKÖ. (2019). Wirtschaftskraft KMU

[2] Statistik Austria. (2019). Leistungs- und Strukturstatistik in Kammersystematik

[3] Accenture. (2018). Künstliche Intelligenz, DNA für Leader

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