Digitalisation in Lower Austria
An improved strategy for people, companies and knowledge centres

On 17 May 2022, Next2Met partners and stakeholders came together for the sixth Policy Learning Event (PLE) in Krems an der Donau (Lower Austria) organised by Next2Met partner ecoplus, the Business Agency of Lower Austria and hosted in the University for Continuing Education Krems and the IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems. The aim of the meeting was to foster the exchange of good practices, taking inspiration from the innovative projects and initiatives developed in the region.

In the first session, Mr Bernhard Gerhardter, Office of the Provincial Government, Department Economy, Digitalisation Unit, updated the partners on the Lower Austrian Digitalisation Strategy and referred to the achievements reached so far included in the Digi report, and the recent projects with civil society engagement (Sandpit process and LENIE). He reminded participants of their motto “Use the digital transformation. For country and people”, which perfectly represents the core idea of the Next2Met project, addressing regional challenges with soft digitalisation measures that improve people’s lives and services on the ground.

Afterwards, Ms Isabella Hinterleitner from ecoplus Alpin, presented their project with ski resorts implemented in order to improve tourism data collection and management. Ecoplus Alpin supported the local actors in changing to online booking systems and offering digital services to visitors, answering also to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which accelerated the digital transformation of tourism.

The afternoon session was dedicated to several presentations from professors and researchers of the University for Continuing Education Krems, who addressed the topics of development and evaluation of instructional videos for the EFL classrooms, teacher training programmes, digital meeting and collaboration spaces and presented the project "DigiFit4All".

On the second day, Next2Met partners had the opportunity to discover the eVRyLAB and mixed reality projects developed in the lab with companies and cultural institutions. In conclusion, the House of Digitalization, flagship of the Lower Austrian digitalisation strategy, was presented, being one of the Next2Met good practices.

The final PLE and study visit represented a great occasion for an in person discussion and allowed partners and stakeholders to share updates and ideas for future collaborations and policy improvements.