Digi Hub Styria: an initiative to make Styrian SMEs AI-driven

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New Styrian platform the “Digi Hub Styria” created to promote the use of AI in Styrian companies and the Know-Center is proud to back this initiative.

The platform ‘Digi Hub Styria’ is a joint creation of SFG, the Know-Center and the Silicon Alps Cluster and was formed in October 2019. It aims to “motivate small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to enter the field of AI, to systematically network knowledge and to promote digital transformation in all regions in a concerted manner”.

The goals of this platform are to efficiently transfer knowledge and technology to a broad range of manufacturing companies and an intensive interaction between business and science in order to compete in the international market.

The Styrian Business Promotion Agency SFG is responsible for the project, further partners are the Know-Center and the Silicon Alps Cluster and is backed by Das Land Steiermark. The Digi Hub Styria is in the network of the Austrian Digital Innovation Hub AI for Production and the European AI Alliance. Hence, support from all corners – regional, national and international is in place to make Styria a strategic production location.

Need for Digi Hub Styria:

For many companies it is still difficult to identify which AI technologies to invest in. More than 50% of the small companies and more than 30% of the medium-sized companies in Austria don’t yet have any corresponding technologies in use, also AI applications are only in the single-digit range. It is predicted that the use of appropriate AI technologies can raise the annual increase in gross domestic product in Austria from 1.4% to 3% by 2035. Within the next 20 years, an additional gross value addition of 122 billion euros can thus be generated.

The Digi Hub Styria supports Styrian companies in the development, implementation and anchoring of their specific digitisation projects, especially in the field of AI.

How does it intend to achieve its goals:

  • organise regular exchanges between the local AI scene and its stakeholders
  • increase the visibility of Styria as a national and international hotspot
  • support the scientific players in the acquisition of projects in the Federal and EU context
  • organise regular cross-thematic events within the network
  • plan regular workshops and meet-ups on individual priority topics
  • offer regular training and introductory events
  • present training and education in the AI field
  • carry out targeted storytelling, press work and social media measures to increase awareness and trust in AI

Styria is already a leading location in AI research. Basic research, as well as partnerships with applied research institutes and competence centers, form a good foundation. For example, with the Know-Center, a leading competence partner on a worldwide competitive level in AI research, there is bound to be increased exchange of know-how in the field of digitisation and AI in business processes, leading to a higher digitisation rate in the economy. Styria also offers a large reservoir of knowledge and competence which the Digi Hub Styria will systematically network and coordinate. This efficient transfer of knowledge and technology through AI will be decisive to make Styria, a success story.

Also, an article covering the important aspects of the Digi Hub was published in November 2019 in the Kleine Zeitung.

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