The funding initiative R&D Competences for Industry of the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs offers the opportunity for universities to develop and initiate qualification programmes for companies. The programme supports companies (primarily SMEs), helping them systematically build up and improve the qualifications of their existing research and innovation staff. A second focal point of the programme is to support efforts to anchor company-relevant research priorities at Austrian universities and universities of applied sciences and to provide impetus for greater sectoral mobility.
A distinction is made between three programme lines, each of which addresses different focal points of the target groups:
TU Graz Life Long Learning has already been able to make a considerable contribution to strengthening the regional high-tech ecosystem. We have provided or currently do provide expertise in all three funding instruments. We were already involved in the RFID qualification network in 2012 and took part in the subsequent RFID 2 project that was carried out from 2014 to 2016. In total, around 500 people were trained in these two qualification networks.
In January 2017, the qualification network Value-Network Süd - IT-enabled Ecosystems initiated the training of key personnel from Styrian and Carinthian companies in the high-tech areas of electronics, IT and system solutions. This programme was successfully completed last year.
In 2019, we held the qualification seminar Advanced Software Quality Assurance for Technical Management. Rapid developments shape the software industry, and the technical management of software companies is required to maintain the state of the art. Our qualification seminar successfully provided this management competence.
In 2020, we initiated the largest qualification project so far, the innovative tertiary level course Inno-EBS. The transfer of interdisciplinary knowledge about Electronic Based Systems was facilitated to strengthen actors in the value chain. Over the course of three years, 60 courses will be offered in four target-group-specific areas, which will enable all participants to obtain higher qualifications. Transfer projects that will subsequently be offered in the form of labs entitled “Bring your own idea/prototype or design” will support the participants’ knowledge and promote cooperation between science and industry.
We are currently working on the CompElev Qualification Network to address specific qualification needs that have been identified in the smart factory and cyber security areas. In addition, a customized modular qualification program has been developed for the partner companies and their employees.