Time flies! Today was already the last day of our Study Trip. When we met in the morning, some seemed a bit tired, others very excited for this interesting final day. We started the day like always with a presentation of the program and a short introduction of the topic at Motel One. Since the best always comes last, today was the day we visited the Federal Ministry of Digital and Economic Affairs (BMDW). The ministry only exists in its current form since the first of January 2018. Therefore, we felt truly honored to be some of the first students to visit this ministry. Until 2018 the BMDW was part of the ministry of Science Research and Economy. After the reorganization, the goal of the BMDS is to enhance the development of Austria as a business location and boost opportunities for digitalisation. This is a very important task as ICT is the main economic driver of Vienna! The current Minister of the BMDW is Dr. Margarete Schramböck who studied Business Administration at the University of Economics and Business in Vienna. Subsequently to her studies she held numerous positions in the private industry and was also CEO of A1 Telekom Austria.
After the program presentation we immediately made our way to the ministry in great anticipation.
As a result, we were a bit too early and used the time to take some pictures with the stunning scenery of Vienna.
At the ministry we were then warmly welcomed by Mag. Daniel Medimorec and escorted to the third floor where Dr. Bernhard Karning awaited us. After we already learned about the digitalisation strategy of Vienna in general yesterday, today was all about the very specific topic of electronic identities. Contrary to Switzerland, Austria has already implemented an electronic identification system more than a decade ago. Since then the system has continuously been updated, remodified and improved. What started in 2004 with an electronic identification number embedded in the insurance card is a holistic electronic service for the citizens of Austria by now.
But what is e-ID all about and how does it simplify the daily life of Austrians?
In a nutshell; the e-ID is an electronic citizen’s card based on a personal identification number. This card allows Austrians to deal with the authorities in a fast, uncomplicated and convenient way. The citizen simply logs into the system using his mobile phone number and password, he/she is then able to request a new parking card or to file a motion. Therefore, Austrians are no longer dependent on the opening hours of their authorities. Furthermore, the e-ID can also be used to sign or cancel contracts and replaces the classic signature. Today, more than 1 million Austrians are already using the system and the number of users is increasing day by day. Recently the BMDW has introduced a new feature which allows to log in the system using a fingerprint instead of a password, this shows that the BMDW is not resting on its laurels. Furthermore, data protection and security are major concerns for the BMDW, consequently every e-ID is linked to different numbers for each ministry. This system ensures the highest levels of data protection.
After the presentation, we were invited to visit the “3D photo studio DAGUBERT” which is currently exhibited at the BMDW. DAGUBERT is the first fully automated, mobile 3D studio. It collects 3D data on a one-millimeter accuracy level. Soon, this system can be used for electronic fitting rooms or ordering custom made clothes.
With this, the official part of our study trip to Vienna ends. On behalf of the whole class, we want to thank Dr. Brunner, Dr. Fuchs, Dr. Brüesch, Dr. Mertes, Mr. Horni and everybody else involved in the organisation of this amazing trip. We learned a lot and gained insight into ministry activities of Vienna, which we would never have been able otherwise. We return to Switzerland inspired and motivated for our next semester. And with a last goodbye coffee we leave this vibrant, buzzing and modern City. Thank you Vienna for your modernity, for your value of history and your amazing citizens!
Posted by Group Spälti, Feubli, Engler, Imboden