Developing virtual technology demonstrations to accelerate the digital transformation of SMEs
Surveys by the Austrian Chamber of Commerce show that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across all sectors perform below average when it comes to their degree of digitisation. One of the reasons for this is that small companies are shying away from taking the initial step towards their first digital innovation projects due to a lack of relevant expertise. In order to accelerate the slowly progressing technological transformation in SMEs, it is important to strengthen implementation projects and scientific research in this area. To achieve this, so-called “Digitalisation-test centres” f.ex. pilot factories or test labs at a University of Applied Sciences are used.
This PhD project investigates the impact and effectiveness of target group optimized technology demonstrations. Scientific findings are transferred to companies using user-oriented technology demonstrations and test-centres. A concept for the virtual representation of digitalisation test centres and learning spaces developed in order to transfer new scientific findings and technological possibilities to companies. This is to support companies in generating ideas for the use of digital technologies in their own operations.
In this project, the use of virtual demonstrations as a method of knowledge transfer for current Internet of Things (IoT) technologies is researched in Lower Austrian small and medium-sized enterprises. The experimental design and pilot implementation of technology demonstrations is used to establish how these can be prepared in virtual form in order to support knowledge transfer independent of time and place. In the course of the iterative design process, the concepts and prototypes are evaluated by the target groups (at workshops, conferences, further training courses, etc.) in Lower Austria, thus providing insights into the impact and effectiveness.
With the virtually accessible digitalisation test centres, companies are supported in developing of their first own IoT projects and thus accelerate the "digital transformation". The project also provides further insights into design and implementation of virtual learning spaces in school education with a focus on distance learning. The results are conveyed in further training courses for teachers (Teacher goes FH), among other things.