We have an exciting year behind us - in many different ways. On the one hand, it was characterised by many new projects and topics within the framework of the digital transformation process, which were successfully completed. On the other hand, the effects of the pandemic continued to preoccupy us as the massive wave of inflation also presented TU Wien with additional challenges.
Future topic: Digitalisation
As a technical university, TU Wien has an obligation to look ahead in its topics. The digital transformation process therefore plays a central role. This year, with the .dcall 2021, we were able to support further digitalisation initiatives in-house. This enabled project teams to initiate, test and implement topics in 17 projects with a wide range of objectives - between, teaching, infrastructure and process optimisation. I am pleased to say that all projects will be successfully completed by the end of this year.
Another facet of the digitalisation call are the "Student Life Hacks", where students provide ideas for projects that in turn benefit as many students as possible. Three projects were implemented this year under the supervision of the .digital office together with student employees, and an additional topic was handed over to the PR department for future development. As Vice Rector, I am always pleased to see that our students want to get involved in the future of TU Wien.
In addition to many impulses for the future, the projects also provide a valuable build-up of know-how for the organisation: a total of 30 new student employees were hired across all projects and the weekly working hours of 12 existing employees were increased or reallocated. This means that in addition to the funding, almost 20,000 hours of work were contributed to the projects by these colleagues for the future of TU Wien.
Implementation of the target agreements with the faculties
In the target agreements, the eight faculties negotiate with the Rectorate which focal points and developments they want to implement in their respective faculties over several years. Digitalisation and transformative measures are of course reflected in all of the target agreements. For example, the deans have each defined priority projects on how they will implement certain digital measures in their faculties over the next few years. In the summer, the target agreements were formally concluded with the Rectorate, and from 2023, the faculties will start to implement their topics and projects. The .digital office has already supported the faculties in the preparation of the digitalisation topics for the target agreements and is also actively supporting the faculties in the implementation phase.
Advancing TU Wien as a community
With over 5,600 employees, TU Wien is a large university. This size does not allow to exchange information directly with everyone on an ongoing basis. It is therefore all the more important that "communities" are formed at the university that regularly exchange information on topics, support each other and continue to build and expand their own communities. As an example, I would like to mention two digitalisation communities that have set themselves the goal of continuously advancing TU Wien in terms of the transformation process: This year, the network "For Administration", in which about 35 mainly female colleagues from the administrative areas of institutes have come together, has started to build up a common knowledge base and to support each other. This can be a particularly valuable support for colleagues who are new to TU Wien. The network is still in the process of being established and plans to continue working actively on their topics in the coming year.
The "Digital Survival Café" is also an initiative that bundles assistance from a wide range of areas at TU Wien and thus offers regular online appointments throughout the year. The topics range from TU coLAB, information security, standard services of TU.it, website services on the part of PR to the new video portal TUbe, opens an external URL in a new window. The respective TU experts on the topics are also planning dates for you for 2023, which can be found on the corresponding date overview for the Digital Survival Café, opens an external URL in a new window.
Exchange and information have been particularly important to us in the digital transformation process since the beginning. We keep you informed about everyday digital issues and project topics in our regular .digital blog posts, opens an external URL in a new window. This year, we added a video series called .digital news bits, opens an external URL in a new window, in which we have our TU experts briefly and succinctly explain questions on relevant topics of the transformation. Most recently, we asked the deans about their digitalisation priorities in the faculties. And if you still prefer to talk to us in person, you will certainly have the opportunity to do so again next year at our event formats such as TUWas.digital.
Outlook to 2023
We are ending the year with the declared limited operation at TU Wien to ensure our contribution to a resource-efficient use of available funds. The outlook for the new year is nevertheless a confident one. The commitment and understanding of the colleagues in "our house", who see themselves as part of TU Wien and stand up for it even in difficult times, put me in a positive mood for the future.
Digitalisation is and will remain a topic of the future and we will not lose sight of this in 2023. We already have a few things in the pipeline that we will tackle with our usual energy and initiative in the new year: As you can see from the .dblog, we were already able to identify new student topics as part of the voting for the Student Life Hacks 2022+, which we will take a close look at next year and for which we will develop implementation plans. Of course, we will again involve students in these implementation plans. From the .dcall 2021 projects, there are some topics that we will develop further in follow-up projects to take them to the next stage of development. The project leaders have already been informed about this and are readily planning these follow-up projects. And now that many of the budget topics for 2023 have been sharpened, I can make a pleasant announcement for the beginning of the year: We were able to fasten a budget for further digitalisation projects within the framework of .dcall funding in the sense of promising topics for the future. Look out for the corresponding announcements in January, when the .dcall 2023 will be opened.
Before we dive into the new topics, I wish you relaxing holidays and a happy new year! I look forward to you continuing to shape the digital transformation at TU Wien with us in 2023!