July 30th 2020

Support for SMEs in Innovation and Digitalization Projects

MCI as Transfer and Know-how Partner in the Digital Innovation Hub West I Workshops on Innovation Management I Project Support and Workshops on Digitalization in Production

While the majority of small and medium enterprises (SME) are already consciously dealing with the process of digital transformation, many of them find the actual implementation of digitalization projects challenging. The MCI is part of the Digital Innovation Hub West and supports SMEs in the process of digital transformation by providing expertise in two thematic areas of the project, on the one hand in innovation management and on the other hand in production & automation.

Digital Innovation Hub West (DIH West)

The Digital Innovation Hub West (DIH West) is a project funded by the FFG, which aims to support SMEs in Western Austria in the process of digital transformation and implementation of digitalization projects. Through various activities such as workshops and working groups, the hub aims to strengthen these companies’ innovation potential by providing them with institutionalised access to the know-how of the involved research institutions. In accordance with the needs of SMEs in Salzburg, Tyrol, and Vorarlberg, the DIH West focuses on the following application areas: Industry 4.0 for manufacturing companies and eServices for companies in the tourism, trade, and commerce industry. The DIH West consists of region-specific agencies, interest groups, and research institutions from Salzburg, Tyrol and Vorarlberg. The MCI is part of the DIH West consortium as a transfer and know-how partner.

Innovation Management for SMEs

This work package of the hub focuses on questions as to how far the innovative capacity of SMEs can be ensured in the context of digital transformation and dynamic environments. Starting in October 2020, the MCI is going to host workshops for SMEs on the topics "Development & Implementation of Systematic Innovation Processes" and "Management of Asymmetric Innovation Cooperation". Further series of workshops on "Innovation Management 4.0 in SMEs" and "Strategic Foresight in SMEs" will follow in Spring 2021.

FH Professor Dr. Oliver Som, Professor of Innovation Management and Innovation Economics at the MCI, explains, “Many SMEs underestimate their innovation power. In our workshops, we want to encourage and enable SMEs to recognize and take full advantage of their innovation potentials, especially regarding the digital transformation of products, processes, and business models!”.

With the help of guidelines, modular systems, and individual support measures that are tailored to the needs of SMEs, the workshops address typical questions relevant for SMEs in the context of digitalization and innovation. Participation in the workshops is free of charge for SMEs due to funding by the FFG and the other involved funders.

Digitalization of Production

In order to secure jobs in the long term, manufacturing companies must continuously and purposefully optimize and modernize their production processes and facilities. Digital planning tools help in the planning and evaluation of optimizations and changes. The digital collection and analysis of data creates the basis for decisions as well as foresighted planning and maintenance. Within the framework of two work packages, in cooperation with the Universities of Applied Sciences Salzburg and Universities of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg, focus is placed on digital twins and collaborative robotics. Workshops for SMEs will highlight relevant aspects when considering topics related to the digitalization of production. By combining manufacturer- and service provider-neutral support in suitable consortia, company-specific findings and projects can be put into practice.

Are you interested in getting involved? Do not hesitate to get in touch for further information and participation in the workshops.


FH-Prof. Dr. Oliver Som

Senior Lecturer and Study Coordinator “Innovation Management”

Research area “Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Marketing”

 +43 512 2070-3132



Benjamin Massow, B.Sc., M.Sc.


Mechatronics & Smart Technologies

Head of Center for Robotics, Production and Automatization

+43 512 2070 -3924



Juliana Pattermann, BA MA

Project Assistant DIH West

Business & Management (BA)

International Business & Management (MA)

+43 512 2070-3123