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Our Partner Country 2023

Pioneer Ukraine

The partner country of the Smart Country Convention this year was Ukraine, which had its own exhibition stand to show how digital administration can be maintained and even expanded even in times of crisis. The topic of cyber security also became a central theme of the event in connection with this year's partner country.

Maria Shevchuk

„Ukraine aims to be one of the most digital nations in the world, with 100% of its public services digitised. And even now, with the outbreak of full-scale war, Ukraine continues to build a digital state. Even under constant cyber attack from Russia, new online services are launched almost every week. At the same time, Ukraine's IT sector remains vibrant and a backbone of our economy.

Smart Country Convention was therefore the ideal opportunity to share our knowledge on the digitization of the public sector with our European allies and also a great chance for our companies to enter the German market.“

Maria Shevchuk, Acting Executive Director at IT Ukraine Association

Digitalization in Ukraine

Ukraine is now a globally recognized technical center where complex IT solutions are developed and globally recognized IT products are manufactured. The Ukrainian IT sector has quickly become the country's second largest export industry, and its products and companies have made a defining impression on the global stage.

Digitalization is a fundamental national concept in Ukraine. In a groundbreaking move, Ukraine was the first nation in the world to make electronic passports equal to traditional paper passports. In addition, the Ukrainian mobile application "Diia" has captured the hearts of citizens by providing seamless online access to government services. As of May 2023, "Diia" is installed on 70% of Ukrainian smartphones and has an impressive user base of 19 million people. Estonia was the first country to launch a version of Ukrainian "Diia" earlier this year.

Cybersecurity and digital quality of life

Ukraine also stands out in the field of cybersecurity, ranking 24th in the world in the Cybersecurity 2022 indicator, surpassing countries such as Canada, Luxembourg and South Korea. In addition, Ukraine ranks a proud 46th among 110 countries in the Digital Quality of Life (DQL) 2023 index, establishing itself as a leader in the digital sphere. The country is also a pioneer in contactless payment with gadgets and is among the top five countries worldwide.

Before the Russian war of aggression, the Ukrainian IT sector was one of the largest exporters of IT services in Europe, growing by 25-30% annually.

The share of computer services in Ukraine's GDP is almost 5%. The Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine aims to reach 10% of GDP by 2030. IT now accounts for almost half of Ukraine's services exports, and the share of digital areas in services is steadily increasing. The development of the IT industry in Ukraine will continue under all conditions. In 2022, the IT industry brought export revenues of $7.3 billion to the Ukrainian economy and could even grow by almost 6% compared to the pre-war year. Currently, there are more than 2,000 IT companies registered in Ukraine, employing about 362,000 IT professionals.


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A look back at our partner countries

Every year, the Smart Country Convention focuses on a particular country, as digitization does not stop at national borders. Looking beyond the horizon is worthwhile – to gain knowledge, network and exchange views. In recent years Denmark, Lithuania and Austria, also pioneers, have shown how digitizing local government and developing smart cities and regions can succeed.

Dr. Michael Scherz

Commercial Counsellor at the Austrian Embassy in Berlin
Austrian Embassy – Commercial Section

Curriculum Vitae

since 09/2020
Commercial Counsellor at the Austrian Embassy in Berlin

10/2017 – 08/2020
Head of Innovation at AUSSENWIRTSCHAFT AUSTRIA in Vienna

09/2011 – 09/2017
Commercial Counsellor for the Austrian Consulate in Munich

09/2010 – 08/2011
Head of Marketing at AUSSENWIRTSCHAFT AUSTRIA in Vienna

01/2009 – 08/2011
Head of International Technology Cooperation at AUSENWIRTSCHAFT AUSTRIA in Vienna

07/2008 – 12/2008
Regional manager for Germany, Switzerland and Italy at AUSSENWIRTSCHAFT AUSTRIA in Vienna

10/2003 – 06/2008 Commercial Counsellor for the Austrian Embassy in Rome, based in Padua

12/1998 – 09/2003
Commercial Counsellor for the Austrian Embassy in Sarajevo

05/1996 – 12/1998
Commercial attaché in New York 11/1993 – 04/1996 Commercial attaché in Paris

07/1990 – 10/1993
Commercial attaché in Johannesburg

04/1988 – 06/1989
Commercial attaché in Jakarta

08/1986 – 03/1988
Commercial attaché in Bucharest

07/1985 – 08/1986
Joined the Export Trade Department of the Federal Chamber of Commerce. Qualified as a Commercial Counsellor

11/1984 – 06/1985
Traineeship at the regional courts of Innsbruck and Vienna

1980 - 1984
Studied Law at the University of Innsbruck
Gained a Ph.D. in Jurisprudence

1979 - 1980
Basic military service

1971 - 1979
Bundesgymnasium (high school), Bregenz

Date and place of birth: 26 June 1961, Bregenz

Dr. Michael Scherz

Dr. Margarete Schramböck

Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs
Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs

Dr. Margarete Schramböck

Margarete Schramböck was appointed as Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs on 7 January 2020.

Curriculum Vitae

Margarete Schramböck was born 1970 in Tyrol, Austria. She studied Business Administration at the University of Economics and Business in Vienna (WU), where she obtained her Doctorate in Social and Economic Sciences in 1997.

Before Ms Schramböck started her career in 2002 as CEO of NextiraOne, an IT communications company based in Paris, she was occupying a management position at Alcatel. From December 2008 to December 2011 she became Managing Director of NextiraOne Germany. In 2014 Ms Schramböck began working as CEO of Dimension Data Austria, which is a globally leading provider of network and communications technologies and IT services, in particular in the fields of network and computer centres, cloud services, IT security, voice and video communications as well as application integration. Between 2016 and 2017 she was CEO of A1 Telekom Austria.

On 18 December 2017 Margarete Schramböck was appointed Federal Minister of Science, Research and Economy and from 8 January 2018 to 3 June 2019 she was Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs.

Ms Schramböck remains deeply attached to her Alma Mater and is a member of the WU's Center of Excellence. In 2017 she was elected both Tyrolean of the Year and University of Economics and Business in Vienna WU Manager of 2017.

Margarete was a Member of the National Council from 23 October 2019 to 7 January 2020.

Margarete Schramböck was appointed as Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs on 7 January 2020.