iCom: Improving communication in the information technology sector

A cross-border project in Austria and the Czech Republic which aims to improve workforce communication skills in the IT sector has strengthened ties between universities and commercial companies.

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An iCom workshop gets underway. An iCom workshop gets underway.

The three-year ERDF-funded “iCom” project involved the University of Vienna in Austria and Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, developing new doctoral-level courses in computer science and business informatics. 

The goals of the four new PhD courses, alternately held at the University of Vienna and Masaryk University, are for students to acquire and develop their competencies in international communication, agile management, learning organisations and appropriate research methods, such as helping practitioners to research and improve their practice.

The project also involved strengthening ties between the two universities and small and medium-sized businesses in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, particularly in the field of research projects.

Sharing experience and knowledge

The project also led to the organisation of workshops aimed at ICT professionals, students, project managers and consultants wanting to develop their communicative competencies, to share experience, improve the links between research and practice and exchange experience and knowledge between industry and universities.

Scientific project lead Renate Motschnig said that the project had helped to develop professional competencies like active listening, transparent articulation, respect for others and extensive and deep understanding. Developing these skills has led to a better qualified ICT workforce in the Vienna and South Moravian regions and has motivated young academics to continue following this path.

“The iCom Project helps to connect research, teaching and practice in a way that enables employees, teachers and managers to research current challenges in information technology projects and generate new knowledge.”

-  Renate Motschnig, Scientific project lead

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “iCom International Constructive Communication in the Context of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)” amounted to EUR 830 728, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributed EUR 705 022 from the “Austria-Czech Republic” European Territorial Cooperation Operational Programme for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

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