Refugee Initiative

The DigitalCity.Wien Refugee Initiative is aimed at facilitating access to IT jobs for refugees and those entitled to asylum.

The refugees that have come to Austria include qualified people with high potential for knowledge and commitment. Projects of the DigitalCity.Wien Refugee Initiative contribute to capturing this and facilitating access to IT jobs in order to master the challenges of the progressing digitalisation together.


In 2015, Europe faced an immense challenge and even in these days, is being put to the test. Hundreds of thousands of refugees decided to leave their crisis-stricken home regions to offer themselves and their families a better life. The refugees who came here to Austria include some high-qualified people who have brought a high potential for knowledge and commitment with them.



Out of self-obligation and without being asked, DigitalCity.Wien wishes to participate in recognising and grasping this potential. We are convinced that some of the refugees from the Arab region possess digital skills and aspire to become an established part of our society. The objective is to overcome the challenges of progressive digitalisation with our cooperation.

For this reason, we decided to initiate several projects in cooperation with partners from DigitalCity.Wien to give refugees a chance to prove their digital skills. The range extends from simple Office beginner courses to innovative bar camps and challenging coding contests.


The following projects are part of the DigitalCity.Wien Refugee Initiative for 2017:

During the course of the DigitalCity.Wien initiative, HMP Beratungs GmbH and Objentis themselves to integrating those with right of asylum and IT specialist knowledge into Viennese IT companies in cooperation with AMS Vienna. For all of us, it is important to form the right foundation for a strong IT site in Vienna together with various IT companies – whether start-ups, individual entrepreneurs, international corporations, or the public sector. In Vienna, IT is intended to be available for everyone and at the highest level, while simultaneously creating innovation and securing jobs. The “Refugee Initiative” is aimed at facilitating access to IT jobs for refugees and those entitled to asylum.


Together, HMP, Objentis, and AMS Vienna organised and carried out structured interviews to directly screen for people with IT skills. The goal was to evaluate IT skills and potential for quick entry into the Austrian IT sector and to deduce further educational measures in a goal-oriented manner. This resulted in 7 job training sessions for 6 people in various firms associated with DigitalCity.Wien.


Review of 2016

• Refugee Hackathon

On the 21st and 22nd of May 2016, Microsoft Austria, Mobility Builders, and WhatAVenture organised the first Refugee Hackathon in Vienna’s Microsoft office together with DigitalCity.Wien.


They look for developers who are interested in designing innovative solutions for the current refugee situation in Austria. These solutions are not only to support refugees, but also aid organisations or citizens involved in refugee work. Competent mentors, including aid organisations, affected asylum seekers, and technical experts are on hand during the Hackathon.


• Hardware Collection

As part of our initiative, we are pleased about the provision of IT components for covering the existing requirement of IT hardware for refugees. In general, it is also possible to recycle private devices, however, this is usually not an option with “cheap devices”, especially when additional repairs are required.


The following are still needed:

PC with monitor, keyboard, and mouse; laptop; tablets; smartphones; each with mains charger, WiFi, operating system, and browser; external USB batteries for smartphones; etc…


Handover of hardware to the IGOR project in a refugee home from Arbeiter-Samariterbund Österreich (Workers’ Samaritan Foundation Austria). (article only available in German)


Should you have any questions, please contact Martin Bayer, HMP, Julia Fischer, HMP, or Claudia Kanonier, Urban Innovation Vienna.


Thank you very much for your support!