As a transformative force, digitalisation plays a crucial role in our status as a future hub of innovation and business. There are countless ways that society can benefit from the positive impact of digital innovation. Exploiting the opportunities of this immense technological progress is one of the most important tasks in ensuring a successful, sustainable future. The United Nations has also demonstrated a commitment to this task as part of its Sustainable Development Goals.


However, digitalisation also poses certain challenges that we must tackle over the long term. In this regard, particular importance is attached to developing a high-performance infrastructure to bridge the digital gap through digital education, strengthening the country’s position as a business location by supporting companies during the process of digital transformation, or disseminating technological content and offers. Austria is already among the EU pioneers in certain areas here. However, the Federal Government has set itself the goal of becoming one of Europe’s leading digital nations. Everyone in our country ought to benefit equally from this effort, whether they live in urban hubs or rural areas.


The World Summit Award acknowledges the work of exceptionally creative young entrepreneurs from over 180 countries worldwide, awarding prizes in recognition of their outstanding digital concepts and practices. The commitment demonstrated by these young entrepreneurs is crucial to ensuring that modern technology has a positive impact on our society while also promoting equal opportunities. The active contribution of these skilled young people also serves as an example for later generations, showing that we can deal with the challenges of digitalisation responsibly and in the best possible way, now and in the future.


I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to all the winners. Thank you for recognising digitalisation as a driving force for the long-term implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and for making such an important contribution towards achieving these aims.