In order to guarantee the sustainable supply of essential goods and services to the population and of essential primary products (raw materials, semi-finished and finished products) to companies in times of crisis, a resilient and forgery-proof distribution system is required in the event of critical supply shortages and a failure of the usual market mechanisms. After more than 50 years, this system of rationing in paper form ("food stamps"), which still exists in principle, is to be replaced by a new and digitally supported system. The central content of this project is to discuss the prerequisites for a possible subsequential implementation of this system and to investigate its feasibility.
For this purpose, it is necessary to develop a basic concept for a voucher system based on information and communication technology (ICT) and the appropriate technological components. Considering this, the current standard requirements from the 1950s and 1960s must be redesigned and adapted, be it for food, hygiene products, medical and pharmaceutical supplies or services in the context of covering basic needs, differentiated by objective criteria of the end consumers. This ICT entitlement concept should be flexible enough to be used in a wide variety of disaster and crisis scenarios (e.g., blackouts, internet failures, networked crises) and ensure the fairest and most efficient distribution of goods and services in the event of shortages. Such a concept theoretically allows for a demand-orientated rapid allocation, coordination in line with the current needs of the population and businesses, as well as control and monitoring in real time, if related ICT systems such as distribution and logistics systems, warehouse management and distribution systems can be connected.
In addition to these advantages, however, new risks arise when introducing a digital ICT concept. It must be designed to be abuse- and forgery-proof, follow security-by-design principles and still support specific special applications (e.g., barter, neighbourhood assistance). In addition to a resilient and redundant design, temporary offline island operation must also be made possible, especially in the event of largescale ICT failure, and consistent data synchronisation must be guaranteed afterwards.
Based on the experiences of the pandemic in the last two years, this project explicitly asks about the societal and social effects of using an ICT concept. In addition to design questions on how such a digital concept can be used by as many parts of the population as possible - i.e., not only by IT-savvy "digital natives" – it will be analysed how a possible design can support low-threshold use by people and take into account behaviour patterns of people in uncertain economic shortages (e.g., black market formation, barter economy) as much as possible. It also discusses how the ICT entitlement concept can be embedded and safely operated in public administration, especially in the context of the federal ministries responsible for economic governance, as well as in federal structures.
This ICT reference authorisation concept forms an essential building block in the modernisation of economic crisis prevention, taking into account the digital dependency of social life in Austria and the security of the population.
Senior Research Engineer
Security & Communication Technologies
Center for Digital Safety & Security
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Giefinggasse 4 | 1210 Wien | Österreich
T +43 50550-4134 | M +43 664 88390734
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.ait.ac.at
- AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
- Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Wirtschaft (BMAW)
- Bundesministerium für Klimaschutz, Umwelt, Energie, Mobilität, Innovation und Technologie (BMK)
- Bundesministerium für Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Regionen und Wasserwirtschaft (BML)
- Stadt Wien - Magistratsdirektion der Stadt Wien
- Land Tirol
- Fraunhofer Austria Research GmbH
- Universität Linz - Institut für Soziologie, Abteilung Soziologie mit den Schwerpunkten Innovation und Digitalisierung
- Bundesanstalt Statistik Österreich
- Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Hermann Bühler GmbH
- Österreichische Gesellschaft für Ernährung
- Österreichischer Zivilschutzverband – Bundesverband
- Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien
- Wirtschaftskammer Österreich
- youniqx Identity AG