The COVID 19 crisis clearly revealed selective weaknesses in the economic supply networks. With a view to a resilient society and national continuity management, supply interruptions and bottlenecks must be identified at an early stage so that they can be actively counteracted. In this context, it is not enough to consider only the classic critical infrastructures; it is also necessary to broaden the focus to include key industries. For example, they can act as suppliers of important preliminary or intermediate products, support services (repair services, etc.) or know-how.
For a comprehensive assessment of the requirements for resilience, it is essential to consider the essential value chains of these key industries (including orthogonal aspects such as skilled personnel, logistics and policies) in the sense of an overall view, resulting in a complex value network. Therefore, criteria have to be developed for the identification of those supply-relevant companies that are not (yet) designated as critical infrastructure (e.g., by APCIP, NISG or InvKG), but whose economic vitality is crucial for the overall economic structure in Austria. A detailed analysis of the value chains of these key industries allows the identification of the specific components (means of production, consumables, intermediate products, packaging, transport and logistics) for the provision of critical goods and services.
The analyses provide an overview of possible vulnerabilities and risks in the respective value chains, such as single-source procurement ("monochains"), dependencies on dominant supply partners, supply routes, orthogonal influencing factors - such as availability of skilled personnel, or legal framework conditions - or temporal aspects. Based on the results of the analysis, potential measures will be evaluated together with the stakeholders and central options for action on the level of economic policy and security policy will be developed. In addition, it is planned to validate the feasibility and effectiveness of the identified options in the course of a comprehensive validation on a national scale, for example in the form of a crisis exercise as part of the project under realistic conditions.
The primary goal of the project is to improve the elements of effective crisis support for the systemically important organizations under consideration through a holistic approach, thereby increasing their resilience to future crises. The project results will also enable the stakeholders to shed light on the policy framework for Austria's economy and security of supply on several levels. In addition, the workshops planned in the project with representatives from the business will support the necessary awareness raising among companies of the importance of their entire value chains.
Dr. Stefan Schauer, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology
- Bundesministerium für Digitalisierung und Wirtschaftsstandort (BMDW)
- Bundesministerium für Inneres (BMI)
- FH OÖ Forschungs & Entwicklungs GmbH
- INFRAPROTECT Gesellschaft für Risikoanalyse, Notfall- und Krisenmanagement GmbH
- Mar Adentro e.U
- Wirtschaftskammer Österreich