The Digitalakademie@bw works together with towns, cities, administrative districts and regions to support them on the road to digital transformation. Its innovative services promote skills and qualifications, innovation, knowledge transfer and cultural change in public administration within the state of Baden-Württemberg.


Digitalization presents a great challenge for public administration. The pressure and motivation to change is growing steadily as municipalities and administrators at other levels of government take digital transformation into their own hands. Baden-Württemberg is already home to many related activities, innovative concepts and players with the relevant expertise. Leading partners from local and state government administration are joining forces to consolidate their innovative strength and the training of their employees in the Digitalakademie@bw. It works together with towns, cities, counties and the regions to shape digital transformation in Baden-Württemberg.

Approach and concept

The state of Baden-Württemberg has set itself an ambitious goal: By 2022 it wants to be at the forefront of e-government in Germany. The Digitalakademie@bw is a crucial element in achieving this goal. It promotes the acquisition of skills and qualifications as well as innovation, knowledge transfer and cultural transformation in public administration in the state. The Digitalakademie@bw supports and advises local governments and the regions on the road to digital transformation, providing innovative and tailored services to assist managers and employees at all levels of local and state government administration in acquiring the necessary skills and qualifications. Providing an environment to experiment and learn by experience, the academy brings together industry, public administration, academia and society as a whole.

The Digitalakademie@bw is a joint project of institutions and organizations based in Baden-Württhemberg, including:

  • leading municipal associations,
  • the school of administration of the association of municipalities,
  • the academy of administration management,
  • the academies of administration and commerce,
  • Fraunhofer IAO,
  • the Institute of Human Factors and Technology Management IAT at the University of Stuttgart and
  • ITEOS.

During its pilot phase (2018-2020), the Digitalakademie@bw is being funded by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of the Interior, Digitalisation and Migration as part of the digital@bw program.

Fraunhofer IAO, together with ITEOS and leading community associations, are establishing a joint office for the Digitalakademie@bw. Its job is to coordinate and network with internal and external partners. The office will also be the main point of contact for all stakeholders involved with Digitalakademie@bw and for interested members of the general public.

The Digitalakademie@bw was launched in 2018 with four principal fields of active support – more are to be added successively as needed:

  • Digital Leadership – management skills for the digital transformation of local and state government administration
    Partner: Baden-Württemberg academy of administration management
  • Kommunale Digitallotsen – municipal digital navigators – digital skills development for public administration employees in cities and towns
    Partners: Several institutions in Baden-Württemberg, including: Städtetag (association of cities and towns), Landkreistag (association of district administrations), Gemeindetag (association of municipalities), Verwaltungsschule des Gemeindetags (school of administration of the association of municipalities), Verwaltungs- und Wirtschafts-Akademien (administration and commercial academies)
  • Fachzentrum Digitale Prozesse (service-bw) – center of expertise for digital processes – IT support for the digitalization and development of digital public administration services
    Partner: ITEOS
  • Kommunales InnovationsCenter (KIC@bw) – municipal innovation center – creating opportunity for experimentation, and innovation processes for co-creation, networking and knowledge transfer
    Partners: Fraunhofer IAO, University of Stuttgart IAT

Kommunales InnovationsCenter (KIC@bw)

City, town and other local and regional administrative offices need to be able to experiment and gain experience with innovative solutions and to share this among themselves, the business and academic communities, and society at large. To enable this exchange, Fraunhofer IAO has joined up with the Institute of Human Factors and Technology Management IAT at the University of Stuttgart to launch the Kommunale InnovationsCenter (KIC@bw). Its goal is to design and implement innovative solutions for cities, towns, counties and regions.

The KIC@bw transfers existing knowledge and digitalization best practices to local communities, brings together innovative stakeholders, and creates attractive formats for sharing information. KIC@bw examines the innovative capabilities, needs and potential of local public administration with regard to digitalization. In addition, it develops tools and methods to boost innovation in the public sector. A network of regional experts provides input on current trends and introduces them to public administration.

Digital learning laboratories and innovation networks, along with a mobile app laboratory, offer users the opportunity to experiment hands-on with digitalization. The KIC@bw produces studies on future challenges for local government and policymaking. Further goals are to transfer academic findings and practical experience gained in the project to interested educational institutions in the state, and to prepare current and future managers in public administration for an active and innovation-driven role in the digital world.