From November 6–8, nearly 5000 of Europe’s top researchers, engineers, industry representatives, politicians, journalists, entrepreneurs, and students gathered in Vilnius, Lithuania to share insight and future visions for the future of ICT in Europe. The global event also provided an inspiring setting for the discussion of European ICT policy as well as networking opportunities for business, research, and innovation groups.
The event —the largest in Vilnius during Lithuanian’s presidency of the EU Council— folds into a greater European initiative: the EU Horizon 2020 programme. This visionary plan, combines EU funding for both scientific research, and innovation. This year’s event included: an international conference, an exhibition, a networking session, an investor forum and events for students and junior researchers.
The exhibition involved over 180 participants from the ICT community. CSN (the Convergent Science Network) was well received with an exhibit co-organized by the project efAA (Experimental Functional Android Assitant, – EU Robotics Unit of DG Connect- ). The interactive installation titled “The Machine and I“ displayed graphics and drawings that provided futuristic visions of robots and their roles in human society. The project efAA, represented at ICT 2013 by the research group SPECS - UPF – Barcelona and by IIT, the Italian Institute of Technology, gave the iCub a chance to express it’s musical side as it entertained exhibit visitors through musical games as the DJ droid.
Over 40 international presenters covered various topics: from broadband Internet to cybersecurity and nanomaterials to artificial modeling of the human brain. Students and junior researchers had the opportunity to meet many of the conference speakers and other ICT-savvy representatives, later sharing their experience through social media.
The investor forum provided a perfect place for small and medium-sized ICT business owners and entrepreneurs to present their projects to investors, participate in special training programmes, and discuss key issues with business experts and corporate investors.
Events like this get just about everyone thinking: how will future technologies change the lives of those in generations to come?