Today, BTC City Ljubljana hosted the concluding event of the Slovenian Digital Center. The Slovenian Digital Center – Technology for the People is the central economic project of the Slovenian Presidency of the EU Council, established by project partners – Ministry of Economic Development and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia, SPIRIT Slovenia, Digital Innovation Hub of Slovenia and the BTC Company – spanning across more than 1000 square metres in the heart of BTC City Ljubljana. During the six-month period of the Slovenian Digital Center’s activities, BTC City Ljubljana has become a centre of knowledge, sharing experiences and transferring good practices in the field of smart cities, sustainable development, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, digitalisation, Industry 4.0, and robotics.
With its content and the joining of the most advanced Slovenian companies, institutions and individuals, the Slovenian Digital Center has enabled the broader public with access to new technologies and provided for a varied programme of free conferences, events, workshops and hackathons. The six-month project included monthly thematic contents, which were of interest to diverse target groups – entrepreneurs, experts, families and the broader public. July was dedicated to smart cities and communities, August to sustainable economy and society, September put the spotlight on artificial intelligence, October on cybersecurity, while November put the focus on digitalisation. This December, the programme is concluding with the focus on Industry 4.0 and robotics.
At the beginning of the concluding event, all the attendees were greeted by Zdravko Počivalšek, Minister for Economic Development and Technology. This was followed by a roundtable event with the title Moving Forward: Opportunities for New Steps Toward a Digital Future, which saw the participation of the representatives of project partners – Jernej Salecl, Director General of the Directorate for Internationalisation, Entrepreneurship and Technology at the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, dr. Tomaž Kostanjevec, Director of SPIRIT Slovenia, mag. Katja Mohar Bastar, Director of the Digital Innovation Hub of Slovenia, and Jože Mermal, Chairman of the Board of Directors at the BTC Company. At the roundtable, Jože Mermal talked about the symbolism of placing the Slovenian Digital Center in the oldest hall in BTC City – Hall 1, and added that with a vision and a development-oriented mindset, breakthrough stories can be written that generate the added value for people, companies and the Slovenian economy, and place Slovenia at the very top of progressive and innovative countries in the world.
As a unicum in Slovenia, the Slovenian Digital Center represented a window into the world of innovations, a connection between Slovenia and the rest of the world in the field of the development of new technologies, and last but not least a bridge between Slovenia and Expo 2020 Dubai, with which a stable and innovative presentation of Slovenia and the Slovenian development-oriented companies on the Arabic market was established. The home and the international public were able to appreciate the advancement and the level of development of the Slovenian economy, while the broader public focused on the horizons of new technologies. The project’s mission was Technology for the People; with its positioning in the heart of BTC City Ljubljana, the organisers successfully implemented this mission.
“During the activities of the Slovenian Digital Center, all the events, visits by the international and local delegations and the presentations of new technologies, we all felt a special vibe in BTC City Ljubljana. We were visited by distinguished guests, entrepreneurs, internationally renowned Slovenian and foreign experts and the broader public. BTC City Ljubljana has become the centre of Slovenian knowledge, transfer of good practices and an opportunity for the presentation of the most advanced Slovenian companies, their products and solutions to the local and international public. The Slovenian Digital Center has become the notion of development and digitalisation. At the BTC Company, considered as a company focused on development and progress and prone to digitalisation and innovation, we recognised the potential of the project right at the beginning, especially the potential for establishing connections and cooperation. Today, we are happy to acknowledge that the Slovenian Digital Center has fulfilled its mission and exceeded all expectations. It provided a window into the world and towards the future. With it, we contributed to the broader recognition and acceptance of advanced technologies and solutions that can improve the quality of our lives. It is our honour to have been a part of this story, establishing the first digital centre in Slovenia together with our project partners,” mag. Damjan Kralj, Chief Executive Officer at BTC Company, pointed out upon the project conclusion.
At the concluding event, Jernej Salecl, Director General of the Directorate for Internationalisation, Entrepreneurship and Technology at the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, pointed out: “I am proud and also a bit sad to see one of our largest projects, designed for the period of Slovenia’s Presidency of the EU Council, coming to its end. I am proud to realise that our vision was successfully implemented, while it also saddens me to see us closing the last page of this book today. Yet, we only recognise success when we look at the list of set objectives and discover that they have been achieved and in many cases even surpassed. This is an opportunity for me to publicly express my gratitude to all who participated in this project, starting with every individual, partner, company, and to all who contributed to the establishment of the first digital centre in this part of Europe. We set up a focal point where the Slovenian development meets economic progress, enabling companies during this important time of Slovenia’s Presidency of the EU Council to present their innovative and technologically advanced solutions, products and services. Last but not least, I would also like to thank the BTC Company which with its network of companies, knowledge and energy represented a big part in the mosaic of our success story.”
In cooperation with the Digital Innovation Hub of Slovenia, the BTC Company was also the main sponsor of the December programme that took part in light of Industry 4.0 and robotics. For an entire month, BTC City Ljubljana provided its visitors access to the world of robots, which guaranteed a special robotic experience. In December, the Slovenian Digital Center along with the five most innovative Slovenian companies, which won the Festival of Solutions tender by the Slovenian Digital Center, presented itself at the largest international forum of the modern time – Expo 2020 Dubai, where it presented its mission to the international public.
Over the six months, the Slovenian Digital Center, which during the Slovenian Presidency of the EU Council presented the central economic area of development, saw the presentation of more than 130 development-oriented Slovenian companies and hosted over 140 different events. With its varied programme, events and online posts, the Slovenian Digital Center addressed over 300,000 individuals and raised interest for occupations of the future in more than 500 pupils, students and young people. At the location in BTC City Ljubljana and on online channels, the organisers registered more than 60,000 visits. Besides that, the Slovenian Digital Center was visited by numerous international and local economic and government delegations, distinguished guests, internationally renowned experts, inventors and innovators.
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Concluding event of the Slovenian Digital Center