Some thoughts from #ICT2013EU

By digitalchampion  | November 11, 2013

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Definitely one of the best ICT experiences I have had.

ICT Conference 2013 Create, Connect, Grow was the Europe’s biggest digital technology event with almost 5 000 people who attended. The event was organized by the European Commission in partnership with the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

The aim of the event was to gather policy makers, academia, business, NGO representatives and many more and present the opportunity for networking and partnerships essential for future projects and researches. For the first time during the conference the new program Horizon2020 – The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation was introduced. At the same time the rich exhibition of hundreds of projects sought to show the results of the 7th Framework Program.

For the first time the EC reached out to the young researchers and students. The Commission organized a selection of student ambassadors who helped in the promotion of the event in social media and students from all over Europe who had the chance to present their project in front of a jury and compete for prizes. A specific place in the conference was dedicated to students’ corner where a Hackathon was taking place and teams were competing also for prizes.

Surely one of the culmination moments was the speech of Neelie Kroes, who inspirational as always, spoke with the young guests about the importance of pursuing ICT career and being proactive in changing the world for the better. The commissioner encouraged all of us to take our turn, not to just wait for it. She shared her belief that the Structural funds of the EU should not be spent on bridges and road any more but on creating digital roads instead. The Lithuanian minister of Education, high leveled EU policy makers, the Lithuanian young advisor of Neelie Kroes, 13 years old CEO entrepreneur were among the prominent speakers in the students’ corner.

Definitely the Launching of the Lithuanian coalition for digital jobs was another peak moment of the conference. As part of the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs the Lithuanian government, universities, business and other stakeholders agreed to collaborate and work for the promotion of the importance of e-skills to meet the challenges of 21 century.

Bulgaria was proudly represented by Sasha Bezuhanova who received the Digital woman award for 2013.

Essential part of the conference was the Investment forum, where start ups and investors met and discussed how Europe can turn into the Silicon Valley. Another interesting project of the Digital Agenda for Europe, Futurium, was also presented in a separate panel where the panelists debated what future we want to live in. (Vote here:

The event was structured in 9 sessions and along with prominent speakers such as the presidents of Lithuania and Estonia other panelists included Robert Madelin, Director-General, DG Connect, Mario Campolargo, DG Connect, NET Futures, Angry Birds CEO and many more interesting and remarkable speakers.

The event was widely followed in Twitter via hashtag #ict2013eu where everything happening in Vilnius was shared in real time.
The organization of the event was impeccable. The social event organized by the Lithuanian presidency held 3 000 people and the cultural program included exclusive show “Another world” by Baltic Ballet Group.

The logo of the conference, the Tree, symbolizes Nature, ICT, People and how they interact with each other. After attending the ICT Conference I believe more than ever that new technologies and people can work together in securing one sustainable future for all of us.

Session reports, speeches and other materials are available on the official website:

Elena Nikolova&Digital Champion Team


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