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It’s a wrap! Looking back on Partnership Day 2017

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Published on Thursday, 01 June 2017

The atmosphere was electric and the air was a bit hot – Partnership Day 2017 wrapped up nicely yesterday with some jazz tunes, drinks and magic at D’Coque. With over 300 participants from regional industry and research institutions, the event counted the largest crowd in SnT history. Our flagship event featured some of the brightest minds across Luxembourg – and beyond. These were the highlights.

Xavier Bettel, the prime minister of Luxembourg kicked off the event with some remarks about the need to develop more people with digital skills in Luxembourg and to facilitate access to digital tools to all generations. But he is confident the nation will master these challenges, as Luxembourg repeatedly punches above its weight. Later on, while touring the abundance of demos set up by our researchers, he fearlessly tried his hand at both augmented and virtual reality simulators. You can see him in action here.

Featured keynote speaker Philip Treleavan took the stage by storm, effectively demystifying algorithm trading for his audience and pointing out that financial regulation is estimated to cost firms $280 billion annually. His suggestion? Automated regulation and algorithmic governments - food for thought… You can download his presentation slides here.

People flocked to the session on Start-up Success Stories. In fact, we had to turn some latecomers away due to room capacity (lesson learned for next year). Four SnT spin-offs – Motion-S, Black Swan, DataThings, and LuxAI – took turns describing their journey from research to business, their current challenges and past milestones. If you’ve been thinking about fuelling innovation the moment is ripe: these entrepreneurs are ready to talk.

Meanwhile, Research on Fintech drew a respectful crowd of its own and didn’t disappoint. iDetect CEO Olivier Merlan opened the session with a hot topic: identifying patterns and anomalies within data to uncover money laundering. The role of research in FinTech was touched on during the panel discussion, with Lionel Briand stressing a bright future for collaborative FinTech projects at SnT.

Curious about the factories and buildings of the future? Then Shaping Industry 4.0 would have quenched your thirst. Franck-Alexandre Sallebant-Bessone of CEBI shared how a new open software solution for all appliance factories can significantly increase production flexibility. In the data realms, Dr. Anne-Marie Solvi gave solid proof that machine learning can help spot building operations inefficiencies. In fact, Paul Wurth’s technology successfully identified a significant waste of energy at a local school which kept its library lights on during weekends.

“I have nothing to hide” is what many people reply to data privacy concerns. Yet, data privacy has been gaining traction over the past few years. PeP Security’s Krista bennett & Robert Goldman illustrated how to prevent anyone from spying on your communication with Privacy by Default. On another note, Rachid Ouaich from Eethiq introduced the idea of using BlockChain technology for ensuring investments align with Islamic faith. This new niche piqued the audience’s curiosity.

The guided tour concept was well-received. Attendees enjoyed being equipped with headsets and diligently listened to esteemed guides (SnT director Björn Ottersten was spotted with a microphone) as they navigated through the demo area.

Real world events are an important aspect of SnT’s collaborative strategy. We interact with so many people over the internet and by phone, it’s refreshing to meet in person. The high-energy level adequately matched the location - D’Coque, and the incessant roar of conversation distracted from the heat. We can safely say that the relationship between research and the public and private industry is as strong as ever.

We would like to thank the dozens of presenters who shared their experiences and expertise with our attendees. We also appreciate everyone who took the time to join us – you’ve made this year’s event one of the best, yet. And if you couldn’t make it, we look forward to seeing you at the 2018 Partnership Day.