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Creating opportunities and fostering innovation in times of crisis

A new – and 100% digital – edition of the annual Gala IT One took place on December 1st, 2020. Several experts shared their expertise and discussed the latest tech trends, during a top-notch conference sponsored by Accenture Luxembourg and moderated by Thomas Musolik (CTO, Accenture).

Carlo Thelen (CEO / Director General, Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce) officially opened this 2020 edition and stated: “We managed to transform an important event into a digital event, with a larger program, in the frame of the Digital ICT Week, to celebrate innovation and digitalization”. He then shared the key points that, according to him, have held us so far and will unlock future opportunities: Innovation, Change and Technology, or “ICT”. Carlo Thelen first focused on “innovation”: “the current crisis forced companies to reinvent themselves, innovate and create new business opportunities. It highlighted the efficiency of the open innovation model”. He then shared several examples, and notably “startups vs. Covid”, initiated by the ministry of the Economy. On the “change” part, he stated: “in this situation, change is the only thing that is constant. We had to find new ways to keep daily business alive. How we work and interact has changed, and so have clients’ needs. Companies that adapted to change with agility and resilience are now seeing the benefits of their approach”. Carlo Thelen then focused on technology and on Covid being the biggest accelerator in the implementation of new tech. He added: “the goal of digitalization is to simplify the lives of citizens and businesses. It will play a key role in the post-Covid recovery phase”. According to him, a business friendly environment is needed so that companies focus on key business with no bureaucratic burden: “the government of Luxembourg has accelerated the digitization of procedures. At the international level, digital transformation is also a priority for the EU. Many initiatives focus on the right approach to build a democratic digital future. They aim at fostering innovation and competitiveness”. The Chamber of Commerce has been collaborating with Farvest for years, through its B2fair matchmaking events, and will keep on supporting the Luxembourgish company, by reaffirming its support for the next edition of ICT Spring, which will take place next June 8th and 9th, 2021.

The moderator then welcomed Marc Hansen (Luxembourg Minister Delegate for Digitalization) who first highlighted that this new Digital ICT Week was the best way to ensure fruitful collaborations in the ICT domain. “Over the last months, citizens, companies and the public sector faced the challenges of adapting to this unprecedented situation. Digital was a key factor in keeping our country functioning. The public sector was able to leverage technology and therefore provided the services the citizens are accustomed to,” explained the Minister. He also described his ministry as a “ministerial startup”, which embraces the young companies’ openness and adaptability. He added: ”the creation of the Ministry of Digitalization proves our determination to achieve the digital transformation of the country. We are providing efficient and simple e-government services and are working with new technologies such as AI, blockchain, IoT, etc. Many projects have already been launched, with several proven use cases”. Marc Hansen then discussed the government’s latest project, Govtech Lab, which just launched. He added: “we need to accelerate tech adoption within the public sector to provide more innovation and user-friendly services. We are advocating the open innovation methodology. We are counting on innovative minds and startups to come up with user centric solutions. Govtech Lab actually completes the local tech ecosystem in Luxembourg: we are in this together. Its goal is to become the key platform for the exchange of digital needs and innovative technologies within the state”.