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ICT Spring: Digital to enable societal progress

The second afternoon of the Digital Summit, which took place during ICT Spring on May 16th, shed light on digital and its impact on society. From the construction of smart cities to the use of data, international and local experts shared their expertise during an inspiration session.

Lynn Zoenen (Economic Advisor, Chamber of Commerce of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg) acted as Master of Ceremony and asked the following question: "IoT, Auonomous vehicles, blockchain… How does society benefits from digital innovations?"

She first welcomed Eric Dubois (Director of the IT for Innovative Services Department, LIST) on stage for the expert to share his knowledge on the development of Smart Cities. He first shared a definition: an innovative city using ICT to improve quality of life. He continued: "The idea is to collect data about what is happening in the city. With the data, you can develop a virtual digital twin, a model used to later design and develop new services etc". The challenge when collecting data is turning them into value information and knowledge. In order to do so, the data needs to be interoperable and in a homogenous set and datacentre. Then, data can finally be exploited. "The LIST is also working on Data security and privacy. We are also developing a prototyping platfrom, so services don't have to start from scratch," added Mr. Dubois. According to him, the smart city challenges are linked to the third industrial revolution and the goal of Luxembourg is to become the first smart green country, hence, challenges related to energy, mobility of people and goods, digitalization of buildings, etc.  "Cities in Luxembourg, and foremost Belval, are great testbeds" concluded Eric Dubois.

Data management was the topic tackled by Gail Kent (Director, DG CNECT): "There is a real data economy emerging currently. Companies are sitting on a huge reservoir of data, and Europe's main objective is to establish a single digital market". In such a digital market, non-personal data should be free to use, sell or trade, according to Gail Kent, and scientific information could be shared to be reused.

Roberto Barcellan (Head of Unit of the Data Services unit in DIGIT’s Digital Services Directorate) took the stage for a presentation entitled "The European Commission in the European data-driven society". "It is necessary to work in a collaborative way and therefore unlock the power of information. Data must be used for better policy and decision making," underlined Mr. Barcellan.

Then, Jin Duan (CEO, DeepBlue) focused on blockchain and its impact in the new digital economy. After sharing a video on ecommerce in China, using notably AI in several industries, he stated that technology was outdated in Europe: "Companies need to work on new technologies because it they don't, they won't stand a chance against competitors".