With the peninsula being known for its natural beauty, rich cultural landscape and fantastic delicacies, the Balkans are renowned for having some of the most quintessentially Mediterranean vistas and experiences. From the Adriatic coastline of Split to the fairytale-esque castle of Lake Bled, the region has a lot to offer the world. This being said, something that fewer may know is the fact that the nations of the Balkans are incubating a nascent but powerfully growing technical expertise when it comes to frontier technology such as Blockchain, AI and more. Therefore the region may not only be a rich adventure into the past but my also serve as a window into the very near future.
Deep Tech: Made in the Balkans
We find ourselves at the nexus of a number of exciting developments in the field of Deep Tech. This being said, It may be useful to first elaborate on what constitutes Deep Tech. The term refers to startups or broader industries that focus on advanced or emerging technologies with a business model geared towards disrupting their target markets in novel ways. A sample of the most disruptive of these Deep Techs includes Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Internet of Things and Quantum Computing. Each of these technologies is revolutionary in their own right, completely overhauling the legacy domain that makes up the contemporary market; be it computing, supply chain management, fintech or automation. This isn’t even taking into consideration the sheer potential of cross-pollination with each of these technologies having the potential to supercharge the other by association.
As one would expect, the sheer complexity and caliber of these technologies has required an equally strong foundation in engineering excellence and technological forward thinking. The Balkans have been steadily growing into a global pillar for technical expertise both in hardware and in software development. More and more global ventures have been sourcing their technical talent from the oft sundrenched shores of the Balkans. This talent pool has been rapidly growing in strength and quality with even the most cutting-edge software coders and computer engineers being recruited remotely from the peninsula. This growth and sophistication has only been supercharged through a combination of several national and international initiatives with the goal of helping mature and energies this nascent ecosystem. This drive has been met with a very strong sense of enthusiasm and ambition by the economic visionaries hailing from the Balkans. When asked about the emerging tech goals of the region, the Head of Albania for the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development Ekaterina Solovova told TechEu quite directly that “We want to see some unicorns out of the Western Balkans.”
AIBC Balkans: a match made in Heaven
This combination of ambition and excellence makes it the perfect platform for the AIBC Summit’s debut in the Balkans this August. A globally recognized hub for Deep Tech development and thought leadership articulation, this edition of the Summit will be based in the metropolitan city of Belgrade between the 22nd and 25th of August. This Summit will combine the best and brightest of the global Deep Tech industry with a focus on the technical aspect of the sector, the cogs and gears that let the sector as a whole move forward, platforming and catalyzing this exponential growth. The Summit is open to delegates from both Malta and far far abroad with some of the leading figures in the Blockchain and AI space being close associates of the Summit, using the conferences as a platform to structure the near future of these deeply rich sectors. Approaching topics from regulatory legislation to predictions on the near future of the industry as a whole, the C-Suite delegates tend to be one the forefront of an already cutting edge industry. Moreover, the expo floor gives some of the most disruptive projects a spotlight to display their sheer potential to an audience of policymakers and decision makers.
In the spirit of empowering the technical expertise so abundant in the region, this edition of the AIBC Summit will also include a hackathon to truly inspire the leading technologists, engineers and system architects that call the region home. The hackathon will play out during the duration of the Summit, where developers will enter the event with a bright idea and leave with a full-fledged and full-functioning project. We can only imagine what project will come to life during the span of the conference but, knowing the sheer skill of the developers that call the Summit home, we have no doubt it’ll be a programming tour de force!
Beyond skill, the Summit also values decisiveness and the ability to spearhead change. With this in mind, we also seek to incubate a culture of entrepreneurship and enterprise wherever we set our sights. To this end, we also plan on launching the AIBC CIS & Balkans pitch to empower the most ambitious and energetic project. Who knows. We might be helping to make the Balkan’s first unicorn.