National conference – main event of the Week of Science and Technology 2014

14. 11. 2014

TVT 2014_logoIn the framework of the Week of Science and Technology in Slovakia 2014, National conference on “ICT and internet economy in the context of science and technology for development of economy and society” was held on 13 November 2014 (Thursday) in the Slovak Centre of Scientific and Technical Information (SCSTI) in Bratislava. Organizer of the National conference, the main event of the Week of Science and Technology, was the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sports of the Slovak Republic and the National Centre for the Popularization of Science and Technology in Society within SCSTI.Národná konferencia TVT 2014

National conference was hosted by the President of the Union of Slovak Scientific and Technological Societies prof. Dušan Petráš. The opening speech was given by Peter Plavčan, who is the Director General of Higher Education, Science and Research of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sports of the Slovak Republic.

The conference saw nine 15-minute speeches, which were divided into three parts.

Norbert Molnár_Úrad vlády SRIn the first part entitled “The latest trends in ICT”, Norbert Molnár, who is the CEO of the Managing Authority OPIS, Government Office of the Slovak Republic, took the floor. In his presentation “How does ICT help us in our lives” inter alia stated that the global aim of the Operational Programme Informatization of Society (OPIS) is creating an inclusive information society as a tool for the development of high-performance knowledge-based economy. OPIS priorities: establish a modern, citizen-oriented and efficient electronized public administration; create quality digital content accessible via the Internet; enable broadband Internet access to every citizen.

Priority axis 1: Digitalization of public administration and development of digital services – the objective is to effectively provide public administration services to citizens and building and linking of public administration information systems. Priority axis 2: Development of memory institutions and renewal of their national infrastructure – to improve systems of acquisition, processing, protection and utilization of knowledge and digital content, modernize and strengthen memory institutions at the national level. Priority axis 3: Improvement of broadband Internet access – building of quality optical transmission infrastructure to the national backbone networks of the existing operators.

Presentation of Mário Lelovský, president of the Slovak IT Association entitled “Not even technologies will help us without people” focused on trends in information and communication technologies (ICT). He stressed the fact that everything is going to be interconnected and will communicate. We will go from mobile phones to “Wearables” and later to “Invisibles”. Intelligent building/cars will “think for us” and prepare environment according to our needs even without us requiring it and without them knowing about it. It is going to be as natural as a thermostat. However, not even technologies will help us without people. There is going to be a shortage of ICT experts. Young people are not interested or do not have will to study difficult study fields such as mathematics, physics and ICT.

By 2020, the EU will be short of 900 000 ICT experts. By 2020, there should be twenty to thirty thousand more jobs in the ICT sector in Slovakia (ITAS estimate according to EU data), nevertheless there is not enough students. Structure, quantity and quality of graduates merely satisfy the requirements of the labor market – according to data from the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sports of the Slovak Republic, there is 6000 engineers and computer scientists studying at our universities, compared to 16000 students of humanities. Only ¼ of all graduates are from the purely technical fields. Experts warn that graduates lack practical skills for activities and technologies, which are commonly used in the digital sector, including knowledge of processes in information and communication technologies. The sector must encourage young people not to be afraid to study ICT. The solution to the problem is the National Coalition for Digital Professions – NCDP and whole society activity promoting the studies of ICT.

Peter Stančík, representative of company ESET and of Slovak Alliance for Internet Economy, presented a topic entitled “We need more IT professionals”. He talked about what happens if we do not keep up with this trend and what would (not) happen if we had such people now.

The first speech of the second part focused on ICT in the context of science and technology was given by Gabriel Juhás, who is the Dean of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava. In the presentation entitled “The ecosystem for sharing and utilization of information and data” he focused on data as a commodity. Today, the collection, processing and utilization of data are under one roof (Google). Barter trade is being used (e.g. Data space for data – Gmail, Facebook…) and direct contract (purchase/sale of data). There is also a Data Exchange – Stock Exchange for data. The ecosystem for collection, processing and exchange of data = data and information market, similar to commodity exchange, will allow more efficient utilization of data and information; will enable efficient access to data for potential service providers; will create an environment for data providers, where they will be able to provide their data; will create conditions for the creation of “data processors”. It will also create an environment for the development of the Internet economy, including support for the creation of new innovative companies - “start - ups”.

Commodity data exchange – data market – contains register and recordings of providers, processors and data consumers; register and recordings of data and information types; exchange for data and information supply and demand or their processing including models for purchase, sale, lease, licensing and common sharing of data; rating system of data credibility, their providers and processors using the feedback, platform for verification of data processing algorithms (methods from the Big Data, data mining, information discovery and process mining areas).

Ladislav Hluchý, Director of the Institute of Informatics of the Slovak Academy of Sciences gave a presentation focused on “ICT research at the Institute of Informatics of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in the context of 7RP and HORIZONT 2020”.

Pavol Horváth, Chairman of the SANET Association (Association of the Slovak Academic Data Network Users) gave a speech about “NREN-SANET as a structural optical infrastructure for science, research and education in Slovakia”. He informed the participants that there are 39 National Academic Networks (National Research and Education Network – NREN), which provide opportunities for innovation and transfer of network technologies into practice without the commercial aspect. Academic networks are a source of experts in network technologies in Slovakia – SANET network.

Furthermore, he mentioned that Grid was installed at the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava in 2012. This multiprocessor computer is mainly used for research in the chemical, construction and material engineering. Further Grid installations are at the institutes of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava, in Žilina and at the universities in Košice and in Banská Bystrica. The total number of installed processors is 2976, while usable memory capacity is 12 144 GB and the total capacity of external memories is 483.2 TB.

 Národná konferencia TVT 2014

In the beginning of the third part of the ICT as a factor for the development of economy and society, Peter Dekýš, who is the director of ESET, gave a speech entitled “The employer, research and business organization”. Apart from other things, he stated that ESET protects millions of users in more than 180 countries around the world. In 2012, it was the fastest growing AV company in the world on the market of domestic and small consumers. In 2013, it was the largest Slovak IT company according to sales.

Štefan Pero, representative of the Faculty of Science, Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice, coordinator of the SAP Academy, presented topic “A need of specialists in the region”. Key institutions have joined together to create the conditions. They create socio-economic environment, a communication platform between business, government and educational institutions. They enhance the quality of education in ICT in the region. They help create new jobs with higher added value. They achieve prosperity and long-term sustainability in  the Eastern Slovakia region. Together, they achieve big goals – 700% increase in the number of workers in the field of information and communication technologies and about 6,000 new jobs, of which 20% are women.

Branislav Rovan, Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics, Commenius University in Bratislava, gave a presentation entitled “ICT – a blessing or a curse?”, in which he, inter alia, talked about the advantages and disadvantages of ICT. Regarding benefits, everyone knows that ICT sector is important, we all need it, nobody understands the risks and nobody minds that they work “without warranty”. Disadvantages possibly include that everyone is “an expert”, understanding chases the use (lack of time for consolidation), few people understand the need for the development of ICT as such.

 

At the end of the National conference after discussion, Peter Plavčan, who is the Director General of Higher Education, Science and Research of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sports of the Slovak Republic, gave a speech.

 

Compiled: PhDr. Marta Bartošovičová
Photo: Ing. Alena Oravcová

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Technical Sciences

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