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The development of the IT & C sector in Szeklerland is on the right track

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In the framework of several constructive round-table discussions and interesting lectures, a series of ideas concerning the promotion of the region were born in Bálványosfürdő, at the third edition of the Szeklerland IT&C Conference. During the two-day event held between 24 and 25 September, over two-hundred-fifty participants contributed with their presence, their knowledge and their contacts to the establishing of the direction of development of the IT&C sector in Szeklerland. This year, the organizers have grouped the plenary and sectional conferences around five main topics, where valuable lectures could be heard concerning the IT education, the promotion and future prospects of the start-up culture, as well as innovative solutions, enterprise development, the development strategies of local councils or public administration institutions, IT & C solutions and the profession.

Many people also participated to the innovative roundtable discussions that took place simultaneously, where an average of fifty persons were involved in various professional debates, after which they made proposals and specific measures.

The official opening of the two-day conference was held in the large conference hall of the Grand Hotel Bálványos, where the necessity of such professional meetings, as well as of the dialogue between actors in the economic, educational, administrative and civil sphere of the region of Transylvania, was emphasized. A positive aspect is that the integration of the IT&C field in the development strategies of the counties Harghita and Covasna for the years 2014-2020 was achieved. In the near future, as a result of continuous collaboration and work, Szeklerland, or more broadly Transylvania, may be present in Eastern Europe as a Silicon Valley of information technology. In this purpose, it is very important to emphasize adequate professional training and attract back talents who left the region, because through our experience and our knowledge about new technologies, the quality of the projects carried out in the country can be improved.

Later, on the first day, emphasis was placed on e-government e-health, enterprise development, education and professional training and the role of women in IT.

It was said that due to the modern technical solutions of today, errands in the e-governance can be sped up, the quality of medical services can be improved by keeping an on-line patient registry, and creating databases with medical records in more medical institutions. The IT firms active in the region can provide professional assistance in the development of the above mentioned administrative, medical and agricultural systems.

In the education and employment section, the leaders of several IT companies, academics and students sought answers to opportunities for effective cooperation, asking questions like: how to train future computer scientists, how is it possible for one to get involved in professional internship along with college.

In the topic of enterprise development the latest calls for tenders were discussed, and it was explored how is it possible to create the financial background for a larger project.

Thursday ended with a special discussion, where more women active in the IT field presented their experiences. The common perception is that there are very few women working in the IT field, but the discussion revealed that in many cases they can aid the work of their male colleagues with useful insights, concerning issues ranging from software development to strategic decision-making.

The second day began with the presentation of the basics of the development strategy Digital Hungary, followed by the presentation of the development strategies in the counties Harghita and Covasna. Based on what was said, the idea of Digital Szeklerland was born, in the light of which action must be taken in order to maintain and develop the digital infrastructure, administration, skills and communities. Later, during a lecture focused on the phrase: computer scientists are the new rock stars, the emphasis was placed on the training of specialists and several models were presented in order to demonstrate how one can become a well-paid IT specialist.

As a unique initiative in Szeklerland, the elevator pitch experiment was held for the first time, where sixteen members of IT Plus cluster presented the main characteristics of their companies, their products and services, in four minutes. In the foreground of the second part of the events on Friday, there were technical discussions, where several developers, programmers, project managers and students showed the public various IT & C tools and solutions. It is important to note that in parallel with the technical lectures, the round table discussion entitled Start-up Culture in Szeklerland took place, as a result of which, an initiative concerning the establishment of a start-up centre in Sepsiszentgyörgy was born. According to the plans, in order to implement it, the City Council will provide support through financial donations and the provision of real estate, and with the aid of several start-up specialists and incubation centres in Hungary, the IT Department of the Covasna County Chamber of Commerce and Industry would also take part in the operation of the centre.

Author: István-Zsolt Palkó (PR / IT Cluster Plus)

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