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News & Press: News

Apply for a networking session at ICT 2018 (4-6 December 2018, Vienna, Austria)

17 April 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Heather Smith
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The European Commission is organising its next ICT 2018 conference "Imagine Digital" from 4 to 6 December 2018 in Vienna. A central element of this key event is the networking sessions which complement the conference programme and the exhibition. The networking sessions are organised by stakeholders attending ICT 2018 and aim to boost exchanges between all participants.

image to show networking at ICT2018

What is a networking session?

The networking sessions are informal group discussions that seek brainstorming and active interactions between participants. By stimulating forward-looking collaboration, they aim to develop new partnerships, notably for research and innovation.

Bringing together a diverse set of actors sharing a common interest in a specific research, innovation or policy domain, the sessions provide a space to explore innovative ideas, concepts and partnerships for action.

Networking sessions aim to forge new, lasting and productive links between participants, based on enthusiastic, creative, promising and stimulating face-to-face contacts.

Who can take part in my networking session?

The networking sessions are open to everyone attending ICT 2018. For the first time, networking sessions will also take place outside of the conference premises and be open to external participants that are not registered to ICT2018. The objective is to allow for even more interaction between potential future collaborators that are not necessarily related to the digital world.

The session should preferably bring together people who are not normally working together. Some scenarios are:

  • Cross disciplinary networking or intercultural networking
  • Downstream-upstream networking (e.g. bringing together basic and applied research)
  • Inter-stakeholder networking (research – industry – policy – education – users-investors)
  • Intergenerational networking (e.g. involving youngster and/or the senior people)
  • Networking across ‘islands’ with common interest (e.g. among projects, networks)

The range of disciplines will not be restricted to the ‘traditional’ ICT disciplines and can include disciplines such as biology, psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, sociology, medicine, material science, etc.

Participants are not required to register to the networking session.

What should my networking session focus on?

Networking sessions should relate to ICT in the context of H2020, future Research and Innovation Programmes or to EU ICT policies, including lead markets, innovation, entrepreneurship and international cooperation.

A networking session should provide its participants with the opportunity:

  • To share their own perspectives on a particular policy, research, technological or innovation theme, notably in the context of the opportunities offered by Horizon 2020 and future Research and Innovation programmes, the Juncker Commission's work programme and the Digital Single Market.
  • To listen to the views, perspectives and ideas of other participants in view of a constructive dialogue.
  • To meet participants with common or similar topical interests with whom they could develop collaborative relationships in the future.

Where will my session take place and how much time do I have?

The networking sessions will take place in the same venue as the ICT 2018 conference. There will be approximately 100 slots of 45 minutes available in rooms which have the capacity of hosting between 50 and 80 seated people.

Exceptionally for this edition, you will also have the opportunity of organising meetings in a more participative format by booking rooms with flexible seating arrangements that could for instance, host world cafés, role games or participatory dialogues.

In parallel, there will also be the unique possibility to organise off-site networking sessions for around 50 people in Viennese coffee houses. External participants can be invited to these off-site sessions.

What is the best format?

While it is up to the organisers to propose an interesting format for their networking session, we recommend avoiding conference style and lengthy presentations.

The sessions should leave a lasting imprint on the participants, based on enthusiastic, original, promising and stimulating exchanges. They are as much for learning from each other as they are for learning about each other. Various methods should be fostered such as:

  • Careful orchestration of interaction (e.g. rotational, free-flow, casino model);
  • Role games;
  • Speaker’s corner or 1-minute pitch models;
  • Graphical documentation (post-its, white-board walls);
  • Digital media and digital capture of results (for further use);
  • Use of professional animators and facilitators;
  • Scripted sessions toward concrete results.

Expected results

The Commission expects networking sessions to produce an output that is shared by the participants and has, at least in part, concrete and action-oriented implications. Session organisers are requested to publish a 100 words summary of the output online and, as far as possible, to tweet about the session.

How do I apply?

If you are interested in organising a networking session, please submit your proposal by Friday 27th April 2018.

Before submitting, please choose which of these three themes your proposal fits best (these themes are not mutually exclusive):

  • "Inspiring a digital society"
  • "Creating networks and technology"
  • "Transforming industry and economy"

When will I know if my proposal was selected?

The Commission will select proposals by June 2018 and inform organisers and publish the retained sessions in July 2018.

Any question? Contact us by email: CNECT-ICT-2018-NETWORKING@ec.europa.eu

Other information:

ICT 2018 – conference programme

ICT 2018 – exhibition