think.BDPST – Connect to the Future

Organised by the Antall József Knowledge Centre, think.BDPST is a strategic conference focusing on perspectives of research, innovation, and future technologies, as well as regional development. The main aim of the project is to put Hungary on the map of large-scale regional conferences such as GLOBSEC, the Krynica Economic Forum, and the Prague European Summit, by organising the most significant innovation forum in the region, thereby facilitating a dialogue between the representatives of the economic, governmental, and scientific spheres. The event enjoys the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary and the International Visegrad Fund.

During the three years since its inception, think.BDPST has covered a variety of topics. The first instalment of think.BDPST focused on future technologies, innovation, and regional development, while the second explored specific fields of social innovation and healthcare. The 2018 event revolved around topics such as the future of transportation, the innovation potential of human-machine interaction, and urban innovation. For the first time in its history, think.BDPST featured a guest country, with the Republic of Korea enjoying the special status considering its results as the world’s leading innovator, the key importance of Hungarian-Korean relations, and the rapidly developing V4+Korea cooperation.

In 2019, priority topics will include smart home, smart solutions, and digitalisation and challenges associated with it. The guest country of the 2019 event will be the United Kingdom taking into account its economic and scientific interests in the Visegrad Cooperation, as well as the fact that it has been in the forefront of championing a technology-intensive-economic-growth model. The Visegrad Cooperation is interested in further developing the already-existing intensive economic cooperation with the United Kingdom, a partnership which is mutually beneficial for all the parties involved. think.BDPST 2019 is to serve as a key platform for developing joint ventures cooperation between the United Kingdom and the V4 in the fields of economy and science. It not only aims to bring forth ideas to solve our current and possible future challenges, but also to turn the solutions into mutually beneficial economic ventures based on the complementary nature of the two engines of global economic growth and scientific advancement.

Past speakers of think.BDPST include Lord David Willetts, Board Member of the UK Research and Innovation; George Pataki, Former Governor of the State of New York; George Friedman, geopolitical forecaster and strategist; Dr Edmund Stoiber, Former Prime Minister of the State of Bavaria; Sheik Dr Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Kuwait; Rabbi Professor Daniel Hershkowitz, Former Minister of Science and Technology of the State of Israel; HE Chang Whan Ma, Deputy Minister for Planning and Coordination at the Ministry of Science and ICT of the Republic of Korea; Robert-Jan Smits, Director General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission; Dr Jacob Cohen, Chief Scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center, and HE Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary.

The conference has two side events, the Young Leaders’ Forum and the Start-up Expo. The Young Leaders’ Forum (YLF) features outstanding young professionals between the age of 24 and 38, soon to become important actors and decision-makers in the field of innovation, research, and development. YLF is the only forum in Central Europe that gathers young professionals from the region. The Start-up Expo is an exhibition where innovative enterprises, innovators, and start-ups – key actors of the Central European innovation scene – have the opportunity to meet and share ideas, while promoting their products in front of the international audience, as well as the visitors and investors present at think.BDPST.

A Glimpse into the Future