On 2 November 2018, Bryansk will host the 7th Slavonic International Economic Forum (SIEF 2018). The Forum organized by the government of Bryansk region is focused on digital economy. Its main theme is ECONOMY IN A DIGITAL ECOSYSTEM.

The future of Russia depends on how quickly the economy will adjust to the new level of technology. Digitization plays a pivotal role in this restructuring process. Labor efficiency growth largely depends on the scale and quality of implementing new solutions, including digital innovations.

The world makes a point of the transition to a new level of development and is actively preparing for it. Digital technologies and R&D investments form the backbone of development strategies in both Western and Eastern countries. This process gives rise to fundamentally new industries and activities: production of renewable energy, new energy storage facilities, innovative transport solutions, development of “clean technologies”, recycling, development of depollution technologies. The oncoming green economy closely linked to digital technologies provides new opportunities for the Russian national economy, the state and society. It is also of special importance to the real sector where new markets and prospects are created.

Bryansk region can and should join in the process of building the digital economy, enter the so far unoccupied market niches. Leveraging its high industrial and agricultural capacities, the region sees an unprecedented economic growth. Its leading universities and large enterprises accumulate high-quality intellectual resources. There are currently more than 30 successful IT businesses in the region.

The region is developing its own digital platforms actively used both in the region and abroad. The “Universal Mechanism” integrated software product developed at Bryansk State Technical University is among the world’s top 5 platforms for creating digital twins of machines and equipment. The software complex is used, among others, by major machine-building concerns in Europe, America and Asia. Another local innovation is the MED-Complete software complex used in Bryansk region for eight years. The digital platform has ensured almost complete automation of all healthcare services in the region.

The existing developers of own software products can become growth points for a mature IT industry. The region has everything to be in the forefront of innovative development and contribute to the national digital ecosystem.

The purpose of the Forum is to demonstrate Bryansk region’s potential for building a digital economy, discover promising areas for integration with neighboring countries and regions, identify development priorities, highlight problems and find solutions.

The “Digital Economy of the Russian Federation” program that is currently being implemented in Russia is expected to have improved domestic labor efficiency by 30 percent by 2024. New economic sectors are projected to generate more than 10 percent of the national GDP. The Government is currently developing 17 national digital platforms. Regions should also participate in this process. A digital economy cannot be properly developed without direct involvement of the federal subjects.

The Forum will pay special attention to the engineering elite formation in Russia. The progress towards the ambitious goal of creating breakthrough technologies is hampered by the lack of talented developers. There is a severe shortage of highly skilled engineers in Russia. The education and training of physicists, mathematicians, programmers capable of creative thinking has become a national priority. Bryansk region has a Center for Technology Education of Schoolchildren endorsed by the Governor and successfully operating for two years. It is a one-of-a-kind large-format project of additional training in the main engineering sciences – physics, mathematics and computer science – for secondary school students. The Forum will present the first results of the Center’s activity.

Another key issue is the social effects of digitalization in the economy brought about by the major changes in the employment pattern. The automation and digital enablement release human resources. Unmanned production becomes a reality. The Forum will address professional retraining, changes in forms of employment, opportunities provided to people by digital technologies.

The exhibition traditionally accompanying the Forum will present the new digital technologies developed and industrially applied in Bryansk region, neighboring regions and countries.

SIEF 2018 Objectives:

  • draw attention to the process of creating a single digital ecosystem of the Slavic states;
  • boost investments in digital platforms;
  • demonstrate to investors the opportunities provided by the IT industry of Bryansk region and regions of the Slavic states;
  • provide the real sector with new development vectors in the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) assuming the full automation of most production processes, resulting in higher labor efficiency, competitive power and economic growth;
  • take the first step towards creating a regional digital platform prototype;
  • catalyze the growth of innovative business activities;
  • establish a link between the regional businesses and educational institutions; bring the demand for specialists from businesses and the state in line with the education / training of students at educational institutions;
  • encourage the youth’s commitment to innovative activities.

The main Forum event will be the plenary discussion focusing on the following topical issues:

  • Digital ecosystem of the Slavic states
  • Role of the region in the national digital ecosystem
  • Transformation of the regulatory framework for the new economy
  • Social effects of the digital economy
  • Information & Communication Technology Cluster
  • Elite for a digital transformation
  • Industry 4.0
  • Agro industry going digital.

A number of thematic workshops will follow up the plenary discussion in the course of the Forum:

  1. New engineering elite: the foundation of Industry 4.0
  2. “Regional digital platform in the agro-industry”: a brainstorming session
  3. Digital region
  4. Digital healthcare
  5. Occupations in a digital world: a youth game
  6. New employment ecosystem
  7. Development of national IT solutions to improve the competitive edge of the domestic engineering industry.

SIEF 2018 will bring together representatives of ministries, government agencies, professional associations, IT companies, industrial and agricultural enterprises, the scientific community and the youth. The geography of participants traditionally covers the CIS and other foreign countries. More than 1,000 delegates are expected to attend the Forum.

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