Bye-bye Silicon Valley, hello Brussels!

The rapid transformation of Brussels into a smart city, where quality of life goes in hand with the digital revolution, leads to new opportunities. Time for a closer look at some upcoming initiatives, making the Brussels Capital region a digital hub of choice for many organisations and businesses.

European capital, digital capital

Leading 21st century solutions for urban challenges is a key driver for the activities of the Brussels Capital Region through its smart city programme.

Developed by the agency smart.brussels through various initiatives it aims to put Brussels as a digital hub in the heart of Europe. The integration of new technologies into the everyday life of businesses and citizens, rolling out e-government and developing digital infrastructure (fibre and wireless networks) are among the agency’s priorities.

Another pillar of the agency’s strategy is to further establish Brussels as a research and innovation region, by developing partnerships between the academic world, institutions and the business community and by creating advanced technology centres focused on high-value technology jobs. As a result, Brussels will be a pioneer in tackling the urban challenges of the 21st century.

Pivotal centre of excellence in ICT

With its universities, concentration of associations and multinationals, R&D organisations and the presence of so many decision-makers, Brussels is a key player in information and communications technology. It regularly hosts congresses and fairs on the latest technological developments and leads the way towards the digital society.

Cutting edge in privacy and data protection

From 24 to 26 of January, Brussels will host the 11th edition of the Computers, Privacy, Data Protection (CPDP) Conference.

For three days, academics, practitioners, regulators, policy-makers, lawyers, industry and civil society from all over the world, will exchange ideas and trends in privacy and data protection. This year’s central theme is ‘The Internet of Bodies’, focusing on data collection, connected bodies, biometrics, genetic data processing and the quantified self.

Information and registration to the conference and side events is available on http://www.cpdpconferences.org/registration.html.

The best open source software development conference

Every year, thousands of developers of free and open source software from all over the world meet in Brussels during a two-day event, with the aim of promoting the widespread use of free software. The event is free and is organised by the community, for the community.

Developers get in touch with peers and stay up-to-date with all the latest developments in open source solutions. This year’s edition takes place on 3 and 4 February at the ULB campus and will welcome over 5,000 developers. The website fosdem.org contains all information about the event.

Digital entrepreneurs

One out of three new Belgian technology companies starts in Brussels, proving the capital has much to offer to students and entrepreneurs. There are many examples of successful start-ups in Brussels, one of which is particularly interesting for the MICE industry.

Eventer is an app in which participants of events can easily share photos of the event. It’s an ideal way of finding,

organising and looking at the best photos. In little more than one year of existence, the app already has over 10,000 users in Belgium and France and has attracted numerous renowned partners.

Eventer recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to develop new functionalities. In just 48 hours it collected over €100,000 euros.